Gabriela: "Wealthy nations’ greed killing the poor"

Our partner organization Gabriela shared their position on the Climate Summit in Copenhagen:

News Release

7 December 2009

Reference: Emmi de Jesus, GABRIELA Vice Chair/Gabriela Women's Party Nominee

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Protest welcomes COP15 Opening

Wealthy nations’ greed killing the poor

Tear-stricken faces of helpless women and children trapped on the roofs of their houses, massive destruction of properties, deaths—these grim images during the onslaught of storms Ondoy and Pepeng still remain fresh in the minds of Filipino women.

As the fight for justice for the victims of calamities continue, women under GABRIELA stormed the United States Embassy in Manila in time for the opening of the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen, Denmark to denounce the culpability of industrialized countries over environmental destructions that have caused devastation of properties and lives of people in Third World countries like the Philippines.

“Imperialist countries, like the US, are the major contributors of harmful gases that cause global warming and extreme weather events. The imperialist greed for profit has created a system of incessant consumption and wanton exploitation of the world’s natural resources, resulting to deforestation and pollution of air and bodies of water. Yet it is the people in poor countries, who have been robbed of those resources, that suffer the most from climate change,” said Emmi de Jesus, GABRIELA Vice-Chairperson.

According to GABRIELA, studies show that 80% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission came from the US, Japan, Canada, Australia and the European countries. Majority of emitted carbon monoxide in the atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels are caused by transnational companies (TNCs) that process and make use of carbon and oil. TNC’s also control major GHG-emitting industries: oil, energy and transportation.

“On the other hand, the already poverty-stricken people in Third World countries, especially women, bear the brunt of the destruction of our environment. Environmental changes have affected women who are major food producers and responsible for securing water and fuel for household use. Impacts of global warming like droughts and floods also hit women the hardest, as seen by our experience in the recent calamity. As a consequence, women are pushed to deeper poverty, barring them from obtaining their rights to food, shelter and education,” added de Jesus.

GABRIELA also condemns the market-oriented solutions to climate change that are being peddled by imperialist countries, TNCs and international financial institutions like World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. According to the group, profit-oriented solutions like the carbon trading in the Kyoto Protocol are false solutions.

Further, the group also denounces the Arroyo government for aligning with the plunderers and doing nothing to protect the Filipino people. Worse, the Arroyo government flaunts its inutility in times of disaster as displayed in the recent calamities faced by the Filipino people.

“The change of our climate will take a turn for the worse unless the historical root of the crisis is uprooted. Until then, women and the rest of the poor in countries like ours, continue to live in danger—to be robbed of their resources and then later on be blamed when flooding occurs,” stated de Jesus.###

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