The UP Asian Center, in collaboration with NGOs and civil society organizations, will hold a public conversation, “Capitalism v. Climate: System Change, Yes, But How Do We Proceed?,” featuring as lead speaker, Dr. Manuel ‘Butch’ Montes of the South Centre, Geneva, Switzerland. It will be held on Wednesday, 2 March 2016, 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., 2/F, Seminar Room, Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman. The event is free and open to the public; seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Overview of Dr. Montes’ Talk

There is a growing consensus that the long-term solution to the climate crisis requires a radical departure from the current economic system of capitalism towards low-carbon, more sustainable and equitable pathways where human needs are met in harmony with nature. The call by climate justice advocates for “Systems Change, Not Climate Change” captures this shift in understanding the significance of the issue. But where do we start towards this path of transformation; what would the transition look like, and what are the concrete challenges that climate justice movements face in pushing this agenda forward?

Panel Reactors

Selected representatives from the organizers will offer their thoughts and insights on the following topics: 

  • Climate jobs (Josua Mata)
  • Financing for development (Gani Serrano)
  • Geo-engineering and technology (Neth Dano)
  • Climate finance (Ed Tadem)
  • Investments and financing of fossil fuel energy projects (Gerry Arances)

About the Lead Speaker

Dr. Manuel F. Montes is Senior Advisor on Finance and Development at the South Centre. “He was previously Chief of Development Strategies, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) where he led the team that produced the World Economic and Social Survey 2011 (WESS), The Great Green Technological Transformation. Before that, he held various positions at the United Nations Development Program and the Ford Foundation; and taught at the East West Centre in Honolulu and the UP School of Economics. He holds a PhD in Economics from Stanford University. His recent publications have been in areas of macroeconomic policy, development strategy, income inequality, climate change financing and industrial policy” (From Action for Economic Reforms website). The South Centre is a “permanent intergovernmental organization mandated to provide policy advice, undertake research and analysis, support coordinated actions by developing countries in negotiating processes, and promote South-South cooperation” (South Centre website).


The public conversation is organized by: the UP Asian CenterFocus on the Global SouthFreedom from Debt CoalitionPhilippine Movement for Climate JusticeSENTROAlyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)Philippine Rural Reconstruction MovementAsian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development, and Action for Economic Reforms (AER)