Legarda Urges Action Vs. Climate Crisis at French President’s Visit

February 26, 2015

On the occasion of the historic first visit of a French President to the Philippines, Senator Loren Legarda today stressed the urgent need for nations to undertake collective action against climate change and its impacts.


Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Climate Change, and Environment and Natural Resources, highlights the consequences of inaction at the forum, “Towards COP 21: The civil society mobilized for the climate”, organized by the French Embassy as part of the state visit of French President Francois Hollande, who is in the Philippines from February 26-27, 2015.


Legarda said that nations must act against the climate crisis to preserve the planet as a sustainable and livable place, emphasizing the responsibility of the present generation “to ensure that the future generations will have the benefits of a balanced and healthful ecology. Inter-generational responsibility needs to move from being an idea to a plan of concrete and urgent action.”


“The debate continues on whether to act now or to delay implementing mitigation policies until a future date.  In the meantime, lives continue to perish. The irony does not end there. Others who choose not to act, justify inaction in the name of development.  But one thing is clear. As the IPCC points out in its 5th Assessment Report, delaying action only ‘shifts burden from the present to the future.’  By then, as in cancer, it might be too late to reverse the disastrous effects of global warming,” she explained.


Present at the climate change forum at the National Museum are members of Hollande’s delegation—Nicolas Hulot, Special Envoy of the French President; Segolene Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy; Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations; Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC); and Hela Cheikhrouhou, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund, among others.


Meanwhile, at the launch of the Manila Call to Action on Climate Change in Malacañang, Legarda will read the Philippines-France joint statement opposite French actress and environmentalist Marion Cotillard.


The document is a joint appeal of the two nations urging the international community towards climate action and cooperation, and to ensure a successful global climate agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21), which will be hosted by France in December 2015.


Legarda, the United Nations Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, said that the COP 21 is a very crucial platform for climate action.


“I am glad that President Hollande is eager to make this a successful conference that would bring in significant results, specifically an ambitious and legally binding climate deal to limit global warming below 2°C, which has been elusive for many years now,” she said.


She added, “As a developing nation that contributes a mere .03 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, we have done our share to the world’s mitigation efforts and we implore the world’s largest economies to deliver their concrete commitments on greenhouse gas emission reductions. This is not the time for restraint or for wagging the finger of indictment. This is the moment for collective action.”


“If we start today, there is no promise that we will be lucky enough to see the undoing of the damage within our lifetime, but at least, we leave our world with the gift of hope for a better, kinder future,” Legarda concluded.