COP27 ignores communities’ voices, puts polluters before climate justice amid worsening climate impacts

November 15, 2022

As the vital COP27 climate talks resume for a second week, climate-vulnerable communities and Greenpeace Philippines warned that progress can only be made in these negotiations if the people’s voices can be heard louder than that of big polluters, whom they are demanding to pay up for loss and damage caused by worsening climate impacts.

“We have been flooded and hit by the strongest storms more frequently in the past few years … I am so tired of the systems that perpetuate these disasters, where we have little to do with it,” said John Erwin Larosa, a young Filipino climate advocate whose community in Cagayan was recently affected by Typhoon Paeng (international name Nalgae). “I am joining my fellow youth  at COP27 in demanding big companies, capitalists, and big polluter countries to provide reparation for all the damages and destruction caused by climate disasters … provide solutions and engage with more vulnerable countries, such as the Philippines, in ensuring adaptability in this crisis we are facing.”

In support of these communities, Greenpeace Philippines is currently at the UNFCCC COP 27 in  Egypt to demand that world governments agree to establish a dedicated financial facility for loss and damage, and secure adequate adaptation and green transition funding for developing countries. The group also reiterated its call to accelerate fossil fuel phaseout in line with the 1.5°C threshold for global warming — especially when experts are predicting climate-destructive CO2 emissions from fossil fuels will reach an all-time high in 2022.[1]

“Loss and damage made it onto the agenda after unusually long discussions, late into the night, in Sharm el-Sheikh — it must now be part of the definitive outcomes,” said Yeb Saño, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director. Saño heads the Greenpeace delegation attending the COP this year. “Developing countries must stay firm in demanding a dedicated loss and damage finance facility is agreed upon. In order for trust to be built and hope kept alive at COP27, the spotlight must be given to the people and the planet, not the corporate logos and fossil fuel lobbyists.”

Greenpeace Philippines is demanding accountability from fossil fuel companies and action from world governments. The group is calling on the Marcos Jr. administration to follow through with the recommendations of the Final Report on the National Inquiry on Climate Change[2] issued by the Commission on Human Rights, which underscores the accountability of climate polluting corporations. It also calls on governments to discourage fossil fuel dependence; ensure a just transition for all; provide penalties for carbon emissions; and establish legal frameworks to compensate victims for loss and damage resulting from climate change impacts.

“Demanding fossil fuel companies to pay up for loss and damage is not just a matter of money—it’s about claiming justice for the homes destroyed, livelihoods crushed, and lives lost from the crisis they are choosing to perpetuate,” said Virginia Benosa-Llorin, Greenpeace Philippines campaigner, who is also attending the conference in Egypt.

“These annual talks will have no bearing if we let climate polluters get away with making vulnerable countries suffer. In the face of supertyphoons, floods, landslides, and imminent sea level rise devastating Filipino lives and livelihoods, reparation for loss and damage must be matched by a commitment to phase out fossil fuels. The Philippine government must ensure climate action and urgently join local communities who are leading the calls for justice.”

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