Back to Home | Back to Breaking News

Loren tells Obama: Walk the talk on climate change

December 17, 2009

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – SENATOR LOREN LEGARDA CHALLENGED TODAY US PRESIDENT BARRACK OBAMA TO EFFECT DRASTIC CUTS IN AMERICA’S CARBON EMISSIONS TO PROVE HIS COUNTRY’S RESPONSIVENESS TO THE MENACING THREAT OF CLIMATE CHANGE.
As the only Asian speaker in the inter-parliamentary union meeting in the United Nations’ climate change conference here, Loren lamented that a bill that would set into motion America’s response to global warming remains pending before the US Senate.
“President Obama must prove his leadership and his avowed desire for his country to be involved in the global initiative on climate change. He must act to get the bill passed into law,” she said.
“He must walk the talk. He must act on his stated desire for the United States to contribute to the global fight against global warming,” Loren stressed.
The United States and China contribute a whopping 40 percent of air pollutants in the world, said Legarda citing scientific studies.
Loren has been speaking in the conference not only on behalf of the Philippines, but for the whole Asia-Pacific as the UN’s champion for climate change adaptation and disaster-risk reduction in the region.
She also stressed that poor and developing countries like the Philippines are not asking for alms from rich countries like the US, but are seeking “climate justice.”
“It’s a fact that developing countries are the most affected by climate change, for which the huge carbon footprint of rich nations is mainly responsible,” said Loren, who chairs the Philippine Senate’s Committee on Climate Change.
“Thus, those who contribute the most to global warming like the US and China have a responsibility to help affected countries like the Philippines and Maldives cope with the devastating effects of climate change,” she added.
“Countries like the Philippines are not mendicants. We are only asking from rich countries what they owe us. The United States and China have the funds and the technology to lessen the effect of global warming,” Loren said.
The senator said that impoverished nations barely have funds for food, health care and education, more so for climate change adaptation initiatives.
A co-author of the landmark Philippine Clean Air Act and the recently passed Climate Change Act, Loren said that President Obama must shepherd the US Congress to pass laws that would enable the US executive department to channel funds and resources for climate change adaptation measures.
She said that climate change had long ceased to be a “mtation measures.
She said that climate change had long ceased to be a “mere matter for scientific discussion” because its effects are already being felt worldwide in the form of weather extremes like very powerful typhoons and droughts hitting countries.
The Philippines, she said, can serve as a good case study on “how real and how potentially apocalyptic” changes in climate can be. Loren said typhoons Ondoy, Pepeng and Santi hit the country this year, causing record floods and affecting hundreds of thousands of Filipinos.