Hon. Al Gore’s Introduction of Sen. Loren Legarda, Keynote Speaker for the 31st Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in Manila

April 7, 2016

Hon. Al Gore’s Introduction of Sen. Loren Legarda,
Keynote Speaker for the 31st Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in Manila

I hope everybody had a good lunch. So we are moving from the local focus to the national focus, and appropriately, I think we’re going to focus on the Philippines’ national policy.

We heard from Mayor Romualdez earlier about the lessons that were learned by the city of Tacloban and how those lessons compare with what other local governments around the world are learning in order to prepare, to adapt but also to mitigate and take policies to prevent the climate crisis as much as we can. We also take global action but we are now going to hear from the preeminent leader on national climate policy here in the Philippines. And it is my great honor to introduce her.

I have known her activities for quite a long time. Senator Loren Legarda is truly a leader and her work here in the Philippines has attracted attention from her peers in other nations around the world. In fact, just two days ago during my meetings in Tacloban, there were representatives from the United Nations Environment Program, the United Nations Development Program, OXFAM, one of the international NGOs that has been active in Tacloban and they were pointing out to me that some of the legislation Senator Legarda has been able to pass here in the Philippines should be regarded as a model for legislation to be considered and hopefully passed by other nations.

In her efforts to solve climate crisis, Senator Legarda has been persistent, she has been innovative, and she has been imaginative. Throughout my career, I had the opportunity to work with lawmakers in many, many countries but she really stands out because in the early days of her advocacy, responding to the climate crisis she was almost alone and some of you know in your countries that years ago when there were very few people talking about climate crisis, that they were sometimes regarded as if they were living in another planet. But, as the events continue to drive the reality of the climate crisis, Senator Legarda’s wisdom is now much more widely recognized and I continue to be impressed by her work on the Senate Climate Committee; she also happens to chair the Finance Committee now, which helps a lot.

I am impressed in her role in championing disaster risk reduction for Asia and by her ideas for empowering local communities with national resources in order to provide the funding that local communities need to increase their local resilience and survivability in the face of the climate crisis and on the mitigation and prevention side, she has been a leader there as well in advocating the increased emphasis on renewable energy and other environmental steps that will benefit the Philippines and should be emulated elsewhere.

I should also add that she has been enormously helpful in assisting the Climate Reality Project in organizing this training and for that I am grateful as well. So ladies and gentlemen, please know that my admiration is boundless for her and please join me in welcoming to the stage, Senator Loren Legarda.