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Legarda on Climate Action: Gov’t Agencies Must Converge, Prioritize Local Action Plans, Transition to Low Carbon Economy

February 6, 2017

In anticipation of the country’s ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Senator Loren Legarda today said that the convergence of all government agencies is crucial in addressing the impacts of climate change and transitioning towards a low carbon economy.

“Now that all key agencies have expressed their concurrence in the government’s ratification of the Paris Agreement, we should plan the way forward, we must continue on previous discussions as to what strategies for mitigation and adaptation are realistic, doable, and beneficial,” said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Climate Change and Finance.

“While the Climate Change Commission (CCC) is the lead agency here, it is very important that all government agencies work towards adapting to climate change and addressing the impacts. And while adaptation is our priority since we are highly vulnerable to climate risks, we should also strive to mitigate or reduce our carbon emissions as part of our aim to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius,” she added.

Legarda explained that mitigation is also a function of adaptation. For instance, while forests are carbon sinks, they also help reduce disaster risks, like mangroves which are natural buffers against storm surge and tsunami.

“We should also start transitioning to a low carbon economy, not only by promoting renewable energy sources but also through energy conservation,” she said.

Legarda also asked the CCC to prioritize the completion of the local climate change action plans (LCCAP) of all the 1,634 local government units (LGUs).

“The CCC should guide LGUs in crafting the LCCAP and we hope this could be completed within the year. This is crucial because LGUs are the frontliners in our fight against climate change. They are the ones who can determine how their community is affected by climate change,” she explained.

“We should also be able to tap various fund sources for climate change adaptation and mitigation such as the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), among many other international funding sources. We even have our own People’s Survival Fund, which should already be accessed by LGUs for adaptation and mitigation programs,” said Legarda.

“Addressing the climate crisis needs a whole-of-society approach and ratifying the Paris Agreement is just the beginning of a lot of work to do. We need the government to lead, but all other sectors of society must also give their wholehearted commitment to make our communities climate resilient,” Legarda concluded.