Speech: High Level Informal Event for the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement

April 23, 2016

Speech of Senator Loren Legarda
High Level Informal Event for the early entry into force of the Paris Agreement
22 April 2016 | 2:30pm
Conference Room 4, UN Headquarters, New York

Ladies and Gentlemen,
God afternoon.

A few hours ago, the Philippines affixed its signature to a document that will go down in history as one of the most important agreements bequeathed by world leaders to future generations – the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The Philippines joins you here today to take that next step and affirm our commitment to undertake and complete domestic processes to bring the Agreement into effect within this year.

We will muster all the energy and resources within our means, sustain advocacy at the grassroots level, and rally the executive and legislative branches of the Philippine government, as well as the local government units, through the Union of Local Legislators, so that the Philippines can be true to its commitment in Paris to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

I laud the fifteen countries which today ratified the Agreement and I hope all of us here can join them very soon and be counted among the 55 countries representing 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions to bring the Paris agreement into force.

On my return to the Philippines, I will rally my colleagues in the Philippine Senate to act on our own ratification of the Agreement. But I will not stop at home. I have already written to fellow Parliamentarians of the 43 countries making up the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) urging them to do the same. I call on them, and on my fellow legislators in the Women in Parliaments Global Forum, my fellow policy-makers in GLOBE International, and everyone who values life and our future — let us continue to rally our networks, organizations, and civil society in ensuring that our governments keep the promises they delivered in Paris.

As I have said on many occasions, we cannot afford delays in carrying out our commitments because the more we stall action, the faster we reach the dangerous 2°C mark, which could cause 20 percent decline in water availability; 15 to 20 percent decrease in crop yield; sea-level rise of 70 centimeters; and increased acidification of the oceans and reduced farm fish yield by 90 percent, among others.

We have acted decisively in Paris and sealed that promise during the signature ceremony this morning. You can count on the Philippines, one of several countries most vulnerable to climate change, to take the next steps towards ratification and deliver on our promise to save this planet for future generations.

Thank you.