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As UN Panel Warns, Time Running Out to Reach 2ºC Warming Target, Legarda Renews Call for Greater Climate Action

November 4, 2014

Senator Loren Legarda today renewed her call for greater climate change action, particularly significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, as she expressed alarm over the pronouncement of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that time is running out to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius.

Legarda, the United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, said that the international community, all national governments, all sectors of society and all citizens of the world must unite and work double time to limit global warming to a safer two degrees Celsius because beyond that, the Earth will suffer rising seas, worsening natural hazards and extinction of many species.

“We have been repeatedly warned of what will happen if the Earth’s temperature warms to at least four degrees Celsius—worsening drought and flooding, extreme heat waves, water scarcity, stronger tropical cyclones, and loss of biodiversity. We have to do everything now to prevent such a scenario,” she stressed.

“We hope that world leaders will commit to lead their people out of the crises and uncertainties brought about by climate change by setting and carrying out ambitious targets on cutting down greenhouse gas emissions, among other environmental protection measures. Here in our country, we also continue to encourage the commitment of more local governments, government agencies and other organizations in working for a climate-resilient nation,” she added.

Legarda said that as a nation that is among the most vulnerable to disasters and the effects of climate change, the Philippines should influence other nations to take the necessary actions to halt the warming of the Earth’s temperature through the Philippine government’s own initiatives.

The Senator said that the Climate Change Act, the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, and the People’s Survival Fund Act, as well as other environmental laws, should all be fully operational and implemented down to the local level.

Legarda added that the People’s Survival Fund now has one billion in programmed funds under the proposed 2015 national budget intended to finance climate change adaptation activities of local governments and organizations.

“Our laws, which have been considered model legislation by the UN, must be complemented by effective implementation. This we must do as we continue to call on industrialized countries, which have a historical responsibility for climate change, to financially and technologically assist developing countries in efforts to reduce their vulnerability and adapt to its consequences, while reducing their own greenhouse gas emissions,” she said.

“World leaders must not allow people to continuously suffer from floods, hunger, displacement, and economic setbacks. Climate change, along with the extreme weather events it causes, knows no boundaries and the only way forward is a united global action towards mitigation, adaptation and resilience,” Legarda concluded.