Kumi Naidoo, international executive director of non-government environmental organization, Greenpeace, said on Sunday, December 7, that the violent storms slamming the Philippines should serve as a red flag that the world has to take immediate action to address the issue of climate change.
Naidoo witnessed firsthand the effects of increasingly strong typhoons, as Typhoon Hagupit (locally known as Ruby) – thus far the strongest storm of 2014 – pummeled the Philippines over the weekend.
In a statement made from Manila, the global chief urged UN negotiators meeting in Lima, Peru, to set into place the framework of a new world agreement on global warming.
“Nature does not negotiate. We actually have to wake up and smell the coffee. We need to understand that we are running out of time,” Naidoo said.
Naidoo pointed out that in the last few years, the storms hitting Southeast Asia have been increasingly more intense; with Typhoon Hagupit being the latest example of the widespread damage that such intense typhoons could unleash on less-developed countries, if the climate change situation worsens.
He said that the increasing intensity of such typhoons reveal the urgency for world governments to act with speed on the situation.
Pinpointing “all coal and gas companies and other polluting companies” as culprits in the worsening climate change situation, Naidoo said that it was not right that these corporations should rake in the profit at the expense of poorer nations, which are suffering the negative effects of pollution.
Naidoo once more urged governments to take on the “polluter pays principle”, even as he cautioned that this is a “make or break moment” for the world, with regard to dealing with climate change.
Governments worldwide should also pledge to provide full access to renewable energy by the year 2050, he added; stressing that all nations – rich or poor – must work together to resolve the issue, as even the rich are not exempt from the ill-effects of climate change.