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Legarda renews call for urgent climate action

August 15, 2016

Can the country survive more tragedies and losses caused by global warming?

Senator Loren Legarda, a staunch environment advocate, raised this question when she spoke during the Climate Change Forum-High-Level Climate Policy Forum held in the Senate on Monday.

“Global warming has already breached the 1°C level with unprecedented warming in the past months. We have already borne countless tragedies and losses from recurring impacts of extreme weather events under a 1°C global warming. How much more with higher temperatures?” Legarda asked.

The senator then reiterated her call on climate vulnerable nations to take urgent climate action while waiting for the Paris Agreement on Climate Change to take effect.
“We cannot wait for the Agreement to take effect before we take action. We must continue to rally our respective states and the community of nations to take urgent climate action because global warming will not halt as institutions and nations all over the world debate whether to ratify or not,” said Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on climate change.

Legarda noted that at present, 22 of the 197 Parties to the Convention have ratified the Paris Agreement “but they represent only 1.08% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”

In order for the agreement to take effect, she said, at least 55 nations representing 55% of global GHG emissions must ratify it.

“Although we are not major emitters of GHG, we cannot let our respective economies grow through the ways that caused today’s climate crisis; we cannot let human society live in a world fraught with dangers,” said the senator.

“Quality of life comes with a price tag, but it is not necessarily beyond our reach. Building livable cities and communities requires good planning. More importantly, it requires a genuine commitment to the ultimate goal of putting the earth’s and our people’s survival foremost over all other concerns,” she added.

The Philippines was among the signatories to the agreement but it has not yet ratified the pact. President Rodrigo Duterte himself had said that he would not honor the agreement, saying it would just prevent the country’s growth.

“We have not reached the age of industrialization. We’re now going into it. But you are trying stymie (our growth) with an agreement that says you can only go up to here,” Duterte was quoted in the media as saying.

Legarda believes, however, that the President was not against the agreement as he was just calling for “climate justice.”

“The apprehension has basis. He raised the issue of climate justice and that’s very valid…” the senator told reporters after the forum.

She insisted that ratifying the Paris agreement would be beneficial for the country.

“It’s clear that the agreement provides technical and financial assistance to all developing and vulnerable nations, we will benefit from it,” said the senator.

“We’re securing funding now from many organizations but we can secure fundings especially if we ratify it because we’re already a signatory,” Legarda added.

Source: Inquirer