Legarda Welcomes Entry into Force of Paris Agreement

November 3, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda, UN Global Champion for Resilience, welcomes the entry into force of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change on November 4, as she renewed her call to concerned agencies of government, led by the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), to work together for the Philippines’ ratification of the treaty.


Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, said that the Philippines should ratify the Agreement to gain access to funds that will help the country adapt to climate change impacts.


“I call on all government agencies concerned to submit their respective certificates of concurrence (COC) in the Paris Agreement to the CCC and the DFA. We understand that government is in transition, but we expect that the CCC and DFA have already met with the agencies and have explained the importance of this Agreement in our pursuit of sustainable development and climate and disaster resilience,” said Legarda.


The CCC is gathering all COCs from the member agencies of the Climate Change Commission Advisory Board (CCCAB) and the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (CCCCAM). There are 33 member agencies of the CCCAB and the CCCCAM.


To date, 10 agencies have submitted their COCs. These are the Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense (DND) with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NCRRMC), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Security Council (NSC), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Agriculture (DA), and Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).


Once complete, the DFA will endorse all COCs and the instrument of ratification to the President. The endorsement serves as DFA’s COC.


Legarda said, once the Executive ratifies and transmits the instrument of ratification to the Senate, she would shepherd the Upper Chamber’s immediate concurrence.


“The Paris Agreement is very important for the Philippines, being one of the most vulnerable nations to the impacts of climate change. We need to ratify the Agreement so that we can access the Green Climate Fund. This is what we have been waiting for—for developed countries that are the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG) to aid vulnerable, low-emitting nations like the Philippines. The Paris Agreement addresses the issue of climate justice, which is the President’s concern,” she added.


“There is no provision in the Paris Agreement that would prevent our industrialization. We have nothing to lose, but everything to gain with it,” Legarda concluded.


Under the Paris Agreement, developed nations are asked to decarbonize economy-wide. They must raise $100 Billion every year to help vulnerable nations for mitigation and adaptation, and to transfer technology.


On the other hand, the Agreement acknowledges that developing nations, like the Philippines, will take time to decarbonize and will be able to do so with external support. This means that the success of the country’s conditional target to reduce its GHG emissions to 70% by the year 2030, as stated in its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC), will depend on both its efforts and the technical and financial support that will be provided to the country.


The Philippines was among the most influential countries in the crafting of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which seeks to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and possibly not more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.


The Philippines also signed the Agreement in New York last April 22 and will be considered to have joined the Agreement once the President ratifies it and the Senate concurs in the ratification.