A climate emergency

By: Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos - CDN Digital | November 07,2019 - 07:37 AM

Are you among those who instinctly  pray for who ever is in the  ambulance speeding off before your eyes and hope that he or she will survive? 

Actually, we are no different from those who are on the brink of death. Slowly but surely, we have done a magnificent job of destroying our ailing home planet – a perfect act of self-immolation. Not just prayers but clear and determined action to go for sustainable way is the smart way to go.

Our way of life and vast population of over 7 billion people have created huge demand for and resulting abuse and over exploitation of Nature’s limited and vanishing  resources – whether on land or  in our ocean. We have destroyed and contaminated the once pristine sources of life    land, air and water. Levelling mountains flat and bare devoid of our diverse and once abundant flora and fauna and emptying  oceans of fish and marine wealth and  creating plastic gyres are shameful legacies to hand over to our children and the future generation. 

Our lifestyle and fossil-fueled economy at the local, national and global levels have created unprecedented carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere, triggering the changing climate impacts that we are witnessing.

It is a positive step for the Cebu City Sangguniang Panglungsod under the sponsorship of a highly esteemed member, Councilor Alvin Dizon, to declare a state of climate emergency in the city.

This is a recognition and commitment by the city to craft strong measures to fight climate change through mitigation and adaptation strategies through a road map called Climate Change Action Plan which should be genuinely participatory. 

We commend the city’s leadership in taking this overdue but much-needed first step. It is high time to place climate change impacts and measures to reduce carbon emissions and strengthen resiliency of both life support systems and people in all aspects of policy making. These had long been required by our laws yet the tragic business-as-usual mindset has continued to prevail in many sectors of the country, including government.

With the Philippines as the number one country in the world  rated as the most vulnerable to natural disasters, it is highly unpatriotic to be immobilized by inaction. By recognizing that we are in a crisis situation, and doing something about it, we are saving precious  lives of both humans and non-humans.

Cebu City government  joins other local governments and countries in making such a declaration and commitment to tackle climate change head-on.

It has been noted  that “An official declaration of climate emergency puts a government on a “wartime mobilisation” that places climate change at the centre of policy and planning decisions.”

Citizens should  strongly push for climate action from government and the private sector. Saying no to coal power plants, tree-cutting, reclamation and other ecologically destructive projects is no small step.

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