Typhoon Mawar, an unusually violent storm that hit Guam and the Philippines before heading towards Taiwan and southern Japan, suggests the Southeast Asian nation is in the midst of a “continuing climate emergency.” ”, the activists said, while demanding compensation for vulnerable countries.
In a statement released on Monday, Greenpeace International demanded that fossil fuel companies take responsibility for the increasing extreme weather phenomena worldwide and compensate for damages for the impacts. of climate.
The storm left Guam inundated and without power for several days, prompting the evacuation of Filipinos and severe weather warnings.
Mawar, known locally in the Philippines as Typhoon Betty, was the strongest storm of the year so far and the strongest Northern Hemisphere storm ever recorded in May.
“The Philippines is in an ongoing climate emergency,” said Greenpeace Philippines campaigner Jefferson Chua.
“Superstorms have become our new normal, alongside longer-term effects like drought, sea level rise and resource depletion.”
The Philippines, considered the country most exposed to tropical cyclones in the world, has faced an average of 20 typhoons annually.
And while tornadoes are a naturally occurring phenomenon with their formation and intensity dependent on a complex combination of weather patterns, there is growing scientific evidence that oceans are warming. Rapidly due to the anthropogenic climate crisis is leading to more frequent and intense storms.
Mawar, which briefly weakened as it made landfall on Guam on Wednesday, has strengthened into a super typhoon – the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane – and threatens major disruption to parts of the Philippine archipelago has been repeatedly damaged by hurricanes in recent years.
Over the past six years, the Philippines has seen 14 super typhoons. Climate impacts have caused an estimated $10 billion in losses and damages between 2010 and 2020, according to Philippine officials.
While the storm’s intensity waned as it moved closer to the country this week, thousands of people in coastal areas were evacuated, schools closed, flights were halted and flood warnings were issued. tide was given.
Villagers in the Batanes Islands, the inhabited area closest to the storm, are fortifying their homes with the help of government officials amid severe weather warnings.
“Worldwide, the communities that are least responsible and least able to cope are the ones that bear the brunt of the consequences of the worsening climate crisis,” said Mr. Chua.
“Not only do they have to bear the burden of preparing for escalating impacts, but they also have to deal with anxiety about an uncertain future.”
“But even as communities are doing their best so they can secure their own futures, they are still being disenfranchised because of the willful inaction of those most in charge of change.
He added: “Hurricane Mawar, like all super typhoons before it, is a stark warning and a reminder that scientists predict that things will get a lot worse.
The organization argues that the Philippine government must require “fossil fuel companies to compensate for loss and damage,” citing a study published this month that quantifies the billions of dollars in damages that fossil fuel companies have suffered. fossil fuel companies are responsible.
“Fossil fuel companies responsible for most of the carbon emissions that contribute so much to the climate crisis are still finding ways to expand their operations, exacerbating the impacts of climate change, even if they reap huge profits from the suffering of our people,” said Mr. Chua.
The study, published in the journal One Earth, says the 21 largest oil, gas and coal companies are expected to cause $5.4 trillion in losses to GDP between 2025-2050, the equivalent of $209 billion per year, based on their emissions rates from 1988-2022.
The study highlights that these companies bear significant responsibility for the costs associated with climate harm.
“The world should not let these climate crimes continue; perpetrators must be held accountable and must pay compensation,” Mr. Chua said.
Meanwhile, Guam, a remote US territory in the Pacific that serves its strategic interests in the region, is still calculating the damage it will incur when Mawar passes.
Island countries and territories in the region are facing multiple threats as global temperatures rise, including sea level rise, increasing frequency and intensity of droughts and storms, ocean acidification and consequent damage to coral reefs and fisheries.
Last year, at the United Nations’ annual Cop27 climate conference, held in Egypt’s Sharm El-Sheikh, countries agreed to establish a loss and damage fund for vulnerable countries. such as the Philippines and the Pacific island nations.
Experts say the recent storm is another warning of growing threats and an urgent need to establish a financial base.
“In addition to efforts to remove fossil fuels quickly and fairly, we must ensure support and funding reaches communities bearing the brunt of these climate disasters.
“It is a race against time to save lives and livelihoods, and running the Loss and Damage Fund this year is critical to ensuring enough money reaches those in need.”