Legarda: Strengthened PHL-France Climate Cooperation Urged in Meet with French Ecology Minister

June 29, 2017

Senator Loren Legarda today said she looks forward to the renewed climate partnership between the Philippines and France following the Philippine Senate delegation meeting with France’s minister for ecological transition and solidarity, Nicolas Hulot.


Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, Finance, and Climate Change, together with Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Committee on Energy Chair Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, and Committee on Environment Chair Senator Cynthia Villar, met with Hulot to discuss how the two nations can work together on the way forward for the Paris Agreement implementation and ensure that nations are able to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.


“France is moving towards a green economy and sustainable development. One of its aims is to reduce by 75 percent its fossil fuel consumption by the year 2050. France is serious in scaling up its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), promoting energy conservation and efficiency, and encouraging more investments in renewable energy,” she explained.


“On the other hand, the Philippines has been working towards resilience as it is greatly vulnerable to natural hazards and the effects of climate change. Environmental laws are in place but we need to review our energy policy and our NDC. We need more investments in renewable energy,” said Legarda, noting that the Philippines has more than 200,000 megawatts of potential renewable energy capacity that remain untapped.


“The Philippines can learn from the steps being taken by France. We should implement our already existing laws so as to strengthen our country’s resilience. We have pending pieces of legislation at the Senate, such as the energy efficiency bill, that can support this goal. These realities make a good formula for climate cooperation between the two nations,” she added.


The Senator said that Hulot also highlighted the need to push for climate justice, stressing that men, women and children in nations like the Philippines, are those that bear the brunt of climate change.


She also noted that France is inviting the Philippines to be its partner in an initiative to come up with a legal framework that would promote environmental justice, a global pact for the environment.


“This new framework can strengthen the goals of the Paris Agreement, and I believe the Philippines can be France’s strong ally in this initiative. A strengthened climate partnership between an industrialized nation like France and a vulnerable developing country like the Philippines would inspire other nations to move forward with the implementation of the Paris Agreement even with current challenges, such as the US President’s decision to withdraw from the accord,” Legarda concluded.


Legarda has worked with Hulot in 2015 for the state visit to the Philippines of then French President Francois Hollande and in crafting the Manila Call to Action for Climate Change, which the Senator read side by side with French actress Marion Cotillard in Malacañang.


A delegation of Philippine senators led by Senate President Pimentel is currently in France for an official parliamentary visit. The two nations are commemorating the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Philippines-France Treaty of Friendship.


Legarda, a Knight in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor, is the President and Founding Member of the Philippines-France Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Association.