Legarda, Global Center on Adaptation Shore Up Climate Resilience, Adaptation in COVID-19 Recovery Efforts

October 24, 2020

House Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda welcomed the leadership of the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) in keeping the momentum for adaptation and building resilience despite the pandemic and expressed that COVID-19 recovery packages must be climate adaptive and pegged on achieving the 1.5 degrees Celsius climate goal enshrined in the Paris Agreement, during the GCA’s 2nd Board Meeting held virtually on October 23.

The GCA acts as a solutions broker, bringing together governments, the private sector, civil society, intergovernmental bodies, and knowledge institutions that can address the obstacles slowing down adaptation action. Legarda sits as Member of the GCA Board, which is chaired by former United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with co-chair Mr. Feike Sijbesma, Honorary Chairman of Royal DSM.

“I would like to commend the anticipatory stance of the GCA on responding to one of the most pressing challenges of our time—recovering and rebuilding lives and economies post pandemic. The action tracks set by the GCA complement the priorities we see across countries, especially for developing nations and particularly for poor and vulnerable communities, who are hardest hit by the pandemic and the resulting economic shocks,” Legarda said, as she addressed the meeting chaired by Mr. Ban and moderated by Prof. Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the GCA.

“Our interventions in the GCA should also continue urging world leaders and governments to ensure that economic stimulus packages must be climate-adaptive and transformative towards a world of 1.5 degrees Celsius, as enshrined in the Paris Agreement. COVID-19 recovery must be climate adaptation,” Legarda added.

Legarda said that the GCA’s focus on Africa, as the most vulnerable continent, is an obvious priority to bolster food security and rural well-being, water for growth and resilience, and adaptation support to its fast-developing urban centers. She added that “the template for Africa can be the template for the Philippines as well,” expressing that the GCA could support and extend to other parts of the developing world as well, especially those that are recognized to have climate risks and other socioeconomic vulnerabilities, particularly in the Asia Pacific region.

Legarda also emphasized the value of convergence, climate science, and finance in mainstreaming adaptation into country programs, adding that a South-South Center in the Philippines will be established through the efforts of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Climate Change Commission (CCC).

“Convergence of the public, private sectors and the academe and a whole of nation approach is much needed. I think everything that we must do must be based on science and research. As parliamentarians, we also have to ensure that the whole national budget is a budget geared towards adaptation. The GCA can work towards the influencing or mainstreaming of adaptation in country processes in the aspects of water security, sanitation, education, infrastructure, and other focus areas of the GCA,” Legarda expressed.

Aside from Legarda, other GCA Board members and advisers in attendance included: Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank; Mr. Dag-Inge Ulstein, Minister of International Development of Norway; Mr. Peter Eriksson, Minister for International Development Cooperation of Sweden; Mr. Abul Kalam Abdul Momen, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh; Mr. Abul Kalam Azad, Special Envoy for the United Nations CVF Presidency; Mr. Huang Runqui, Minister of Ecology and Environment of the People’s Republic of China; Mr. José Antonio Meade, Secretary of Finance and Public Credit of Mexico; Mr. Roald Lapperre, Vice Minister for the Environment, Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management; Mr. Vijay Rangarajan, Director-General of the Americas and Overseas Territories of the United Kingdom; Mr. Rémy Rioux, CEO of the Agence Française de Développement (AFD); President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon (represented by Gabon’s Forests, Oceans, Environment and Climate Change Minister Lee White); Miami, Florida Mayor and President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2020, Mr. Francis Suarez; Mr. Rodger Voorhies of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Mr. Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director at the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Director for China; Mr. Axel van Trotsenburg, World Bank Managing Director of Operations; Ms. Bernice Van Bronkhorst, Global Director of the Climate Change, Sustainable Development Practice Group of World Bank; Mr. Jamal Saghir, Director of the Sustainable Development Department for the Africa Region at the World Bank; Mr. Brooks Preston, Managing Director of the Macquarie Group; and Ms. Mathilda Buijtendijk, GCA Director of Operations.###