Legarda: We Need To Halt Global Warming Now

January 22, 2016

“We are experiencing continuous warming of the Earth’s temperature and we must do something about it—to adapt and mitigate. We need to halt global warming now, otherwise, our children will no longer be able to bear the heat,” said Senator Loren Legarda in reaction to reports that 2015 was Earth’s hottest year on record.

According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 2015 is the hottest year they have ever recorded and that the constant warming of the planet’s surface temperature can be blamed on “increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.”

“We must realize that we are also the cause of climate change and so we must do our share not only in adapting to it but also in mitigating its effects. Governments must apply the whole-of-society approach in integrating responses to climate change within national to local policy frameworks and programs of action, ” said Legarda, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience.

Legarda, who chairs the Senate Committees on Finance and Climate Change, said that she has incorporated climate change adaptation and mitigation measures in the 2016 General Appropriations Act (GAA) to ensure that concerned government agencies will implement programs, projects and activities that would contribute towards disaster and climate resilience.

“Under the 2016 national budget, we have provisions that will support critical sectors and key agencies in adapting to climate change and mitigating its effects. For example, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is mandated to increase the resilience of agricultural communities through the implementation of disaster-resilient agricultural infrastructure projects and the distribution and development of seeds, which are optimally adaptive to present and to future climate conditions,” she explained.

“The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) must provide support to all agrarian reform communities (ARCs) for them to be attuned to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction. Both the DA and DAR should capacitate local government units (LGUs), farmers and ARCs in renewable energy and energy efficiency, ecological solid waste management, and sustainable land use such as water catchments and organic farming approaches,” she added.

Also under the 2016 GAA, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) should give priority to research on DRR and climate change adaptation and mitigation to ensure that policy development and planning at all levels are based on science and contributing to building resilience.

“We are encouraging all government agencies and offices and LGUs to establish rainwater collection systems, protect our biological diversity, adopt energy efficiency measures, undertake tree planting and mangrove reforestation, implement ecological solid waste management, among other ways. With all these provisions under the law, the government has to take the lead. It should ensure that all agencies are given technical and financial support to cope with the warming climate. It should embark on a massive information and education campaign so that people would know the effects of climate change and their responsibility in preventing a worse scenario,” said Legarda.

“The State should lead its citizens towards a low-carbon, eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle and development. We should start reversing the trend because if the planet’s surface temperature continues to get hotter every year, it would not be too long when the Earth would no longer be livable for our children and the next generations to come,” Legarda concluded.