Legarda: Climate Agreement in Paris Must Aim for 1.5°C

November 27, 2015

In line with the upcoming climate change conference in France, Senator Loren Legarda today said that nations must agree to limit global warming to 1.5°C.


“We must take urgent and aggressive climate action. The Philippines, as a least emitter of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions but highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, must not take this injustice sitting down. We need to limit warming to 1.5°C to be able to survive,” said Legarda, United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific.


From November 30 to December 11, delegations from 196 member states of the UN will gather in France for the 2015 Paris Climate Conference or COP21 with the aim of adopting a legally binding and universal climate agreement that will limit global warming to less than 2°C.


Vulnerable nations, particularly the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), are calling for a more ambitious climate deal.


Legarda said, “We have to be ambitious. Vulnerable developing nations must no longer plead for the rest of the developed nations to commit and act upon the decades long stagnation to limit global warming to less than 2°C. Today, we demand that the world join us and do something to reach the target of a 1.5°C goal to prevent any further risks to present and future generations.”


The CVF is a group of nations most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. It is currently chaired by the Philippines. Other members of the CVF are Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Maldives, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Ghana, Nepal, Timor-Leste, Barbados, Kenya, Tuvalu, Bhutan, Kiribati, Rwanda, Vanuatu, Costa Rica, Madagascar, Saint Lucia, and Viet Nam.


Legarda explained that the average global temperature has risen by 0.8°C since 1880 and at this level, the world is already experiencing unprecedented extreme weather events.


“Based on scientific studies, we need to limit warming to 1.5°C to be able to survive because 2°C is already destructive. We need to do more and certainly we cannot go business as usual,” she said, noting that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that with a 1.5 to 2.5-degree Celsius rise in temperature in a span of 50-100 years, 30% of species would be at risk of extinction.


“We need urgent and aggressive climate action. Deep cuts in GHG is a must. Nations with the capacity and resources to aid vulnerable countries must commit their support. The COP21 agreement should define with clarity how to operationalize financing for mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage, technology, transfer and capacity building,” said Legarda.