A Philippine-based environmental watchdog announced on Wednesday night that it will spearhead the filing before the international tribunal a class suit against highly industrialized countries for the deadly effects of their carbon emissions.
Clean Air Philippines Movement Inc. (Capmi) president Dr. Leo Olarte made the announcement of what he called "a pioneering effort to hold responsible highly industrialized nations to their contributions to the global climate emergency" during a musical and cultural event held in Quezon City organized by celebrities, entertainers, artists and environmentalists.
"We are now in the process of filing a trillion dollar class suit versus polluter countries across the globe and to hold them responsible for all the effects of climate change to the Philippines," said Olarte, who is also a former Philippine Medical Association president.
"Our international class suit will be filed at the International tribunal versus highly industrialized carbon polluter countries like d United States, China, India among others and hold them legally accountable for the deadly effects of their carbon emissions," he added.
Olarte, who is also a lawyer, noted that the Philippines is generally not a carbon polluting country mainly because its share of fossil Carbon Dioxide emissions, or carbon footprint, is only .35 percent as compared to highly industrialized nations.
A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, that are generated by an individual, event, organization, service, place or product. The average carbon footprint for a person in the United States is 16 tons, one of the highest rates in the world.
Olarte said should these move bear fruit, they will ask the international tribunal to award the government of the Philippines "a sizable amount of money to be used in our nation's climate mitigation, adaptation and resiliency programs"
"Amidst the various frantic calls of world leaders to take the issue of climate emergency seriously during the recently concluded United Nations Conference of Parties in Egypt, more needs to be done than just talk," said Olarte.