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CCC participates in the “Climate Policy for 2050” learning exchange program with international climate experts
July 18, 2022 Monday

BERLIN, 18 July 2022 — Upon the invitation of Germany’s Foreign Federal Office and the Goethe Institut, Climate Change Commissioner Rachel Anne Herrera and seven other experts participated in the learning exchange program “Climate Policy for 2050” held in Berlin and Hamburg, Germany from 19 to 25 June 2022.   Participants from Costa Rica, Finland, Israel, Japan, Kurdistan region of Iraq, Mozambique, and Romania joined Commissioner Herrera to the roundtable discussions and meetings with German ministry units, research institutes, and universities to explore German policies toward reducing carbon emissions and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Germany has set ambitious targets of 80% greenhouse gas reduction by 2045 and renewable energy and energy efficiency will be the standard for investments to keep their economy competitive in a decarbonizing world.   “I thank the German Government for extending the invitation to the Philippine Climate Change Commission (CCC) to this learning workshop. The relationship between Germany and Philippines remains strong and positive. We are already working on many fronts, import of exchanges and sharing of experience towards increased climate change capacities,” said CCC Secretary Robert E.A. Borje. “Rest assured that we will sustain this international engagement to address the existential threat of climate change and its impacts,” he added.   Forging ahead on climate action, the Philippines has always taken on important leadership roles in international climate diplomacy and in crafting more effective and more equitable international climate policies. As a country most vulnerable to climate change, the Philippines can learn a great deal from Germany in a wide range of fields from transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy, energy efficiency, climate adaptation such as through flood protection, disaster risk reduction, and sustainability.   “We hope to count on Germany as a strong partner in this particular endeavor for climate justice and equity, bound not just by our shared goals for a more sustainable future, but by our shared understanding that no nation is safe from the climate crisis until all nations are,” Herrera said in a meeting with German officials.   The group was hosted by Ambassador Hinrich Thölken, Federal Foreign Office Special Advisor on International Climate and Energy Policy in a roundtable discussion on international climate efforts and partnerships, and met with Dr. Martin Weiß, Head of Division KB1 Climate Protection Programme at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action to learn about the country’s specific policy and market-based mechanisms towards targeting net-zero emissions by 2045.   They also engaged with subject matter experts such as Dr. Oliver Richters of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research; energiewaechter GmbH (energy and building sector industry consultants) representatives led by Prof. Dr. Eckhart Hertszch, Professor for Sustainable Urban Neighbourhoods at the Technische Universitat Berlin; and Spreeakademie Managing Director Sebastian Zoepp, on climate risk management and socioeconomic research, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and just transition from coal mining in the Lusatia region.   In Hamburg, they visited the Climate Service Center (GERICS) where Dr. Peer Seipold, Head of Department, and Ph.D student Mr. Cristóbal Reveco presented the extensive work of GERICS worldwide to assess the impact of climate change on private sector planning and investment. Thereafter, the group toured the Hamburg port city waterfront, together with the Ministry of Transport and Mobility Transition Agency of Roads, Bridges and Waterways (LSBG) where Mr. Jan-Moritz Müller of the Water Bodies and Flood Protection Division, Hydrology and Water Management Department presented the city’s latest programs to protect against floods and storm surge.   The tour also provided more opportunity to learn about climate-resilient hydrology studies through discussions with Dr. Horst Sterr, geographer and Professor Emeritus of the Christian Albrecht University of Kiel together with his team of experts on sea level rise and flood risk management in the context of the Baltic Sea and North Sea, with aspects of nature-based solutions and information and education campaigns targeting the community.   Herrera also paid a courtesy visit to the Philippine Embassy in Berlin Chargé d' Affaires Lilibeth Pono to urge continued cooperation between Germany and the Philippines in pursuit of productive exchanges on science-based climate planning and programming.

CCC: Managing Climate Risks Key to Building Resilience
July 18, 2022 Monday

MANILA, 18 July 2022 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) underscored the importance of managing climate risks in order to build climate resilience, but urgent and drastic changes must be made to avert the worst of the climate crisis and limit global warming to 1.5˚ Celsius.   The climate body explained that climate-related risks are potential negative impacts that we may experience because of climate change—from extreme weather events like floods, typhoons, and heatwaves to slow-onset events like rising sea levels, ocean acidification, desertification, and the loss of biodiversity.   “We have to make it clear that resilience is not just about withstanding disasters again and again. It’s about being able to anticipate and adapt. It’s about preparing, not just about responding,” said Climate Change Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera in a webinar organized by the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) during the Philippine Sustainability Month in June. “As a developing country, there are risks for the Philippines because we are more vulnerable to hazards, the greater majority of our people also have less means to cope and to bounce back in the event of disasters. With climate change accelerating, these risks will only multiply and worsen”, she added.   To urgently build resilience capacities of our communities, CCC Secretary Robert E.A. Borje stressed that climate policies, programs and projects, and promotions must be anchored on the principle of Building Right At First Sight. This is to ensure the optimal use of our limited resources to science- and evidence-based priority climate change programs.”   Herrera further explained that there are four broad approaches in managing climate risks. First is through mitigation, which means cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions, by using renewable energy or biking and walking instead of using cars, as well as refusing single-use plastics. Second is through adaptation, which means improving our capacity to prepare, respond, and recover from climate impacts, by establishing multi-hazard early warning systems, rainwater harvesting, starting seed banks, reforesting mangroves, cultivating rooftop gardens, building roadside ditches and sea walls, and having practice drills for disaster response and preparedness.   Herrera also mentioned geoengineering or climate engineering, which is the large-scale modification of our climate, through solar radiation management and carbon sequestration. And finally, expanding knowledge base to learn and understand more about our climate and to bring science up to policymaking tables and to our communities, in order to manage climate risks better.   Herrera also cited the Department of Science and Technology’s HazardHunterPH, which is the country's one-stop shop for seismic, volcanic, or hydrometeorologic hazards, as one of the best examples of how we can improve the way we manage the risks we face, whether as individuals, as institutions, or as communities.   “The challenge now is to bring this kind of awareness, this kind of proactive action on addressing climate risk, to a wider scale, reaching especially our last mile communities. We face immense challenges; the hazards ahead threaten our lives and our livelihoods, our families and our futures; but we are not helpless. We in the CCC are hopeful that we can ramp up our capacity to manage climate risks wherever we are. In doing so, we can chart a path towards a safer and truly more resilient future for all Filipinos,” Herrera concluded.

