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Legarda urges Filipinos to support Earth Hour, calls for strengthened efforts on climate action

March 27, 2021

Three-term Senator, now Deputy Speaker, Loren Legarda today called on Filipinos to participate in this year’s Earth Hour, the global movement to simultaneously switch off lights for one hour to support efforts on environmental protection and climate change, on Saturday, March 27 at 8:30 in the evening.

“I encourage every Filipino to participate in this year’s Earth Hour, convened by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), as a declaration of our commitment to promote a cleaner, greener, safer and resilient world. Turning off lights and other electrical appliances for an hour may seem insignificant to change the current state of the planet in a snap, but if all of us, the billions of citizens all over the world, will imbibe the message of “Earth Hour”, the impact would be immense. Small acts cannot be underestimated because these small acts, when put together, create big positive changes,” Legarda said.

Legarda, an environmental and climate champion, cited the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Global Warming of 1.5 Degrees Celsius that unprecedented hazards to the world, especially for vulnerable developing countries like the Philippines is inevitable if we exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming.

“The half a degree difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius and beyond matters. There is no more time to be complacent. We have to understand the risks of climate change and the urgency to take action. We only have until 2030 for global emissions to be reduced to 45%, and to be at net zero by 2050, otherwise we are on the path to destruction,”Legarda said.

“The Philippines, a minor emitter of greenhouse gas, is unfortunately among the nations most vulnerable to climate change. The Global Climate Risk Index released by the Germanwatch organization, even ranked us 2nd in 2018 and 4th in the recent study of the most affected countries in the world by impacts of weather-related events, such as storms, floods, and heatwaves and the presence of climate change has further intensified the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather and climate events in the country,” Legarda added.

Climate change is caused by increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, mainly from human activities causing global temperature to rise and leading to the rapidly changing climate all over the globe. Legarda acknowledged that many of the human activities that emit greenhouse gases are now crucial parts of the global economy, but the three-term Senator stressed that everyone is capable to create change and promote environment-friendly practices as a way of life for more sustainable and resilient communities.

“We are all capable of doing something to contribute in environmental protection and climate change adaptation programs. Let us strengthen our efforts to save energy, reduce carbon emissions and raise awareness on sustainability and environmental challenges. Saving on electricity, using low carbon technologies, promoting renewable energy, conserving water, growing what you eat, planting more trees, and properly segregating waste, among others, are just some of the simple ways by which we can significantly reduce the causes and also adjust to the impacts of climate change,” Legarda said.

“Climate change has become the greatest humanitarian challenge of our time as it threatens our basic human rights—food, health, potable water, decent shelter, and even life itself, taking part in this year’s Earth Hour is the least that we can do in protecting our ailing planet. As members of our respective communities, we shape the state of our environment and every action we take translates into a huge responsibility that would determine our present and the future for the coming generations,” Legarda concluded.***