Rich industrial countries, transnational companies should be made responsible for carbon footprint, says labor group

Published November 17, 2020, 4:22 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The Nagkaisa Labor Coalition said the rich industrial countries and transnational companies (TNCs) responsible for the majority of carbon emissions in the world should foot the bill for the climate damage being suffered by developing nations such as the Philippines.


“The Philippines contributes less than one percent in carbon emissions, yet we suffer the most from climate devastations,” Nagkaisa chairperson Sonny Matula said in a statement.

“How can we recover from COVID-19 and advance into a sustainable future when we pay so much for damages not of our own making?” he added.

According to the group, preliminary estimate of damage from typhoon “Ulysses” has already breached P10 billion, while “Rolly” and “Quinta” left some P11B in total damages.

Matula said that’s why the government must be present not only in calamity-hit areas but also in the negotiating tables pressing rich countries and TNCs to pay for climate debts they owe us.

“We’re running on a trillion peso deficit now due to COVID-19 and here these damages are, asking for the same attention and resources for recovery and rebuilding,” he said.

“Either we, the taxpayers, will continue footing those bills forever or we charge them all to the world’s biggest polluters,” added Matula.

Nagkaisa has been pushing for a labor agenda that include income and employment guarantees. Included in the group’s public employment agenda is a nature and employment-based recovery program such as the creation of green and climate jobs in renewable energy, housing and building sector, transportation, and nature conservation.