Legarda: PHL Cannot Afford Failure of Paris Climate Talks

November 29, 2015

Senator Loren Legarda today stressed that the Philippines has all the reasons to ensure that a legally binding and universal climate agreement is achieved in the 2015 Paris Climate Conference.

“The Philippines cannot afford failure of the Paris Talks. If nations will not agree and commit to a climate deal that will limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, we will experience more of Ondoy, Pepeng, Yolanda, habagat-induced rains, and stronger episodes of El Niño,” said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change.

The Senator said that a new study done by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) titled “Global Increase in Climate-Related Disasters” looked at disasters from 1970 to 2013 and observed that if carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere continued to rise, natural hazard-prone countries like the Philippines will be hit hard.

The ADB study suggests that climate action needs to be a central component of national plans.

According to Vinod Thomas, coauthor of the study and director general of the ADB’s Independent Evaluation, “Policy-makers and economic advisors have long held the view that climate action is a drain on economic growth. But the reality is opposite: the vast damage from climate-related disasters is an increasing obstacle to economic growth and well-being.”

Legarda said that the 2015 Paris Climate Conference is a crucial event for the future of humanity and of the world.

“The world’s governments need to urgently, and with conscience, examine how we use energy and how to use innovation and new technologies to provide for the energy it needs in a sustainable and inclusive manner. Growth is difficult to imagine without energy; and energy that does not take into consideration the needs of future generations can only destroy and not build,” she stressed.

“There is no reason to hesitate or delay action on a challenge so compelling, on a threat to humanity so clear and present. For every second that ticks away is but a second closer to the next calamity. The United Nations said economic losses from disasters are ‘out of control.’ We should reverse this situation. Resilience should be at the core of our development policies and strategies. In climate and disaster risks, there may be no second chances,” Legarda concluded.