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Legarda Welcomes the President’s Ratification of Paris Agreement

March 1, 2017

Senator Loren Legarda today hailed President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

On Wednesday, Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and UN Global Champion for Resilience, received the Instrument of Ratification for the Paris Agreement from Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Meynard Guevarra.

“This is a great day for Mother Earth, for the climate warriors who fought hard for this Agreement, for the climate refugees and the vulnerable Filipinos who bear the brunt of climate change impacts, for the entire nation and all the Filipino people. We are a step away from full ratification and it is my commitment to actively shepherd the Senate’s immediate concurrence,” said Legarda.

“The Paris Agreement is very important for the Philippines, being one of the most vulnerable nations to the impacts of climate change. Our ratification would allow us access to 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,” she explained.

From the day the Paris Agreement was signed by more than a hundred countries on April 22, 2016 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York where Legarda was present, the Senator has called on the Philippines and all nations to immediately ratify the Agreement.

On November 4, 2016, the Paris Agreement entered into force. Since the Philippines has not yet ratified the treaty, it only sat as an observer in the ceremonial first meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement or the CMA during the 2016 climate negotiations in Marrakech, Morocco.

Legarda has been working behind the scenes, explaining the Agreement to Cabinet members, including the President’s economic team, and at the same time coordinating with various climate organizations on the way forward.

At the first Joint Climate Change Commission (CCC) En Banc and Advisory Board Meeting convened by President Duterte in Malacañang in January 2017, the President announced that Legarda will serve as the de facto chair of the CCC in her capacity as Chair of both the Permanent Committee and Oversight Committee on Climate Change and as principal author of the Climate Change Act.

“Once we fully ratify, we become part of the succeeding meetings about the Paris Agreement. It is to our advantage that we are in the talks so we can converge with our fellow vulnerable nations on how we should move forward and compel big GHG emitters to do their fair share,” she stressed.

“Our ratification will send a strong signal of our continuing commitment to work with the rest of the world in ensuring the survival of this generation and the generations to come, and the ability of the Earth to sustain life,” Legarda concluded.