Legarda to PH gov’t: Ratify Paris climate accord
SENATOR Loren Legarda has renewed her call for the Philippines to ratify the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, saying the country has nothing to lose “but everything to gain with it.”
In particular, Legarda urged all concerned agencies to submit their respective certificates of concurrence (COC) in the Paris Agreement to the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
The Philippines signed the agreement in New York last April 22 but President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to ratify it before transmitting it to the Senate for concurrence.
“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,” she said in a statement on Thursday.
The CCC is gathering all COCs from the 33 member agencies of the Climate Change Commission Advisory Board (CCCAB) and the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (CCCCAM).
To date, she said, 10 agencies have submitted their COCs: 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 (NDRRMC), 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, said Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on climate change. The endorsement, she said, will serve as the DFA’s COC.
The senator vowed to shepherd the Senate’s immediate concurrence once the treaty is ratified by the executive.
“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,” she said.
“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 again allayed fears that the treaty would prevent the country’s industrialization.
“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 said.
The senator pointed out that 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,” she said.
Legarda said the agreement, on the other hand, acknowledges that it would take time for developing nations, like the Philippines, to decarbonize and that they would 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 (percent)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,” she added.
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