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Activists for climate justice join annual 'Tour of the Fireflies' event

November 18, 2012 2:48pm
Activists against climate change join the annual "Tour of the Fireflies" on Sunday in Marikina City to support the event and to press their call for industrialized countries to reduce their emissions of green house gasses (GHG).

Thousands of cyclists joined the yearly cycling event to call for sustainable transportation to help avert climate change.

Television comedian Arvin "Tado" Jimenez and members of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) at the "Tour of the Fireflies" Sunday in Marikina. Gerry Arances
“We support this year’s Tour of the Fireflies and its advocacy, especially in raising awareness on climate change and participating in efforts to cut GHG emission globally through pushing a more sustainable transportation system – like bicycles," said Gerry Arances of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ).

Green house gas emissions are the main causes of global warming that is now changing the climate, Aracnes said.

Moreover, he said conventional forms of transportation is top contributor to global GHG emission volume, as they rely on burning of fossil fuel.

According to the 2008 data of the Department of Energy (DOE) , The Philippines' 2008 energy demand on transport is about 41.58 percent of the national energy consumption.

“While we agree that we do our share in mitigating climate change by promoting clean and sustainable transportation, we would like to stress that our country’s GHG emission is less than 1 percent of the total global volume,” said Arances.

“This is the reason why we demand that developed countries, like the US, should cut their GHG emissions drastically," he added.

The US Department of Transportation records show that its GHG contribution from its transportation sector accounts for about 28 percent in 2006, making the US the second largest source of GHG emissions in the world.

Under the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, the US and other industrialized countries are obliged to cut their emissions, which across the years have led to the dire climate situation today.

“The US and European countries are top historical GHG emitters. They should step up efforts to stop climate change and drastically cut emission volumes," Arances said.

Climate justice advocates under the PMCJ joined the Sunday's Tour led by one of their members, television comedian Arvin "Tado" Jimenez.

 “Not only am I a cyclist, like many of us in Marikina and the rest of our kababayans, I am a victim of climate change and the disasters that it brings,” Jimenez said.

Tado is one of the thousands in Marikina who survived storm Ondoy's deadly floods in 2009.

Meanwhile, GermanWatch’s Global Risk Index 2012 reported the Philippines as 10th most affected countries by climate-disasters from 1991-2010, together with small island states and other developing countries such as Bangladesh and Vietman.

“That is why I am adding my voice to the many in the globe that are calling for climate justice now,” Jimenez said, adding “We are doing our part, the US and other developed countries must fulfill their responsibilities, too.”

PMCJ’s joining the Tour is part of the "Global Week of Action" – November 12 to 18 – to demand climate justice. The week-long activity is globally coordinated to raise awareness on the urgency of climate justice in the lead-up to climate negotiations during the Conference of Parties (COP 18) in Doha, Qatar.

The “Global Week of Action for Climate Justice,” organized by the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice, of which the PMCJ is a member, is taking place in more than 25 countries and more than 50 cities across five continents (North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America).

The PMCJ is a broad movement consisting of basic sectors in the country that aims to lead the joint struggles in pushing climate justice as basic element in solving the climate crisis. — Jerbert Briola  /LBG, GMA News
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