Paris Agreement signing: Asian alliance urges governments to solve climate crisis
MANILA, 22 April 2016 – As representatives of over 150 countries signed the Paris Agreement on climate change in New York today, an alliance of Asian social movements demanded governments to do their fair share in solving the climate crisis.
“It is important to remember that the national pledges which form part of the Paris Agreement, when combined, fail to ensure that the global temperature increase does not breach the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit. Governments will have to scale up their targets in order to be consistent with the 1.5⁰C limit that they also mentioned in the Agreement,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), from Manila.
Climate movements, especially from developing countries, have said that 1.5⁰C limit is an urgent matter of survival. If the national pledges are not improved upon, the world will likely warm by at least 3⁰C.
“To date, the increase in temperature is already near 1 degree, and the Philippines is already suffering from super typhoons and super El Niños. Even 1.5⁰C is not even very safe anymore for our people. In the coming months and years, climate movements and citizens have to escalate the pressure on their governments not only to scale up their targets but to actually take decisive steps to reach these targets, beginning with the radical transformation of energy systems,” she added.
“The Philippine government did champion the 1.5⁰C aspirational target in Paris along with other climate-vulnerable countries. It has also pledged to reduce 70% of our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. After signing the Paris Agreement today, its next logical step is to cancel the proposed 29 coal plants all over the country, and phase out the existing 17 plants which are already heavily affecting lives, livelihoods, and the environment,” said Ian Rivera, national coordinator of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, also from Manila.
In South Asia, APMDD members from Nepal and India also emphasized the urgency to act on climate change amid the worsening impacts, including those brought upon by a record El Niño.
“Least Developed Countries count among the most vulnerable to the consequences of climate change, with experiences from super typhoons to glacier melts and intense droughts, adding to existing socio-economic challenges to our life and livelihoods. We in the global climate justice movement urgently call on governments not only to drastically cut their emissions, but also to deliver on immediate climate finance, and to address loss and damage starting with pre-2020 commitments,” said Prerna Bomzan, advocacy coordinator of LDC Watch, from Nepal.
“Developed countries must phase out dirty energy furthest and fastest, and fund the mitigation and adaptation efforts of developing countries, if they are to fulfill their fair share of climate action. But this is by no means a free pass for India and other developing countries – we are and will continue to hold our governments accountable in delivering their own fair shares of climate action. India must phase out from coal power,” said Willy D’Costa, convenor of the Indian Social Action Forum, from Delhi.