Legarda Joins Calls to Step Up Climate Ambition

May 10, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda has joined calls to step up climate ambition to meet the Paris Agreement goal, particularly the 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming limit.

“The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), which was chaired by the Philippines when the Paris Agreement was being negotiated, fought to ensure the goal of keeping global temperatures to within the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold was enshrined in the Agreement. This is because hundreds of millions face an existential threat if we fail to act on climate change decisively. And also because the climate crisis presents an opportunity for real transformation,” said Legarda, Head of the Philippine Delegation to the Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany.

The Senator made the statement at the “We Are Stepping Up Climate Ambition” Forum organized by the Climate Action Network International (CAN International) and World Resources Institute (WRI).

Legarda said that the current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of Parties would not limit the global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“Current NDCs on the table submitted by countries in 2015 in the lead up to COP21 would take us to at least a 3 degrees Celsius temperature increase. This is simply unacceptable. We have an urgent need to enhance these NDCs. We must be bold. We need to step up climate action and ambition,” she stressed.

Legarda said that even the Philippines, a low-emitting developing country, is committed to enhance its NDC through enhanced policies to enable market-driven ambitious sectoral targets.

“The Filipino people and the Philippine economy will not and should not be held hostage by stranded coal assets. The public and our economy will no longer pay for poor and weak energy policy. We will level the playing field by removing subsidies and policies that perpetuate market distortions that allow the continued growth of the high polluting coal industry,” she said.

Legarda noted that under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, tax on coal has already increased from the previous Php10 per metric ton to Php50 per metric in 2018, Php100 in 2019, and Php150 in 2020.

She added that she would also bring to the table the idea of carbon pricing and see how it can be done in the Philippines not only through legislation but also through department orders and executive action.

“Local ambition and national capacity is key. But, to enable this we must use the momentum of the Talanoa Dialogue to finish a strong Rulebook by COP24. A robust rulebook is important to drive local ambition towards market and non-market approaches to reduce emissions, compliance, and predictability of finance,” Legarda concluded.