By Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, Reporter
PHILIPPINE CLIMATE and good governance advocates urged the Marcos government to use the landmark United Nations (UN) ruling asking the world’s top court to clarify states’ obligations regarding climate change in demanding more action from top polluters.
On March 29, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution led by the Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu seeking an International Court of Justice (ICJ) advisory opinion on the obligations of states to combat climate change.
The resolution asks the ICJ to outline the “legal consequences” for states which “have caused significant harm to the climate system and other parts of the environment” in consideration of climate change’s impacts on small island states and peoples.
“This is really a historic move by the UN and a very important one for climate-impacted countries like ours,” Lea Guerrero, country director of Greenpeace Philippines, said in a phone interview.
“We believe that the Philippine government can substantially contribute to the proceedings,” she said.
It might take about 18 months for an ICJ opinion to be issued, which will include inputs from different countries, Ms. Guerrero said, citing Vanuatu’s estimate.
She urged the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to use the decision in calling for more climate commitments from rich countries.
“This move should also be cited by the Philippine government as a basis to continue calling on rich countries to meet their targets in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Ms. Guerrero said.
The decision, she said, should also prompt the government to craft a coherent climate policy that would take into consideration the Commission on Human Rights’ (CHR) report indicting more than 40 companies for driving the climate crisis and causing harm to Filipinos.
The National Government has yet to formally acknowledge the CHR report.
“Through this landmark…
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