Commissioner Roberto Cadiz exposes carbon majors at COP25 and gains the support of religious Filipinos.
MADRID, Spain – In a red-letter moment for climate justice, Commissioner Roberto Cadiz of the Commission of Human Rights in the Philippines exposed in a side event at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 25th Conference of Parties (COP25), “Carbon majors may be legally liable and morally liable,… there are acts of obstruction,… willful obfuscation, criminal intent and there is fraud.”
He went on to say that moral liability should be given as much weight as legal liability, as the former should be used as a basis to create sound regulations for the latter.
The commissioner’s speech heralds a change in policy for the Philippines, one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Bro. Jaazeal Jakosalem of the Order of Augustinian Recollects and ARCORES Philippines supported this statement saying, “This is a triumph for all climate victims, their lives have been destroyed resulting from the fossil-fuel-induced climate change impacts from these major polluters. This too is a triumph for the future generations.”
In his segment, Commissioner Cadiz also asserted his faith in the power of local leaders in instilling laws that would hold companies accountable and hopefully put an end to their destructive behaviors. This highlights Pope Francis’s call saying that, “There is an urgent need to develop policies so that, in the next few years, the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases can be drastically reduced, for example, substituting for fossil fuels and developing sources of renewable energy.” (Laudato Si, 26).
Rodne Galicha, Executive Director of Living Laudato Si’ Philippines, supports the commissioner saying, “The pronouncement clearly articulates the need for our faith communities to stand up on a high ground of moral responsibility as we recognize the undeniable relationship of human beings with the rest of creation. Stewardship is a moral and spiritual imperative. We are calling our men and women of faith across all levels of the society to join us in this effort to make those who committed ecological sins accountable and act on reparations. We call on our institutions to halt and divest all finances to these carbon majors. This is our spiritual and moral responsibility, else we become accomplices of this abominable ecological sin – the desecration of the life of the planet,”
On December 6, 2019, a rising wave of 500,000 people protested on the streets of Madrid, Spain for climate justice at COP25. Among them were Catholic organizations and religious from all points of the world. Those from the Philippines included representatives from the Ministry on Ecology of the Archdiocese of Manila, Order of Augustinian Recollects / ARCORES Philippines, Order of Preachers, Society of Jesus, and Living Laudato Si’ Philippines. They marched in solidarity to bring light to “the present condition of global society, where injustices abound and growing numbers of people are deprived of basic human rights and considered expendable, the principle of the common good immediately becomes, logically and inevitably, a summons to solidarity and a preferential option for the poorest of our brothers and sisters,” as expressed by Pope Francis (Laudato Si, 158).
In response to the commissioner’s statement, Naderev Saño, board member of the Global Catholic Climate Movement and Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia says,“Today marks the beginning of the end to the fossil fuel industry’s stranglehold over our political systems. For the first time ever, big polluting companies have been found responsible for human rights harms resulting from the climate crisis… We believe many more communities will take a stand against fossil fuel companies that are putting profit before people.”
Living Laudato Si’ Philippines, a lay-initiated climate movement focusing on ethical investments based on Pope Francis’ seminal encyclical on ecology ‘Laudato Si’, is a member of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) and the Asia Climate Change Consortium (ACCC)
For more information: Wynk Gelito, Media & Communications Officer – 09173237987 / firstname.lastname@example.org Rodne Galicha, Lead Convenor – 09271515908 / email@example.com