Legarda supports GCA call to action on sustainable and resilient COVID-19 recovery

July 10, 2020

House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, as one of the Commissioners of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), has joined a Call to Action for governments and businesses to integrate climate resilience into their COVID-19 recovery packages.

The GCA issued the statement, Call to Action for a Climate-Resilient Recovery from COVID-19, urging world leaders to integrate climate resilience in decisions at all levels of government, and calling on businesses, organizations, and communities to do the same with particular focus on resilience in infrastructure and financing.

The statement put a spotlight on the threats arising from the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of people’s health, well-being, and livelihoods and how these will be multiplied by the worsening impact of the climate crisis with more extreme storms, droughts, heat waves, food crises and diseases.

“The raging COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the sobering reality that the world is not as advanced, prosperous and as resilient as we thought it to be. We have realized that our societies and economic systems are fragile and dependent on the health of our natural environment, and that we are only as strong as our most vulnerable,” said Legarda. “As the GCA has observed, “The COVID-19 pandemic has tragically exposed the risks humanity faces and how unprepared we are to respond,” she added.

Legarda said that the Call to Action builds on the Commission’s 2019 flagship report, “Adapt Now”, laying down a triple dividend from embracing climate adaptation “by averting future losses, spurring economic gains through innovation, and delivering social and environmental benefits to everyone, but particularly to those currently affected and most at risk.”

The GCA seeks to raise the profile of adaptation work by bringing together stakeholders and investments along seven Action Tracks: locally-led adaptation, urban resilience, water resources management, social safety nets, food security, nature-based solutions, and disaster prevention. These sectors are considered the most vulnerable to climate impacts or most critical for climate action under international frameworks including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Paris Agreement on climate change, and Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction.

Legarda said that she will work with the Climate Change Commission towards ensuring that the need to strengthen public health standards to fight COVID-19 is aligned with the goals of a sustainable and resilient pandemic recovery. She recently authored and sponsored House Bill No. 6864 or the “Better Normal for the Workplace, Communities and Public Spaces Act of 2020,” which seeks to establish safety measures and protocols in place in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and emphasizes the significance of pursuing sustainable pathways, protection of biodiversity, and the strict implementation of environmental laws.

“I hope that this crisis has taught us well to be more cautious and approach today’s risks with concrete measures that will diminish our present vulnerabilities. As the world responds, it must build back better, towards a recovery that values the complex and interconnected relationships of human health, the economy, the climate, and the environment,” Legarda concluded. ###