Legarda Urges LGUs to Craft Local Climate Action Plans

March 5, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda today urged local government units (LGUs) to comply with the law and submit their local climate change action plans (LCCAP) to the Climate Change Commission (CCC).

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and principal author of Republic Act No. 9729 or the Climate Change Act, made the statement following reports from the CCC that as of July 2015, only 584 out of 1,634 cities and municipalities (36%) in the country have LCCAP.

“All LGUs should follow the law and have their own local climate action plans. We can no longer delay climate action. For a vulnerable nation like the Philippines, delayed action means loss of lives, livelihood, ecosystems and biodiversity. We need to take urgent action to adapt to the effects of climate change, reduce the risks in the communities, mitigate global warming, and move towards sustainability,” said Legarda.

RA 9729 dictates that “LGUS shall be the frontline agencies in the formulation, planning and implementation of climate change action plans in their respective areas, consistent with the provisions of the Local Government Code, the National Framework Strategy on Climate Change, and the National Climate Change Action Plan.”

Legarda, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, said that local action is crucial because every community has its own vulnerabilities, risks and hazards.

She explained that LGUs must determine how their community is affected by climate change. Is it a coastal community that may be affected by sea level rise or declining fish catch because of coral bleaching? Is it a farming community greatly affected by El Niño or too much rainfall? Is it an urban area prone to flooding?

“The location of the community, the direct impact of climate change, and the risks posed by extreme weather events are crucial in crafting a climate change adaptation plan,” said Legarda.

“It is lamentable that we are among the least emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG) yet we are directly hit by the effects of climate change. But we have no more time to wail and complain. We need to address the risks even as we compel the big emitters of GHG to support the most vulnerable nations and cut down on their emissions. We must prove the world that though we are vulnerable, we are not incapable of action,” Legarda concluded.