Salcedo, Eastern Samar, 10 Nov 2023–Today, the Municipality of Salcedo, Eastern Samar announced that they had passed a Municipal Resolution on climate accountability. 

The Resolution, the very first of its kind in the Philippines, seeks “accountability for conduct directly contributing to climate change and its consequent impacts on the people of the Municipality of Salcedo”, and directs the local government to “pursue any and all actions on behalf of the people of Salcedo for the losses and damages inflicted upon the communities due to the impacts of extreme weather events.”

It further states that “the Sanggunian, on behalf of the people of Salcedo, is resolute in its pursuit for accountability and reparations for the losses and damages brought about by the detrimental impacts of the climate crisis caused by fossil fuel companies responsible for the excessive and cumulative greenhouse gas emissions.” It also aims “to position the Municipality of Salcedo as a pro-active advocate for climate justice, demonstrating practices in alignment with the Paris Agreement.”

The Resolution, which is fully supported by Municipal Mayor Ma. Rochelle G. Mergal, was sponsored by Municipal Councilor Joselito C. Esquierdo, and co-sponsored by all members of the Committee on Environment. It was approved last Monday, November 6, 2023, two days before the 10th anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda.

The announcement coincided with a community forum organized by Greenpeace to present the Policy Brief entitled “Enforcing accountability: holding fossil fuel companies liable for climate crisis–unveiling loss and damage of extreme weather events, the Salcedo, Eastern Samar perspective.” The policy brief provides a snapshot of the lived experiences of Filipino communities of compounding climate impacts that exacerbate economic, social, psychological and cultural losses. It aims to support decision and policy makers in their efforts to hold Carbon Majors along with financiers and States where they are domiciled, accountable for compensation, remedy, redress and reparations for the economic and non-economic harm, damage and losses inflicted on communities, ensuring that the need for accountability is grounded in a comprehensive, holistic human rights approach.

Greenpeace believes that fossil fuel companies must pay their climate debt: give money to climate-impacted communities to compensate for the losses and damages—both economic and non-economic—experienced by people. They must also stop fossil fuel expansion and phase out fossil fuels by committing to a just transition. The Greenpeace ship, the Rainbow Warrior is currently in the Philippines to join communities in their call for the government to demand justice and reparations by making polluters pay for climate impacts.

-Lea B Guerrero

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