One more step further…

Last November 8, 2013, Typhoon “Yolanda” hit the Philippines… With winds reaching up to 315km/h, Typhoon Yolanda is considered to be the strongest typhoon to ever hit land known to man… As of December 29 of the same year, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) confirmed a total of $827,172,699.58 worth of damages and 6,155 fatalities from this Category 5 super typhoon… And experts say that this super typhoon won’t be the last of its kind…

Despite not even being one of the top 20 countries with the highest carbon emissions, the latest report of Maplecroft, a British risk consultancy firm reveals that the Philippines is ranked as 9th among countries that are most vulnerable to climate change. To me, this is nothing short of “climate injustice”. Why? Because this means that while some countries are emitting large amounts of greenhouse gases, the ones who suffer more from its consequences are not them but it’s actually other countries like ours instead. I definitely can’t see any trace of justice there…

Climate Justice! As FDC President Reyes said, “Climate justice demands reparations to countries like the Philippines in accordance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) principle of “common but differentiated responsibility”…” While there are countries offering “aid” to us, it’s not actually that “accurate” to call them “aid”. I remember FDC’s burning house metaphor: Imagine someone burning your house. After your house got burnt to the ground, this same person then approaches you and tells you: “Don’t worry. I’ll help you rebuild again. Let me give you a hand.” Should that count as “aid” as well? No. “Reparations” would be more fitting. Even so, these reparations should not even be in a form in which they would still be profiting from our misery like in the case of the ADB and World Bank loans.

Now, I’m thinking of extending this metaphor: Imagine now that you have built a new house using the reparations that you received. You’ve been living in your new house for a couple of years or so. Then one day, when you got home, the same person as before appears in front of your house and proceeds to torch your new house again. Like before, this person then approaches you and offers you reparation after burning everything to the ground. Would that be good enough? Are we really capable of replacing anything by simply providing reparations? No, I don’t think so…

It’s not enough that we seek these reparations. Surely, we can’t just rebuild forever. When these disasters strike, we lose more than what we can possibly hope to gain from these reparations. I believe that we should aim to deal with climate change itself. It’s good if we would be given the right reparations to rebuild but it will always be better if our houses don’t get torched every now and then in the first place. Let us take this fight against climate change one more step further…

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