Legarda underscores importance of Paris accord to PH; urges EU to increase its national determined contributions to lessen impact of climate change on vulnerable nations

October 28, 2022

PARIS, 28 October 2022 – Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda has stated the importance of the Paris Agreement to the country as the Philippine delegation, led by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, met with French legislators on Tuesday, October 25.

“One of the many advocacies and issues that bond France and the Philippines is the Paris Agreement. Being number one in the world risk index, as the most vulnerable nation in the world, we value our ratification of the Paris Accord in 2015,” Legarda said during their meeting with Guillaume Kasbarian, President of France’s Commission for Economic Affairs and Member of Parliament of the National Assembly (Eure-et-Loir).

The World Risk Index 2022 report released last September ranked the Philippines with the highest natural disaster risk among 193 nations globally, which concerned Legarda.

With this, she urged the European Union to increase its National Determined Contributions (NDC), the climate action plans submitted by nations, to lessen the impact of climate change on vulnerable countries such as the Philippines.

“It’s been seven years since the ratification of the accord and it is incumbent upon industrialized nations in the EU, including France, to perhaps scale up the National Determined Contributions so that vulnerable nations like the Philippines, which only emits ⅓ of 1% in terms of global greenhouse gas emissions, will not be as affected,” Legarda said.

“That is one of the advocacies that I share with my colleagues, which we know the French government and the French people hold dearly, as well, because this impacts our energy security, our food security,” she furthered.

The European Commission has committed to decrease greenhouse gas emissions from the EU by 2030 and produce ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050, according to World Bank. It also said that 76% of global greenhouse gas emissions are coming from China, the United States and the EU.

Meanwhile, Legarda and the rest of the Philippine delegation also met with French-South East Asian Friendship Group led by Senator Mathieu Darnaud and Madame Gisele Jourda, Vice President of the Committee on European Affairs and President-designate for the Philippines.

During the meeting, Legarda, founder and president of the Philippines-France Parliamentary Friendship Association, conveyed the Philippines’ commitment to the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People. She also thanked France for its continued assistance to the Philippines.

“I’m glad that France does not stop in helping in giving technological, technical, and capacity-building, and even financial assistance in so far as biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, and climate action,” she said.

In support of the Philippines’ actions against climate change, the Agence Fançaise de Développement (AFD) has committed EUR 482 million for the country. In 2021, a policy-based loan amounting to EUR 250 million was granted to the Philippines by France as funding support for disaster risk reduction, preparedness, and response at the local level.

“We are grateful for your continued support for the Philippines and other developing nations, and as the COP talks start in the first week of November in Egypt this year, we hope that France will be on the side of developing nations so that the 100 billion commitment in the Paris Agreement would finally be realized, and so that the issues of loss and damage, which is important to vulnerable nations, could also be defended or even discussed,” said Legarda.

As a legislator, Legarda has championed environmental protection and climate action in the Philippines. In recognition for her work, she has been bestowed the title of Chevalier (Knight) in the Ordre national de la légion d’Honneur (National Order of the French Legion of Honor) by then French president Francois Holland through former French Ambassador Thierry Mathou last February 18, 2016.

The Philippine delegation comprised of Legarda, Zubiri, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, Senate Deputy Majority Leader Joseph Victor Ejercito, and Senators Manuel Lapid, Maria Lourdes Binay, Grace Poe, and Christopher Lawrence Go also met with Senator Daniel Gremillet, member of the Committee for Economic Affairs and President of the Study Group on Energy; and Pascal Chaix, Deputy Director for International Relations Division of the Atomic Energy Commission. (end)