Yolanda Anniversary: Reminder to government, world leaders to take scaled-up actions against climate change

Quezon City, Philippines – The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), the country’s biggest aggrupation of mainline Protestant and Non-Roman Catholic churches, renewed its commitment to support disaster survivors and climate vulnerable communities in time for the eighth-year anniversary of the infamous Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) destruction in 2013 and the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP26) that is happening in Glasgow, Scotland.

“Eight years after the Typhoon Yolanda landfall, we still call for justice. We will never forget the people who died from that disaster which was exacerbated by climate change and the grave negligence of both the past and present administrations.”

“Since 2013, Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) has shown how utterly devastating the climate crisis is. Since then, we have experienced typhoons and extreme weather events with almost to the same destructive impacts as that of Typhoon Yolanda – a glaring indication that we no longer have to wait for a few more years to feel the climate crisis,” said NCCP General Secretary Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza.

“These experiences should have pushed the government to scale-up disaster mitigation, ecological protection, and climate change adaptation. Regrettably, we haven’t seen any indication that our national government is now well-prepared, as shown in the government’s inadequate responses to post-Yolanda calamities,” the bishop added. “If anything, we are in a much vulnerable state – as economic crisis and environmental destruction worsen at the backdrop of the climate emergency.”

In recalling the destruction brought by Yolanda and in consideration of COP 26, we reiterate our call and prayer for climate justice. We hope and pray that people of goodwill eschew a global economic system where profit is prioritized over people. We pray and call for a shift to clean energy instead of monopolized fossil fuels, for rehabilitated and protected forests instead of large-scale mining, lives and livelihood of the people over big businesses.,” Bishop Marigza said.

Hosted by the United Kingdom in partnership with Italy, the COP 26 is gathering world leaders together to “accelerate action towards the goals” of the historic Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“We extend our prayers and demand to the world leaders in the 26th climate conference, to finally respond with urgency to the climate crisis. We yearn for no less than shared solutions to address the needs of the most affected countries and accountability and meaningful action from the richest and highest carbon emitters and polluters.” the bishop concluded.#