Walk out on climate talks bodes ill for PH


The ongoing climate talks in Warsaw, Poland appears to be faltering, and faltering badly.

Green groups walked out after rich and poor nations could not come to any agreement on what must be done to slow down and eventually reverse global warming.

The Philippines was one of 133 countries that walked out on the United Nations-led talks on climate change, reportedly after developing nations would not agree to commit themselves to pay compensation for future damage caused by global warming.

If no agreement can be worked out, then the earth will continue to head toward a man-made apocalypse that could have been prevented, but was not because the powerful nations—which caused much of global warming in the first place—was operating and thinking on a different wavelength vis-à-vis climate change.

It need not be mentioned that the Philippines suffered the effects of back-to-back natural calamities which were either spurred or at least worsened by climate change.

First was a killer 7.2 magnitude earthquake that devastated the island province of Bohol.

Less than a month after, Super Typhoon Yolanda demolished much of central Visayas.

For the longest time, many countries officially denied that climate change was to blame for the worsening global weather. Not anymore. If is now an accepted fact that green house gases have depleted the earth’s ozone layer, while man-made pollutions has been poisoning the air, the seas and the land.

Based on wire reports, the Warsaw talks had become extremely heated just before the walkout.

It seemed that the developed nations were insisting only on approving an ambiguous agreement, one which would have been long on words but short on actual action plans that would have a meaningful effect.

The sad fact is that the developed world generally refuses to take the bulk of the responsibility—if not the blame—for global warming because of their industries which emit pollutants and green house gases.

This is not to say that the developing world including the Philippines is completely free from guilt. It’s not. Developing countries also share in the destruction of the global environment, but not to the extent of the First World countries.

The rich nations do not want to be obligated to commit funds, technology, and capability building (for the developing nations) that would address climate change-related loss and damage in the Third World.

It may all be a matter of semantics, of saving face for the rich nations. But for the entire planet, it is a matter of survival.

What happened in central Visayas after Super Typhoon Yolanda will be repeated again and again in the near future. Even the United States has had its share in recent years of what extreme weather conditions can do. Hurricane Katrina, for example, caused damage that nearly ruined the historical city of New Orleans in the state of Louisiana.

It may be a little too late, but it is still hoped and prayed that the 19th Conference of Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change being held in Warsaw ends with some sort of pact that will seriously address climate change.

It’s all a matter of political will on the part of the developed nations of the world.


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1 Comment

  1. if this is the case, this is truly sad. The rich nations, as shown in recent devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), closed ranks in extending all possible help. It would surely be better if they act proactively and not being simply reactive when the calamity happens.