Legarda: PH Should Lead by Example in Reducing Carbon Emissions

June 9, 2015

Senator Loren Legarda today said the Philippines should lead by example in reducing carbon emissions as it calls for urgent climate action.


Legarda said during the hearing of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, which she chairs, that the country’s intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) should reflect its strong stance towards deep cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as a way to mitigate climate change.


“The Philippines, as third highest in the world in terms of vulnerability to weather-related extreme events based on a 2013 World Bank study, and following its acceptance of the presidency this year of the Climate Vulnerability Forum (CVF), must lead by example among developing countries and submit to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat an INDC that highlights its commitment to pursue climate justice and equitable growth for all,” she said.


The call for INDCs was first raised during the 19th Conference of Parties (COP19) held in Warsaw, Poland in 2013. It was further refined after the COP20 in Lima, Peru in 2014.


The call for INDCs urges all nations to submit their individual plans for reducing emissions after the year 2020 with the objective of limiting the increase in global temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.


In line with this, the Senator expressed concern over the alarming increase in the number of coal-fired power plants in the country.


“Amid our call for sustainable development and deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, it is unfortunate that we will continue to witness coal plants being constructed in the next few years. In the past five years alone, 21 coal-fired power plant projects, which are either operational, non-operational or under construction, were granted an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR),” she said.


“The Philippines is contradicting itself when it says it wants a strong agreement in climate change yet is allowing the proliferation of new coal power plants. Effectively, by such proliferation we are contributing to our own destruction and we lose the high moral ground as we call on other parties to reduce emissions,” Legarda stressed.


She added that since the Philippines accepted the opportunity to assume the presidency of the CVF, a group of developing countries which are highly vulnerable to climate change, it should highlight not only the country’s vulnerabilities but also the gains in addressing climate change and disaster risks and share it not only among the members of said forum, but also to the rest of the world.


Legarda, United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, is principal author of the Climate Change Act and its amendatory law, the People’s Survival Fund Act, co-sponsor of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, and co-author of the Renewable Energy Act.