Bohol ‘sinking’ island residents raise resilience using solar energy
Residents of Inanuran Island, with the support of local government units and Greenpeace, installed solar panels as part of the efforts to boost the community’s capacity to respond to the climate crisis.
Residents of other Bohol islands, a community leader from Vanuatu, the crew of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior, as well as local celebrities, joined the switch-on ceremony and expressed solidarity with the community in their appeal to the world’s governments to make oil, coal, and gas companies pay up for climate loss and damage, ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP28).
“They (fossil fuel companies) must own up to the climate crisis we are experiencing now. Because of their neglectful actions, we are the ones suffering. Those of us who have limited means can barely cope with disasters. For them, it’s just all about making a profit,” said Hazel Brum, a resident of Inanuran Island.
Bohol province was among the areas worst hit by Super Typhoon Odette (International name “Rai”) in 2021, and was left with 41.6 billion pesos in damages to infrastructure, the economy, development administration, social, environment, and private sector. For months, the province was also without electricity, which paralyzed water supply, communication, mobility, and economic activity.
“Local governments and communities in climate vulnerable nations are doing their best to prepare and adapt, but our resources are limited. With climate impacts compounding and getting more intense, we can only do so much. Governments must make the fossil fuel industry pay” said Anne Pakoa, a community leader from Vanuatu. The Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, which is also one of the most climate vulnerable countries, is spearheading a resolution requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the obligations of States with respect to climate change.
The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior is currently anchored off the Port of Tubigon, to bear witness to island and coastal communities’ experiences of climate change, and to join climate-impacted communities in the Philippines in their demand for climate reparations.
“The experiences we have witnessed in these different island communities show how complex these climate impacts are, exacerbating already-existing issues that impact their human rights. But making polluters accountable and making them pay should not be this complex; it is high time for the Philippine government to demand payment from climate polluters, through Climate Accountability policies, and litigation. At COP28, the President must stand for communities and raise the demand for climate reparations,” said Khevin Yu, Greenpeace Campaigner.