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LEGARDA: Bolder and Urgent Climate Action After Typhoon Ulysses

November 18, 2020

Deputy Speaker and Antique Lone District Representative Loren Legarda called for bolder and urgent climate action in the wake of the massive devastation from Typhoon Ulysses throughout Metro Manila and Luzon, even as many communities were still reeling from the impacts of recent Supertyphoon Rolly and Typhoon Quinta.

“This is a stark reminder that climate change, which has been linked to the increased probability of extreme weather events, is a clear and present threat to our nation’s security. It is no longer a specter on the horizon. The disasters are not looming or impending. They are happening now, and they will only get worse if we continue with business as usual,” Legarda said.

Legarda, Commissioner of the Global Commission on Adaptation and UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction Global Champion for Resilience, also noted that the country had already enacted comprehensive laws on climate adaptation and mitigation and disaster risk reduction, yet their integration with local development planning remained a challenge. She called on for more strategic and focused measures to build the capacity of local governments to identify, prioritize, implement, and monitor climate adaptation solutions.

“For years, we have subjected our country over and over again to the cycle of destruction and reconstruction. This has to stop,” Legarda stressed. “Every local government unit, being on the frontlines to the impacts of climate change, must ensure that its local climate change action plan and local disaster risk reduction and management plan asked by these laws are in place, implemented and constantly enhanced based on the latest science and risk assessments. When local plans are well-founded on climate science and risk reduction policies, they ensure strong risk governance and sustainable investments at all levels,” she added.

Legarda, who is also Ambassador for Parliaments in the Climate Vulnerable Forum formed by 48 highly vulnerable countries including the Philippines, also called for higher ambition, and faster and bolder climate action from the developed world—in making deep and drastic cuts in carbon emissions, in making climate finance flow and transferring technology for innovative climate solutions to developing countries.

“We’re standing at a climate crossroads. The world has already warmed 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels. Beyond 1.5°C, we risk experiencing bigger, more destructive climate-related disasters that will disproportionately affect the poor, the vulnerable, and the marginalized,” Legarda noted.

“Let’s recognize the climate emergency at hand and all together act now — to reform the ways we’ve lived and the ways we’ve regarded our environment — so that we may all survive and thrive amid the changing climate,” Legarda concluded.