Senate Unanimously Concurs in Accession to the Paris Agreement

March 14, 2017

The Philippine Senate on Tuesday unanimously concurred in the President’s accession to the Paris Agreement, said Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change who sponsored the Committee Report on the accord.

Twenty-two senators voted to approve the resolution seeking the Senate’s concurrence in the Paris Agreement.

“I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to my colleagues’ unanimous support on this historic day of the Senate’s concurrence in the accession to the Paris Agreement. I thank the President for signing the Instrument of Accession, the Cabinet Members for heeding the call for urgent climate action, and everyone who fought hard for this Agreement, including the individuals and organizations who have been fighting for climate justice and religiously taking part in the climate negotiations,” said Legarda, a UN Global Champion for Resilience.

The Senator explained the importance of the Agreement especially to a vulnerable nation like the Philippines.

“The Paris Agreement is a testament of solidarity and a call for global climate action. It shows that developing nations and the developed countries could pursue climate action and uphold climate justice together,” she said.

“This accord is a manifesto for climate justice. It also allows our country access to international climate finance mechanisms and to acquire support from developed countries for adaptation, mitigation, technology development and transfer, and capacity building,” she added.

Legarda explained that access to international funds could help finance the development and roll out of early warning systems, comprehensive risk assessment and management tools, and other capacity-building projects and programs that would make local communities more resilient to climate change.

The country’s accession to the Paris Agreement likewise strengthens its role in climate talks, which means that it can exercise governance, oversight, leadership, and decision-making in the implementation of the Agreement.

“The Paris Agreement is an embodiment of a legacy. This will go down in history as one of our shining achievements. The 17th Congress, under the Duterte Administration, can be regarded as the legislative assembly that championed climate action, environmental protection, and sustainable development,” Legarda concluded.

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.

Legarda, principal author of the Climate Change Law and Chair of the Senate Committees on Finance and Climate Change, has been working behind the scenes in pushing for the Philippines’ ratification, explaining the Agreement to Cabinet members, including the President’s economic team, as well as to local government units, while also coordinating with various climate organizations on the way forward.