Group wants Biden to reverse US ‘ecological injustices’ to PH

Published January 21, 2021, 7:06 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

A local environmental group on Thursday urged US President Joe Biden to start holding to account the United States in its ecological and climate injustices to the Philippines within the first 100 days of his presidency through the “Global People’s Green New Deal.”

Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment

Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment said the new deal should function as an unconditional just compensation mechanism to aid the recovery of the Philippines from the accumulated damages brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change-amplified typhoon and flood disasters from super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) to typhoon Ulysses (Vamco).

“We pose the 10-point Planetary Emergency Initiative agenda to the Biden administration as a comprehensive framework for accountability of the US as a top polluter country to compensate for losses and damages from the Philippines’ long-standing climate and ecological crises,” the group said.

Kalikasan also urged the Biden-Harris government to start addressing the elephant in the global climate talks room–the US Military Industrial Complex. 

“POTUS 46 must address the carbon emissions of the US Military, which between 2001 and 2017 has emitted around 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases, approximately equivalent to emissions of a roundtrip travel from Manila to Baguio 9.8 billion times,” the environment group said.

“In his first 100 days as President of the United States, Biden should take the steps in abrogating lopsided military deals, treaties, and agreements, such as the Mutual Defense Treaty, Visiting Forces Agreement, and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement,” it added.

Kalikasan noted that these deals have only created more destruction to the ecological system of the Philippines, especially during military exercises. “It is because of these agreements that incidents like the grounding of a US Navy Minesweeper in the Tubbataha Reef Natural Park occur and are insufficiently compensated,” it said.

“In these crucial first 100 days, we join the American people in holding the Biden-Harris administration to their electoral promises of climate justice and a push back against the social cancer that is Trumpism. From the Black Lives Matter protests to the Global Climate Strikes, we must continue waging democracy in the parliament of the streets,” Kalikasan said.