What the Philippines can contribute to win against Climate Change

“We must not contribute to our own destruction.” I have written many times that the global climate emergency is upon us. We are already experiencing its impact and it will only get worse. But are we helpless against climate change? Are the worst scenarios inevitable? Should we just give up and do what we can …

World Environment Day and the ongoing virtual climate talks

“To defeat this threat, the world must come together and cooperate based on common interests and shared values.” In the next weeks, with colleagues from the Manila Observatory and the Ateneo de Manila University, I will be attending the historic, first-ever purely virtual negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Our team …

Gaslighting in the Nayong Pilipino Controversy

‘[A]s a lifetime advocate of environmental protection and the preservation of green spaces in cities, I could not see any possibility of such advocacies being incompatible with public health’ That is why I could not understand at first what the controversy over building a mega-vaccination site in Nayong Pilipino was all about. After all, as …

What the world must do about climate change

Co-Authored with Dr. Manny Solis ‘The sustainable development mechanism needs to be designed properly, with the right safeguards so there is no greenwashing or shifting of responsibilities to developing countries’ The following is Part 1 of a two-part series. You can read Part 2 here. Combating climate change can be compared to a tug of war …

Climate on our Minds on Earth Day 2021

‘Poor people in all countries will also be hit early and harder than the rich. Indeed, climate injustice is not only between countries, but also within countries.’ Let’s be clear. There is no doubt that we are now on the cusp of a global climate emergency. According to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres: “2021 is a …

Guardians of Planet and People

Co-authored with Dinah Faye Balleco ‘We call on everyone to [sign a] unity statement against the red-tagging of environmental defenders in the Philippines’ One thing we are grateful in this challenging year are the people who guard and protect the environment even if it means being red-tagged, harassed, and attacked by those who benefit from …

7 Priority Actions to Manage the PH #ClimateEmergency

Co-Authored with Kristoffer Berse, Juan Pulhin, and Micah Nazal. Within 3 weeks, Typhoon Quinta, Typhoon Rolly, and Typhoon Ulysses wreaked havoc in Luzon, Philippines, resulting in widespread, severe floods, death, and destruction, all against the backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Local governments and affected communities struggled with the cyclical experience of preparation, response, and …

Last Stand in the Sierra Madre

Co-authored with Joy Reyes. In a span of 3 weeks, 5 typhoons entered and ravaged the Philippines, leaving hundreds of thousands displaced, hundreds dead, and even more affected because of the floods and inundation, power outages, and water shortages, among others. There is a connection among all these typhoons and their effects on the country, …

Policies and Measures to Combat Climate Change

The following is Part 2 in a two-part series. You can read Part 1 here. In June 2019, Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, issued an important report on how the climate emergency exacerbates economic inequity and social injustice. The report concluded that addressing climate change effectively required a fundamental …

In the Front Lines of the Climate Emergency

The following is Part 1 in a two-part series. You can read Part 2 here. There is no doubt about what Luzon has been experiencing in the last few weeks – the full fury of the global climate emergency. One after another, Quinta, Rolly, Siony, Tonyo, and Ulysses devastated parts of Luzon, the biggest island …