Legarda Champions PH Climate Plan, Stresses Need for Climate Finance to Implement Adaptation Projects

November 13, 2017

Senator Loren Legarda today showcased the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) as the Philippines’ comprehensive plan on climate change and advocated for the importance of international climate finance to support the country’s implementation of climate change adaptation projects that will further enhance the resilience of Philippine communities against the impacts of climate change.


Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, Climate Change and Finance and UN Global Champion for Resilience, made the statement before international press during the side event “Championing NAPs – Advancing National Adaptation Plans,” saying that the updating of NCCAP—a process mandated by Republic Act No. 9729 or the Climate Change Act of 2009, which was principally sponsored and authored by Legarda—has advanced the Philippine process of developing a National Adaptation Plan (NAP).


“The Philippines has yet to communicate its own National Adaptation Plan; however, the Philippine approach to the NAP process is considered advanced because of our NCCAP. The process of updating of the NCCAP coincides with elements of the NAP process,” Legarda said.


Legarda, Head of the Philippine Delegation to the 23rd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn, Germany, represented the country in the side event organized by the Least Developed Countries Expert Group (LEG), with the aim of launching the NAP Champions’ efforts on advancing NAPs, including the promotion of the importance of resilience and facilitating linkages with external contexts to climate change adaptation.


Legarda was designated as a NAP Champion for the Philippines. She addressed questions from international media with fellow NAP Champion Fekitamoeloa Katoa ‘Utoikamanu of Tonga who was recently appointed as the High Representative of the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS).


“The NAP process is an important exercise that provides us a systematic approach to revisiting our NCCAP, while ensuring that our efforts are in line with the achievement of targets in international commitments, such as the Paris Agreement, Sustainable Development Goals, and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction; and national and local development plans,” Legarda said.


“It also provides an opportunity for us to synthesize fragmented adaptation actions into an integrated and cohesive action plan or ensuring the horizontal and vertical integration of climate-resilient planning, programming, and budgeting on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction—a priority that is articulated in our Philippine Development Plan,” she added.


Legarda also presented the nine-point adaptation agenda that the Philippine Climate Change Commission (CCC) has formulated in order to further develop the Philippine NAP, which includes the cascading of the NAP process to concerned agencies through multi-sector consultations, identifying climate risks, conducting cost-benefit analysis, and developing sustainable solutions for adaptation planning and implementation funding towards building strong institutions and capacity.


“Adaptation is at the very core of the Philippines’ climate change strategy. Like any other climate vulnerable country, we should be able to realize our full capacity to adapt to climate change. We have been championing for a more pronounced commitment from developed countries to finance adaptation in climate negotiations, as part of our demand for climate justice,” Legarda said.


“We maintain that adaptation should be placed on equal footing with mitigation. We need scaled-up, continuous, predictable, and adequate financial support for adaptation,” she added.


Legarda mentioned that the Adaptation Fund should be included as an integral part of the Financial Mechanism of the UNFCCC that also serves the Paris Agreement. She also called for easier and simplified procedures from the multi-billion-dollar Green Climate Fund (GCF), especially for its readiness and preparatory support for establishing NAPs.


Legarda added that the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), which conveys a country’s commitment to pursuing a low carbon development pathway through mitigation, should allow for the inclusion of adaptation efforts.


“Adaptation is the anchor strategy of the Philippines in developing the NDC and mitigation will be pursued as a function of adaptation. Including adaptation as a component of NDCs will further support and address our climate vulnerabilities and needs,” Legarda concluded.