Legarda Renews Call to Limit Global Warming to 1.5°C, Urges LGUs to Adopt Goal

February 7, 2017

Senator Loren Legarda today renewed her call for the country and all nations to aim for the 1.5°C global warming limit, stressing that it is a matter of survival.


Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and UN Global Champion for Resilience, made the statement as she convened a consultative meeting on the establishment of local climate change action plans (LCCAP).


“When the world came together to produce the Paris Agreement in December 2015, all nations agreed to limit warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. In that pact, now already in force, we committed to pursue efforts to ensure temperatures would even be half a degree lower at just 1.5 degrees. Half a degree Celsius–it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a number that could transform the face of the world as we know it,” she said.


“I urge our local government units (LGUs) to adopt this goal as they craft their LCCAP. Let us not just do these local climate action plans for compliance, let us do this because the survival of our people and the sustainability of our communities matter,” Legarda said.


The Senator explained that the Philippines led the call for the 1.5°C limit on behalf of more than 40 developing countries of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF).


“The 1.5°C limit is part of our call for climate justice. 1.5 upholds human rights and ecosystems integrity; it is that threshold of chance and hope. If we breach it, we lose so much lives and render so much suffering to those who will live,” she stressed.


The 2016 Low Carbon Monitor, a report commissioned by the CVF, estimates that keeping to a 1.5°C limit could raise growth economic output by as much as 1% by the 2040s, since so many of the devastating impacts associated with higher levels of warming would be avoided.


Legarda said that the 1.5°C limit can only be achieved with an unchanging collective resolve for immediate and drastic action at global and local levels as called for by the Paris Agreement.


She added that since local action is crucial in the attainment of the 1.5 goal, strategies to achieve it must be incorporated in the LCCAP.


“In crafting the LCCAP, all sectors of society must be involved and the 1.5 goal must be incorporated. We should give the LGUs the technical support in crafting their plans, they must understand the importance of these plans and how these will be beneficial to development and sustainability,” said Legarda.


The Senator asked the convergence of the Climate Change Commission (CCC), the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Local Government Academy (LGA), the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the various LGU leagues, and the state universities and colleges (SUCs) as well as private learning institutions, in completing the LCCAP of all LGUs within the year.


“Time is of the essence in climate action. We need to craft local climate action plans that embrace the 1.5°C goal. This is crucial because our country is among the most at risk of climate impacts, especially sea level rise. As long as there is a chance to stop global warming at a level that lets humanity survive and thrive, we should seize it,” Legarda concluded.