By Mario Casayuran
Senator Loren Legarda assured international climate allies that the Philippines is committed to a 1.5˚C climate goal based on the Paris Agreement and also supports green innovative facilities that would spur economic growth in the Philippines.
Legarda, chairwoman of the Philippine Senate climate change committee, stressed this as head of the Philippine delegation to the current 23rd United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany.
Theme of the COP23 forum is ‘’Innovative Climate Finance Strategies and Instruments by and for Climate Vulnerable Countries.’’
Legarda cited the latest analysis of Climate Action Tracker released last week that only Morocco and Gambia have Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that are compatible with 1.5˚C.
‘’And four out of the five countries which have 2˚C-compatible climate action plans are also members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF): Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia and the Philippines,” she said.
“Rest assured I shall do everything in my power to ensure that the Philippines’ NDC will soon be rated 1.5˚C-compatible as well, as I assume all my counterparts in other CVF countries are doing as well,” she added.
The CVF is an international alliance of countries highly vulnerable to a warming planet, which also created the Vulnerable 20 (V20), consisting of finance ministers from member-states of the CVF, which aims, primarily, “to act collectively and decisively to promote the mobilization of public and private climate finance from wide-ranging sources.”
Legarda said the Philippines is proud to take part in the founding of the V20 during her presidency of the CVF, which she handed over to Ethiopia in August last year, in Manila.
The lady lawmaker stressed that the Philippines continues to take great pride in being a member of the Troika Leaderships of both the CVF and V20.
Legarda also mentioned that in Marrakech last year, the CVF has already committed to strive for 100-percent clean-energy generation for all members way before or by 2050, with the support of development partners.
“We continue to pursue a development path consistent with 1.5 degrees not only because we know it is the best way to protect our people and climate, but also because we know it will also spur economic growth. More than just transitioning our energy sector to clean energy-powered economies, the race to 1.5˚C-compatible economies presents to the ambitious an opportunity to transform development itself,” she said.
“To start, we need climate-responsive plans and policies that would allow us to upgrade virtually all facets of our economies, which can only produce massive jobs and pump prime our economies. This can be done by first filling the staggering gap in local and national climate data through a research framework that encompasses both the rapid onset and slow onset impacts of climate change. Having a deep understanding of our vulnerabilities will enable us to plan better and smarter,” she added.
To enable the Philippines better understand its climate and disaster risks and investment opportunities, Legarda said the country needs to garner international climate finance support for data-gathering technology and bottom-up capacity building measures.
‘’While the Philippines needs to ensure that the pledges in the Green Climate Fund (GCF) amounting to $100 billion in public finance annually are delivered with the right balance, this figure pales starkly in comparison to private finance, which we need to tap with urgency,’’ she added.
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