A bill that seeks to institutionalize a legal framework for climate loss and damage accountability has been filed in the House of Representatives.
The measure — the proposed Climate Accountability (CLIMA) Act — seeks to institute policies and systems to address climate change, protect communities from climate change-induced losses, damages, and human rights harms, and provide mechanisms for accountability and reparations from those responsible for worsening the climate crisis, including corporate interests such as the fossil fuel industry.
The dependence on, and the excessive use of fossil fuels, like coal, oil, and gas, have exacerbated climate change. In fact, the burning of fossil fuels has been the main driver of climate change as they produce heat-trapping gases — or what are called greenhouse gases — that cause global warming.
As former United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon once said, “The clear and present danger of climate change means we cannot burn our way to prosperity. We already rely too heavily on fossil fuels. We need to find a new, sustainable path to the future we want. We need a clean industrial revolution.”
The bill filed in the House of Representatives, the first of its kind in the world, is a step in the right direction. It will set the tone on how to address the impact of climate change and hold those accountable for worsening the climate situation.
It is necessary to come up with a whole-of-nation approach to address climate. It is no longer enough to warn the public about its adverse effects. We need a more aggressive approach, like demanding reparation from those who contribute to climate change. Those who want to avoid reparation, like corporate entities using fossil fuel, must shift to clean energy.
Based on the House bill, the proposed CLIMA Act will provide the framework for limiting fossil fuel expansion and aligning businesses with the Paris Agreement. It also mandates payment of climate reparations to communities impacted by climate change.
The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change adopted by 196 parties at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, France, in 2015. Its overarching goal is to hold “the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” and pursue efforts “to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.”
This could be easier said than done. But this is attainable if everyone on this planet contributes his or her share in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
A shift to renewable energy, which has already started around the world, albeit, at a slow pace, is one major factor that could help address climate change.
In the Philippines, a number of companies are now venturing into renewable energy — some into solar power and others into hydro power. However, the country remains heavily reliant on fossil fuel.
The House of Representatives took one big step by filing the proposed Climate Accountability Act. If passed into law, this measure could help expedite the shift to renewable energy and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Let’s all contribute our share in addressing climate change to have a better place to live in.
Credit belongs to: www.mb.com.ph