FILIPINO climate campaigners urged wealthy countries for non-debt finance to save the planet, as world leaders gathered during the opening day of the Paris Summit for a New Global Financial Pact on Thursday, June 22, 2023.

“In the midst of the multiple crises that are pushing billions of people into extreme poverty and the planet over disastrous tipping points, we are witnessing the rise of flawed and deceptive initiatives that claim to address the need for financial solutions to support developing countries,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD).

In a protest rally in front of the Embassy of France in Makati City, APMDD members and other allied groups called on participating countries in the summit to acknowledge their responsibility to provide “reparations which include adequate and unconditional non-debt creating finance to save people and the planet.”

"We reject the push for more debt-creating finance, profit-oriented private investments, and flawed market based schemes supposedly to support development and climate actions in the Global South. We are not asking for charity or aid. Instead, we demand reparations and justice from the wealthy countries of Global North for the huge historical, social, ecological and climate debts they owe our people," added Nacpil in a statement.

The Philippine climate campaigners include women's group Oriang, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), Sanlakas, and Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP).

They joined in the Asia-wide protests in city landmarks and in front of the French embassy in Dhaka, New Delhi, Jakarta, Lahore, Kathmandu, and Colombo.

Citing a study, APMDD said that rich industrialized countries, big oil corporations, and billionaires with substantial financial investments in carbon-emitting companies "are most responsible for climate change."

"Some 23 rich industrialized countries are responsible for 50 percent of all historical emissions and 125 billionaires are each responsible for one million times more greenhouse gas emissions than the average person," Nacpil said.

The two-day summit chaired by French President Emmanuel Macron brought together heads of state, leaders of international financing organizations, and the private sector to build a consensus on a push for a new global finance pact to fund Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets and the decarbonization of economies.

“A new study calculates that rich, industrialized countries responsible for excessive levels of greenhouse gas emissions could be liable to pay $170 trillion in climate reparations by 2050 to ensure targets to address climate change impacts are met,” the group said.

“Almost $6 trillion annually is proposed to be paid to historically low polluting developing countries that must transition away from fossil fuels despite not having yet used their ‘fair share’ of the global carbon budget,” it added. (SunStar Philippines)