Greenpeace ship returns to PH, demands climate justice for communities
As the Philippines commemorates the 10th anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan)— the worst typhoon to hit the country—the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior, returns to the Philippine seas after four years to build support for the demand for reparations from the world’s biggest corporations for their role in the worsening climate crisis.
For the whole month of November, the 2023 Greenpeace Philippines Ship Tour will stop at areas in Tacloban City, Bohol Province, and Manila, to highlight the stories and demands of communities affected by extreme weather events and compounding climate impacts.
“In 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan left behind a path of destruction, death, and trauma for many Filipinos. But that cycle hasn’t ended—since then, Filipinos have seen more frequent extreme weather. Scientists are also telling us that the worst is yet to come,” Greenpeace campaigner Jefferson Chua stated.
“Experts have confirmed that fossil fuel companies are historically responsible for the climate crisis–raking in billions in profit while local municipalities and communities lose lives, homes and livelihoods. Unfortunately, governments are not holding these big polluters to account.”
“But while justice remains elusive for Filipino communities, these same communities are standing up to demand accountability and payment for losses and damages from climate impacts. The Rainbow Warrior will honor these communities and will support their demand for climate justice,” he added.
These calls are anchored on the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines’ Climate Change and Human Rights report, which found factual basis that fossil fuel companies are morally responsible for human rights harms to Filipinos brought on by climate impacts. Earlier this week, a Pulse Asia survey showed 65 percent of respondents felt a big change in the climate in their respective areas in the last three years, while 71 percent said climate change posed a threat to themselves and their families.
Meanwhile, the biggest investor-owned fossil fuel companies, including Shell, Exxon Mobil, British Petroleum, and Chevron, continue to rake in record profits, with the fossil industry as a whole earning USD 4 trillion for 2022. This comes at a time when world temperatures have reached record highs, and global climate damage costs soared to USD 360 billion.
Scientists are also calling for the immediate phase out of fossil fuels in order to prevent runaway climate change. At the same time, a recent OneEarth report found that the world’s top fossil fuel companies owe a total of USD 99 trillion (PHP 70 billion) in climate loss and damage to compensate communities most affected by the crisis.
“It’s outrageous that fossil fuel companies continue raking in profits while countries like the Philippines incurred billions-worth of climate damage in the last decade,” Chua said. “These companies owe communities reparations for climate impacts. They must be made to pay and fossil fuel expansion must be stopped. These are concrete and necessary steps to achieve climate justice, something that we hope to champion together with Filipino communities during this ship tour.”
During the ship’s journey, Greenpeace will hold adjacent events focusing on the call for climate justice and reparations, and will call for action from the Philippine government and policymakers on these urgent issues. While in the country, the boat will also be open to the public for educational tours, exhibits, and other activities where guests can learn about why countries like the Philippines need to demand climate justice.
Greenpeace has had multiple ship tours in the Philippines over the years, the most recent being consecutive tours in 2018 and 2019 promoting climate justice and the struggle against plastic pollution, respectively.