Gaea Katreena Cabico – Philstar.com
November 15, 2022 | 8:23 a.m
BALI, Indonesia — As leaders gather in resort towns in Indonesia and Egypt this week, groups from across Asia urged wealthy economies to find real solutions to the world’s biggest problems: a rapidly warming planet and food and nutrition shortages energy crises.
Here in Bali, the leaders of the G20, or the world’s 20 largest economies, meet to find concrete solutions that can help the world recover. The bloc’s biggest meeting comes in the shadow of the climate crisis, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and strained China-US relations.
Over 9,000 kilometers from this tropical paradise, in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, COP27 entered its final week, bringing nearly 200 nations to an agreement to slow global warming and increase funding for climate-stricken countries Communities fought.
Organizations like the Asian Peoples’ Movement for Debt and Development said the two global summits must result in the provision of adequate and accessible climate finance and the establishment of a loss and damage fund through which countries that have become wealthy from burning fossil fuels would compensate developing countries for the destruction caused by accelerated climate change.
APMDD coordinator Lidy Nacpil said that climate finance should be grant-based and “should not be another opportunity for rich countries and companies to benefit from poor and vulnerable countries”.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday night that the G20 countries, which are responsible for 80% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, should make additional efforts to keep the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius alive to obtain.
“Action – or inaction – by the G20 will determine whether every member of our human family has the chance to live sustainably and peacefully on a healthy planet,” Guterres said.
Leody de Guzman, chair of Bukluran ng mga, called for a wealth tax to cover the cost of climate impact and support the poor.
“They should pay for climate debt and be held accountable for the suffering of communities by levying wealth taxes,” he said.
For Rovik Obanil of the Freedom from Debt coalition, the fight for climate justice goes beyond blaming wealthy nations and corporations for causing the climate crisis.
“This must include tackling worsening inequalities and widespread poverty as these multiply vulnerabilities,” he said.
Groups across Asia will stage protests on Wednesday to demand from leaders attending the COP27 and G20 summits to ensure climate and economic justice.
Indonesia, this year’s host and Southeast Asia’s only G20 member state, is attempting to shape the summit’s agenda around three main pillars, one of which is the sustainable energy transition.
Indonesia, the Asian Development Bank and an energy company signed a deal to refinance and early close a coal-fired power plant to fuel the clean energy transition. The Manila-based multilateral lender hopes this approach can be replicated with other plants in Indonesia and elsewhere.
Indonesia is heavily dependent on coal and is the world’s largest exporter of the planet-warming fuel. The Philippines now import most of their coal supplies from Indonesia.
Tata Mustasya, Greenpeace Southeast Asia climate campaign leader, said the energy transition must be fair and happen now as the impacts of climate change are being felt more and more.
“The energy transition is something that is inevitable and countries will eventually move in that direction, including Indonesia. However, it is important to emphasize that given the significant impact of the climate crisis on the environment and people, immediate action is needed. The G20 has such a responsibility,” Mustasya said.
Groups such as the Philippine Climate Justice Movement and Sanlakas stressed that “false solutions” such as oil and gas as transition fuels should be rejected and funding and support for fossil fuel projects should be stopped.
“Time is running out for us. During [rich countries] dawdle and drag, many livelihoods and houses are destroyed in countries like the Philippines. There is no more time for inaction,” Sanlaka’s Secretary General Aaron Pedrosa said.
This story was supported by Climate Tracker Asia.