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Legarda to Launch Summit of Consciences for Climate in the PHL

July 21, 2015

“Climate change goes beyond science, beyond politics, beyond territorial boundaries. Inaction and apathy would spell death and loss.” With this statement, Senator Loren Legarda signed the Call to Conscience for the Climate and said that she will launch a Summit of the Consciences for the Climate in the Philippines.

Legarda, a panelist speaker at the Summit of the Consciences for the Climate in Paris, France that will be held today, July 21, said that everyone, especially leaders, should reflect on how they have contributed to the deterioration of our environment and what they can and must do to protect the planet.

“Water and food insecurity, deteriorating health impacts, loss of biodiversity and culture, greater poverty and greater political instability and conflict—these are the issues we face with global warming. Moreover, climate change is every inch a woman’s issue, thus, inaction leads to gender inequality,” she stressed.

In signing the Call to Conscience, the Senator said, “While climate change is a complex challenge, it is not impossible to address. The solution can be found in each one of us. We need to reflect on what we have been doing that contributes to the warming of the climate and what we have not done to reverse this dangerous trend.”

The Call, which was signed by religious, cultural, political and environmental figures who will take part in Summit, invites leaders to reflect and answer the question “Why Do I Care?” with the hope that Heads of State and delegates attending the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will come to the conference “primarily as a conscious human being not just a representative of a Government or agency”. The letter will be presented to each Head of Delegation at the COP 21 in Paris in December.

Legarda said she will also launch a Summit of the Consciences for the Climate in the Philippines, noting the importance of such gathering. She cited the statement of Nicolas Hulot, Special Envoy of the French President for the Protection of the Planet, in initiating the Summit of the Consciences in Paris.

“I see the Summit of Consciences as a moment of pause and collective thinking ahead of the climate conference in December 2015. We are going through a crisis of civilization that does not speak its name. If we meet the challenges before us only by technological tools, legal or economic, we will only displace the problem. We need a spiritual and philosophical inquiry into the causes of the impasse in which we find ourselves,” said Hulot.

The Senator also agreed with UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres, who said, “It is time to stand up for the responsibility that we all share as human beings. What binds us all is our moral responsibility. We have been preparing for Paris for five years but time has run out. What we have done is to increase emissions and reduce the Earth’s capacity to absorb emissions. At the end of the century, we must reestablish the balance of the Earth’s ecology in order to survive.”

Legarda said that the Paris Summit is an important prelude to COP 21, “Before we even talk about what nations must do to save the world from the threats of climate change and agree on a universal climate deal on greenhouse gas emissions, each of us should have a personal reflection on what we can do to contribute to protecting the planet.”

“We all need to embrace meaningful change—change in the way we think, change in the way we live, and change in the way we pursue the development and the future we long for—for all of humanity,” Legarda concluded.