September 06, 2009
Reference: Makati ICRD – 8998938

International groups, together with the City of Makati , will mount a bike tour ending at the US Embassy on Tuesday, September 8, in a symbolic bid to pressure the US government to take the lead in signing a global deal during the Climate Change Summit this December, in Copenhagen , Denmark .

The US , considered the highest carbon emitter in history, is expected to set an example for other countries in committing to substantial reductions in carbon emissions, and to set up a global fund for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

“Southeast Asia, especially the Philippines , is recognized by climate scientists as the most vulnerable and least prepared to face the worst impacts of climate change. It is up to us as individuals, and to our leaders as well, to make the necessary steps now to combat climate change. We are running out of time,” said Makati Mayor Jejomar C. Binay.

The city government of Makati and Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA) – whose member organizations include Christian Aid, WWF, NGO Forum on the ADB, Oxfam and Greenpeace – will hold the tour right after unveiling a “Countdown to Copenhagen ” marker at the Makati City Hall to emphasize that time is running out for the climate.

The bike tour itself highlights the role of industrialized countries in the ongoing negotiations, making stops at the Swedish Consulate, this year’s head of the European Union, and at the US Embassy, to deliver letters containing the Copenhagen call.

“We are a mere 90 days away from the climate meeting in Copenhagen . Yet it looks like industrialized countries will not be able to deliver a fair and safe deal on climate,” said GCCA Coordinator Francis Dela Cruz, Greenpeace Southeast Asia ’s public outreach campaigner.

“We are afraid that these countries will not sign the deal which requires them to cut their carbon emissions by 40% by 2020 and to give US$150Billion in aid to poor countries to enable them to face climate change impacts. 2009 is a keystone year, meaning the decisions our leaders make today will directly affect the way we live our lives in the coming decades.”

The Philippines is also one of the first countries to pass a Renewable Energy Bill into law. “There is no excuse for industrialized countries like the US, which is historically the biggest contributor of carbon emissions, not to commit to substantial reductions and to pay for their emission permits through a fund that supports climate change mitigation adaptation efforts in developing countries,” added De la Cruz.

Makati City recently launched the EE Makati project in its bid to become Southeast Asia ’s first Energy Efficient (EE) City, a campaign that seeks to reduce the city’s carbon footprint through city-wide measures that will promote energy efficiency in all sectors of society.


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