House Economic Stimulus and Recovery Cluster Chairman and Albay Rep. Joey Salceda expressed his support for Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu’s call for a declaration of climate emergency.

Salceda said the Philippines must now commit to a foreign policy of pursuing climate justice from the United States, China, and other industrialized countries that caused the destructive effects of climate change.

“The three strongest typhoons on record to ever hit landfall, Super Typhoon Goni (Rolly), Super Typhoon Meranti (Ferdie), and Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), all hit the Philippines, a country with one of the lowest carbon emissions per capita in the world,” the lawmaker said.

“We are in a climate emergency. And we need to pursue international justice. We are suffering from a problem we had little to do in causing,” he stressed.

“I helped the Philippines get accredited with the Green Climate Fund, allowing us to have access to funding from the body. But that’s not enough. The dollar for dollar, the impacts of climate change on countries like the Philippines must be compensated by the countries that benefit from the causes of climate change,” he added.

Salceda cited a 2015 study by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) that shows climate change causes around P145 billion in economic damage in the Philippines every year. He believes that the damage has since accelerated.

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