12 November 2022

We migrant Filipinos unite with the migrants and peoples of the world in calling on the 27th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, or COP27, currently meeting in Egypt, to come up with decisive actions against the climate crisis that the world is facing and the climate catastrophe that threatens the world. As the biggest UN conference on climate change, COP27 has an urgent and important responsibility to stop the phenomenon.

Scientific research has shown that it is the advanced capitalist countries, especially their biggest corporations, that are responsible for the massive destruction of the environment, climate change and their disastrous consequences being experienced primarily by the peoples of the Global South. We call on the governments of advanced capitalist countries and their instrumentalities to take decisive actions to ensure that global temperature rise remain below 1.5 degrees Celsius, to heighten communities’ resilience to disasters caused by climate change, and to direct financing for these objectives, in accordance with the Paris Agreement of 2015.

Many among us migrants, Filipinos or otherwise, have been forced to leave our home communities and countries because of the adverse effects of climate change. From indigenous peoples fleeing the deforestation and large-scale mining of their ancestral domains, to farmers being forced to find jobs in other places because of increasingly unrewarding harvest, to residents of poor communities being forced to find work to finance better-located housing because of increased floods — climate change has aggravated the push factors for migration from migrant-sending countries.

While climate change has become one of the push factors that forced people to leave the Philippines in order to survive, the Philippine government, under presidents from Ferdinand Marcos Sr. up to Bongbong Marcos have focused on marketing Filipinos’ cheap labor abroad, refusing to recognize and act on the root causes of climate change.

At the same time, there is no escaping climate change; the countries that we have migrated to are also affected by it. From countries in the Global North facing climate disturbance and disasters to countries in the Global South facing the drying of farmlands and rising sea levels — climate change hounds migrants even in migrant-receiving countries.

Research after research has raised the alarm on climate change and argued that climate action is urgently needed. The governments of advanced capitalist countries should take decisive action using COP27 and other instrumentalities. They have the responsibility to ensure climate financing for this purpose. The causes of climate change must be addressed immediately: fossil fuels, deforestation, large-scale mining, unplanned urbanization, among others.

At the same time, the criminal inaction of the governments of advanced capitalist countries and the biggest corporations with regard to climate change show that the migrants and peoples of the world should take action on the issue. Sooner than later, we should wrestle power away from the classes that are responsible for the climate crisis and refused to take action on the climate crisis even when the alarm has repeatedly been raised. Only with the people of the world holding state power can climate change be combatted and the destruction of humanity and the planet halted.###