Legarda: Vulnerable Nations Must Demand Urgent and Aggressive Climate Action from Developed Countries

November 9, 2015


To avert the serious consequences of global warming, Senator Loren Legarda today emphasized the need to take urgent and aggressive climate action and demanded developed nations to commit more in fighting climate change.


“We are in the position to demand because as developing nations, who are the least emitters of greenhouse gas, we bear the brunt of climate change,” Legarda stressed as she welcomed today participants of the Sherpa Senior Officers Meeting of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) held at the Diamond Hotel.


In her keynote speech, Legarda urged the world to ramp up efforts to reach the target of a 1.5°C goal in order to prevent any further risks to present and future generations.


According to a study by DARA commissioned by the CVF titled, Climate Vulnerability Monitor: A Guide to the Cold Calculus of a Hot Planet, Least Developed Countries (LDCs) faced an average of more than 7% of foregone GDP in 2010 due to climate change and the carbon economy. Over 90% of mortality occurs in developing countries only – more than 98% in the case of climate change.


“Of all these losses, it is us, lower and middle-income countries that are most exposed. Our losses of income are already extreme and our development goals, particularly on poverty reduction, will be harder to achieve because of the climate crisis,” Legarda noted.


“Within our respective economies and among us vulnerable nations, we must adapt and mitigate. We need to strengthen the capacities of our governments and apply the whole-of-society approach in integrating responses to climate change within national to local policy frameworks and programs of actions,” the Senator urged.


Legarda said she takes pride in the leadership of the Philippines in global climate action and advocacy, having been consistent in practising leadership-by-example. “In our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), we demonstrate that even vulnerable countries can plan, design and implement ambitious climate adaptation and mitigation commitments. The Philippine Government has also taken an active role in the CVF, initiating the establishment of the Vulnerable Twenty group of Ministers of Finance or V20.”


Moreover, the Philippines has committed to hosting the future South-South Centre of Excellence on Climate Information and Services, which will be a venue for knowledge exchange and learning among countries vulnerable to climate change.


“In all of this, we want to tell the world that, we may be vulnerable, but we are not incapable of action,” Legarda stressed.


She also reiterated her call to developed countries for drastic reduction in GHG emissions. “It is no longer ‘to each his own’ philosophy, not only a matter of economy, or policy. It is an issue of humanity and conscience.”


“We live in only one planet and by now climate change should make countries, developed and developing, realize that moats, gates, massive barriers, borders are ephemeral, easily destroyed, and antiquated concepts. The truth is, there are no borders, we are all connected and we suffer the consequences of climate change together. This is not the time for restraint; this is not the time to wag the finger of indictment.  This is the moment for collective and urgent climate action,” Legarda concluded.


The event will launch the CVF Manila-Paris Declaration, which embodies the group’s aspirations and commitments for the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the CVF Road Map 2016-2018 that contains the medium-term action agenda of the Forum.


The Philippines is the current president of the CVF, a group of nations most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change. Other members of the CVF are Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Maldives, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Ghana, Nepal, Timor-Leste, Barbados, Kenya, Tuvalu, Bhutan, Kiribati, Rwanda, Vanuatu, Costa Rica, Madagascar, Saint Lucia, and Viet Nam.