Legarda: Nations Must Agree to Limit Global Warming to 1.5°C

November 30, 2015

As United Nations member states converge in France today, November 30, for the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change or COP 21, Senator Loren Legarda said that nations must agree to limit global warming to 1.5°C.


“What good is a list of achievements if Paris fails to set a target that aims for 1.5 degrees? If Paris fails to set clear long-term goals — if the outcome in Paris is mute about the absolutely undeniable need for global decarbonization by or before 2050, all the efforts of vulnerable countries will not be enough to stem the crisis,” she stressed.


Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and UNISDR Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation, made the statement in a video message at the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) High Level Meeting, which she was supposed to steer upon invitation of the CVF Secretariat.


Legarda was unable to travel to Paris because of her duties as Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, which is working to finish the 2016 National Budget.


The CVF, a South-South cooperation platform involving 20 countries highly vulnerable to a warming planet, is calling for a more ambitious climate deal. The CVF is currently chaired by the Philippines.


The COP21 aims to adopt a legally binding and universal climate agreement that will limit global warming to less than 2°C, but the CVF demands that global warming should not exceed 1.5°C to prevent any further risks to present and future generations.


“We may be vulnerable but we are not incapable. The Philippines and other nations in the Climate Vulnerable Forum are committed to making the world a safer and livable place for future generations. We know how it is to become victims of a phenomenon we did not cause. We do not want our children or anyone’s children to be victims as well,” said Legarda.


She added that the Paris climate agreement must aim for nothing less than the transformation of the global economy.


“When we say the age of fossil fuels must end, we should see Paris as milestone that set all of us on this course. We need Paris to deliver Loss and Damage in a way that does more than just confirm the Warsaw Mechanism. It must already set in motion steps that develop innovative finance approaches able to respond to impacts that are beyond the reach of adaptation,” she stressed.


She added, “the CVF welcomes other vulnerable nations that wish to become part of the Forum and we ask the developed countries to support us. It is no longer a philosophy of ‘to each his own’, and not only a matter of economy, or policy. It is an issue of humanity and conscience.”


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.