Climate justice activists trooped to the venue of climate talks here Monday, condemning the rich, industrialized countries, especially the United States and European countries, for delaying the establishment and implementation of the much-needed adaptation fund for climate vulnerable countries or CVCs.
Led by Jubilee South- Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JS-APMDD), the protest action at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) was participated in by around 50 activists from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, China, South Africa, Kenya, Chile, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Lidy Nacpil, JS-APMDD coordinator, said that the recognition of climate debt and right to reparations is central to their perspective on climate finance, which is not aid or assistance but part of reparations that is long overdue.
She explained that climate debt is “owed by those who are responsible for excessive greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, those who have been using more than their fair share of atmospheric space for over a century, those who cause environmental destruction that lead to the diminishing of the earth’s capacity to absorb greenhouse gases, and those who generated and continue to perpetuate the climate crisis by refusal to take action.”
“The Annex 1 countries, led by the United States and European countries, have the obligation to pay reparations for these debt owed to the people who have been affected by the climate crisis. The mobilization of unprecedented levels of finance is needed to enable people, communities and nations to deal with present and as well as already unavoidable future impacts of climate change, much of which are irreversible. It is also needed to make the systemic and technological transformation necessary to prevent worst catastrophes, solve global warming and heal the planet,” Nacpil said.
“The delay in mobilization of climate finance imperils the people of vulnerable countries,” she added.
Aliza Yuliana from Solidaritas Perempuan, Indonesia said: “Instead of taking responsibility for their historical plunder and abuse of our resources, the US and EU are pushing for false solutions that worsen the situation. Climate change projects – such as REDD and CDM – will further accelerate the commercialization of our nature, forced eviction of local and indigenous communities, gender injustices and feminization of poverty. We demand real solutions. They have to be responsible and pay their climate debt as reparation to our damages.”
Prerna Bomzan of LDC Watch said: “While the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are the least responsible for climate change, they are the most affected. We are demanding climate justice. Huge amounts of finance is urgently needed for the massive loss and damage that our peoples are experiencing on a daily basis. We demand reparations for climate debt now.”
Other speakers of the demonstrations were Dani Setiawan from Anti Debt Coalition, Indonesia; Mitika Miwanda from Pan African Climate Justice Allience, Kenya; Rex Varona, from Migrant Forum Asia, Hongkong; Daryl Leyesa, from Philliphine Movement on Climate Justice, Philliphines; Badrul Alam from Krishok Federation, Bangladesh, Abdule Kader from SUPRO, Bangladesh.