Around 300 members from the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) and its members marched towards Malacanang today to demand to French President Hollande to fulfill the climate obligation of France and other developed countries.  Photo: AC Dimatatac

Around 300  climate activists marched towards Malacanang Palace,  to demand to French President Hollande to fulfill their climate obligations.
Photo: AC Dimatatac

There was an apparent media frenzy when news came that French President Francois Hollande will be visiting the Philippines accompanied by prominent personalities known for their involvement in environmental advocacies to the Philippines, including Marion Cotillard,  Mélanie Laurent  and high officials from various international organizations and French investors. Hollande’s trip is meant to be a build-up to the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) to be hosted by France in December 2015.

The Philippine Climate Movement see Hollande’s visit as an important opportunity for us to remind France and other developed countries governments of their historical responsibility for climate change and their obligations towards peoples of developing countries who suffer the brunt of the impacts. That is why we took to the streets singing a Filipino rendition of “Do You Hear the People Sing?” from the musical Les Misérables.

While visit from parties who wish to help are welcome many of us in the Philippine climate movement think that a show of sympathy with our predicament is not enough, that is why we took to the streets to remind President Hollande, and the Philippine government that climate justice is best served in actions, not words.

As Lidy Nacpil, Regional Coordinator of the Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development and Convenor of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice puts it: “What we need from France is not posturing, but the fulfilment of their obligations to radically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and deliver sufficient climate finance as their  historical responsibility for climate change requires.