PHILIPPINES. Manila: Fossil fuel dominates the list of contributors to air pollution in the world. It powers our vehicles, cooks our food, and provides electricity, but it can cause health problems and the greenhouse effect. Yet, an enormous amount of investments poured into industries using fossil fuel.
Three of the world’s largest banks are responsible for investing around $5 billion in fossil fuel. In 2018, Oxfam reported that World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank invest in the 10 Asian countries with fossil fuel belonging to the Climate Vulnerable Forum. In the Climate Home News report in November 2020, Asian Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank have opposed signing a commitment to phase out coal financing.
Advocates call for a clean environment in Asia this Lunar Year
Developed Asian countries have pledged to commit against fossil fuel finance. In November 2020, Greenpeace reported that China, Japan, and South Korea have pledged to net-zero fossil fuel activities overseas and locally. Therefore, the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) calls for a firm commitment from other Asian countries to stop using them.
Lidy Nacpil, Coordinator of APMDD, shares her statement on why they held a protest on February 7. She said, “We now suffer from devastating effects of climate change, and will become much worse if the world does not take an urgent ambitious action far beyond the current pledges of the governments. Therefore, we call the Asian countries to commit to a swift and just transition from fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable energy for people and communities in celebrating the Lunar New Year this decade.”
Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso of Manila City has canceled all Chinese New Year activities from February 11 to February 17 along with other holidays and celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. APMDD and other advocacy groups have gathered at the New Chinatown Arch to protest fossil fuel financing.
Oriang and Sanlakas are among the environmental advocates gathered in the protest with Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development. A dragon dance leads the protesters, just before the Chinese New Year that is on February 12. The protestors have also asked China to take decisive steps and urged US President Joe Biden to fulfill his climate pledge to take action against fossil fuel.