Legarda urges whole-of-government, nation approach in addressing climate change

August 10, 2023

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda reasserted her unyielding stance in pushing for immediate and unified actions to address climate change as this issue continues to be considered an ‘existential threat’ to the country’s progress, urging Filipinos to be part of the solutions anchored in resilience and advancement.

The senator made these remarks as she delivered her Keynote Address at the Asian Conference on Climate Change and Disaster Resilience (ACCCDR) today, where she stressed the significance of a whole-of-nation approach in dealing with the effects of climate change, which the Philippines remained as one of the most vulnerable countries in the world.

“Climate change is without a doubt the global governance challenge of our time. It knows no borders, ideologies, and timeliness, requiring us to channel our collective intellect and resolve into comprehensive action. It is global, as it affects the global community – no country can stand and survive alone,” Legarda emphasized.

Citing reports from various international organizations, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Climate Risk Index, Legarda said that the Asia-Pacific region continues to be at high risk of the drastic impacts of climate change. This means people should expect more intensified tropical cyclones and typhoons, longer droughts, and rising sea levels.

According to the senator, this could hinder socio-economic development, agriculture, and biodiversity losses, among others, as triggered by the climate impacts.

“United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres aptly stated, and I quote: ‘Climate change is here, it is terrifying, and it is just the beginning. The era of global warming has ended; the era of global boiling has arrived. We are nearing the point of no return’,” Legarda conveyed.

“We must accelerate the momentum in the race against climate emergency. Give it a clear direction. Create pathways towards meaningful and rapid transformation. We need to ensure that in a changing climate, the environment is revived, economies thrive, and humans more than just survive,” she added.

Now more than ever, the veteran senator underscored the importance of every Filipino’s active involvement in lessening the impacts of climate change in the country.

“Resilience is relational. For us to survive and usher in greater security, progress, and prosperity in this era of uncertainties, we need better coordination and collaboration,” Legarda highlighted.

Likewise, she urged fellow legislators to effectively implement policies and undertake knowledge and resources to confront this challenge, saying that this is not a question of capability but of willpower and determination.

“Let us move and transform our region and our societies from fragility to agility by working continuously, conscientiously, and collectively. We all need to work together for the climate, to secure the lives, livelihoods, and the future of humankind,” Legarda said.

The ACCCDR, held at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), is a cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder conference participated by the private sector, national and local government entities, international and multi-lateral organizations, humanitarian sector, civil society, non-government organizations (NGO) and the academe.

AIM President and Dean Dr. Jikyeong Kang delivered the Welcome Remarks, while Dr. Vinod Thomas, former Director General of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), a Distinguished Fellow in Development Management of AIM, and a Senior Fellow of ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute Singapore, acted as the moderator during the interactive question and answer portion of the program, where Legarda participated in. (end)