Joma Sison: big emitter countries should be fined for climate change
“Shameless.” That was how Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison described the recently adopted Paris Agreement on climate change.
“Yung Paris Agreement? Kawalanghiyaan yan. ‘Tsaka puro pangako,” he said just days after 195 countries voted in favor of the agreement, which seeks to limit global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
(The Paris Agreement? That’s shamelessness. And it’s full of promises.)
Sison, who is exiled in the Netherlands as a political refugee, said the agreement did not seem binding, especially since it depends on voluntary contributions. He also said that developed countries that have emitted large amounts of greenhouse gases in the past should be fined.
“Walang sinabi sa pag-compensate sa mga developing countries na napipinsalaan (ng climate change). Samantalang ang mga developed sila ang nag-abuso (sa pamamagitan) greehouse gas emissions,” he told INQUIRER.net last December 14 during an exclusive interview at the National Democratic Front (NDF) office in Utrecht.
“Dapat magbayad sila sa mahabang panahon na pag-abuso nila,” he added.
(Nothing was said about compensation for developing countries affected by climate change. Meanwhile, the developed countries are the ones abusing the environment through greenhouse gas emissions. They should pay for their long-term abuse.)
Sison echoed the sentiments of some environmental activists that the agreement itself is vague and is not enough to encourage low carbon and clean energy societies.
The 76-year old NDF chief political consultant said even the 1.5-degrees-Celsius limit was dangerous.
“Makikita ninyo meron nang melting of the polar ice sa Greenland. Tapos mas madali nang magbaha…Dumadalas na yung malalakas na bagyo. Tapos merong nang manifestations of prolonged droughts and desertification,” he explained.
(You’ll see the melting of polar ice in Greenland. And now flooding is more frequent. Strong typhoons are also become more frequent. And there are manifestations of prolonged droughts and desertification.)
The Philippines, as this year’s head of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, was one of the countries leading the call for a 1.5-degrees-Celsius limit in the Paris Agreement.
The final text of the agreement eventually incorporated the 1.5 goal through Article 2 which states that the global response to the threat of climate change includes “holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.”
Sison also belittled the goal of raising $100 billion in climate finance by 2020. He said the rich and developed countries have spent more on armaments and bank bailouts.
Fine, not tax
“The least that should be done, sabi ni James Hansen, wag nang tawaging (carbon) tax. Tawaging fine. You have to. There must be the weight of accountability,” he said, referring to a famous American climatologist.
(The least that should be done, according to James Hansen, is that it shouldn’t be called carbon tax. It should be called fine.)
Hansen, in the past, has criticized the market-based approach of emissions or carbon trading to control pollution.
Sison said it is a joke to give developing countries “carbon allowance” and allowing developed countries to buy them in order to be allowed to emit greenhouse gases.
Nature will punish
In the end, Sison warned, “Everybody is so afraid of the tipping point. Nature will punish.”
“Meron nang consequences yan (There are already consequences). And the ordinary people and those in power will begin to realize that nature has begun to punish the culprits and (also affected are the) ordinary people,” he said.
Sison boldly predicted that climate change will result in revolts and conflict, like what happened to Syria.
Some experts have explained that the civil war in Syria was in part triggered by a severe drought, which forced farming families to flock to the cities. The limited resources aggravated the volatile political situation, which eventually resulted in violence.
“Silang most victimized as the global warming worsens they suffer more (Those who are most victimized by global warming will suffer more),” Sison said.
He said those in power will attempt to circumvent the unrest through “fake democracy” but “when the issues become sharpened ordinary people will rise up.” CDG
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