Philippine solons push for climate justice mechanism

November 22, 2021

Progressive lawmakers in the House of Representatives co-authored a proposed measure to establish a mechanism to address the climate crisis and demand climate justice. 

On November 17, six members from the Makabayan bloc filed House Resolution No. 2362 seeking the declaration of a People’s Green New Deal (PGND). 

The resolution, which is first of its kind in Southeast Asia and the Global South, recognized that there is an “urgency to craft and adopt a PGND for a just and green economic recovery and a historic break from systemic crises and injustices.”

Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate, the principal author of the resolution, said it seeks to “demand just compensation over the climate debts owed to us” by major carbon polluters.

“The PGND also focuses on building and expanding domestic industries based on rational economic planning informed by planetary boundaries and people’s needs,” said Zarate. 

The proposed measure intends to develop sustainable and national industry “using environmentally-sound production technologies and methods” while it also proposes to impose a moratorium on all destructive greenfield projects such as mining, dredging, plantations, incinerators, and fossil fuel power plants.

Leon Dulce of the group Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment said, “We need to respond with an emergency People’s Green New Deal to mobilize financing and compensation from polluter nations and corporations historically accountable to our catastrophic climate vulnerability.”

“The PGND will potentially achieve the restoration of at least 1 million hectares of degraded ecosystems and increase renewable energy share in total installed energy capacity to up to 42 percent by 2030,” said Dulce. 

Sonny Africa, executive director of IBON Foundation, said the COVID-19 pandemic “made our social, economic and environmental crises immeasurably worse but the government can take extraordinary measures to fix these if it wanted to – the PGND is a historic step forward to making things right.”  

Africa said the PGND will strategically create 10 million green jobs and double the income of the poorest 20 percent of families.” 

The resolution was patterned after a similar proposal initiated by Alexandra Ocasio Cortez, New York representative in the US Congress, which failed to advance in the Senate.  

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