Bangkok, 5 September 2019 – “We are facing a planetary emergency and must end the age of fossil fuels as swiftly as possible, and transform our economics profoundly.”

Thus stated Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development, a regional alliance of organizations and movements, in Bangkok for activities around the Asia Pacific Climate Week. In a press forum on 5 September at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand (FCCT), Nacpil said “the burning of coal and other fossil fuels and the destruction of nature in a system of relentless and ever-increasing extraction and production for profit is the root cause of excessive greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere. This in turn is causing the climate crisis.”

Harjeet Singh, global lead on climate change for ActionAid says: “Just 100 fossil fuel producers are responsible for 71% of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions causing global warming since 1988.

“After decades of inaction by governments and polluting industries, millions of people’s lives and livelihoods are already being devastated by extreme weather, food insecurity and rising sea levels.

“Our research shows that ending state subsidies for fossil fuels and introducing progressive taxes on fossil fuel companies, would provide the $300 billion needed by 2030 for countries to adapt to, and repair the loss and damage caused by climate change.

“Those most responsible for fuel the climate crisis must take responsibility and commit to solutions that protect the rights of those most at risk.”

The work of various communities in Thailand was discussed by Nanticha Ocharoenchai, of Climate Strike Thailand. “Even at 1.5°C increase in global temperature can lead to more frequent extreme weather events, longer drought spells, sea level rise, disruption of food production cycles, displacement and migration of vulnerable communities, among others. This is why we are holding public actions, strikes, working on other sources of energy.”

Yuki Tanabe of Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES) focused on the campaign to stop coal financing to “Dirty Companies” like Japanese coal developers that pledged to stop coal projects but continue to support supercritical coal plants under the illusion that the new technologies mean clean energy. “This is an illusion of safety when, in fact, we remain in big trouble. Corporations and their financial backers are perpetuating a lie about new technologies to continue their profits. They turn a blind eye to the bigger costs in people’s lives and the impacts on
the climate.”

Norwegian environmentalists are calling for a halt of oil extraction in Norway and a just transition. “If we are to uphold the Paris Agreement and limit global warming to 1.5°C, oil exploration must come to a halt. We cannot keep exploring for oil and expanding oil extraction while others pay the price. Norway as an oil producing country have a moral obligation to move away from fossil fuel as climate change is already affecting developing countries. While Norway is extracting oil further and further north others are being hit by extreme weather making life impossible turning innocent people into climate refugees. We are hoping that the coming Climate Lawsuit will force the Norwegian government to take the global responsibility they are thus far are refusing to acknowledge and take,” said Tonje Justsen Sæther of the
Young Friends of the Earth Europe or YFOEE.

Fenton Lutunatabua of 350.org Asia called on the broadest possible participation to the Global Climate Strike on September 20-27. “We are making history with youth, their parents, workers, farmers, environmentalists, artists, academia among others coming together to demand climate justice now. This planetary emergency demands
that we stand together for change.”

Joao Camargo, Climaximo Portugal, provided a background to massive mobilizations in Portugal to demand climate justice. “Not acting on climate warming is a crime. This emergency is leading to the extinction of species and communities. We have 10 years to win everything and we intend to.”

Mobilizations for climate justice are expected across hundreds of cities and towns. Many of the actions to be organized by APMDD call for an end to coal, the most carbon intensive of fossil fuels.

Nathan Thanki, Global Campaign To demand Climate Justice (DCJ) moderated the forum organized by the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development, ActionAid International, Asia Europe Peoples’ Forum, Asia Energy Network and the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice.

 


For more information, please get in touch with Malou Tabios Nuera at mltabios@gmail.com