CCC, DOTr, transport groups vow to accelerate transition to low-carbon and sustainable transport sector
July 13, 2022 Wednesday

MANILA, 13 July 2022 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC), the Department of Transportation (DOTr), and various transport groups vowed to accelerate the transportation sector’s transition towards low-carbon and sustainable development in pursuit of the country’s commitments under the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).   In the Climate and Transport Forum co-organized by the two agencies, participants from the national government, public and private transport stakeholders, businesses, enterprises, and civil society organizations signed a Pledge of Support to further mainstream climate-responsive and low-carbon ways in the transport sector.   The pledge include finding and implementing sustainable pathways to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the sector, gathering of relevant transport data, promotion of clean and green technologies, and employing low-carbon strategies, policies, and programs not only to reduce or avoid GHG emissions, but to realize the common vision of sustainable transport, among others.   Based on the 2010 National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, the transport sector ranked as the third-largest emitter sector in the country with 24.17 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e). These emissions are caused by land transportation (87.88%), water-borne navigation (9.18%), and domestic aviation (2.95%).   In his welcome remarks, CCC Secretary Robert E.A. Borje emphasized the progress the Philippine government has made in transitioning to a sustainable and low-carbon transportation system.   He recognized the DOTr for empowering low carbon initiatives for transport, being one of the first sectoral agencies that institutionalized the greenhouse gas inventory team and first to submit quantified mitigation measures for the NDC to the CCC.   Despite steps taken to fulfill the country’s commitments to sustainable development, Secretary Borje stressed that “the growing population, rapid urbanization, and worsening climate conditions require us to do more. More than build back better, we must Build Right at First Sight.”   This entails averting disasters, working smart, having adequate resources, and anchoring policies and programs on universally accessible climate science and technology.   “We need to be transformative as we transition the transport sector to low carbon development. We need to forge partnerships, unlock access to finance and technology, and operate in a whole-of-nation approach towards an effective and transformative low carbon transport sector - a transformation that would benefit everyone,” Secretary Borje said.   On the other hand, then DOTR Secretary Arthur Tugade underscored the need to ensure that no one will be left behind in the transformation of the transportation sector.   “We would like to move forward with a common vision of equitable access of transport across all income groups, genders, and abilities to ensure that no Filipino shall be left behind. This forum has been organized in partnership with the Climate Change Commission to celebrate the success that we had and to start our conversation on how to further mainstream climate-responsive and low-carbon ways in the transport sector,” said former Secretary Tugade.   The forum featured panel discussions on low-carbon transportation from various sectors, including the academe, Dr. Jose Bienvenido Biona of De La Salle University; development partners, Mr. Jose Alfonso Maria Cua from UNDP Low Carbon Transport Project Team; private sector, Mr. Yuri Sarmiento from Electric Vehicle Expansion Enterprises, Inc. and the Federation of Electric Vehicle Operators, Inc; public transport operators and cooperatives, Mr. Leonardo Bautista from Pagunova Transport and Multi-purpose Service Cooperative; and transport sector civil society organizations, Mr. John Leo Algo from Aksyon Klima Pilipinas.   The event was held in anticipation of the National Disaster Resilience Month (NDRM) in July, which emphasizes the importance of collaboration in addressing the challenges of climate change and disaster risk reduction and management. This year’s NDRM theme, “Sambayanang Pilipino, Nagkakaisa tungo sa Katatagan at Maunlad na Kinabukasan” highlights the unifying efforts of all sectors and communities towards sustainable development.   This forum supports the Philippine Government’s inclusive approach to policy development which includes avoidance, mobility efficiency, and low-carbon solutions as part of the transition of the transportation industry to a low carbon future.   Watch the replay of the Climate and Investment Forum through this link:

‘Harnessing science and humanware towards more resilient PH’: CCC, UPLB-SESAM to collaborate on case studies, technical reports
July 13, 2022 Wednesday

LAGUNA, 13 July 2022 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the University of the Philippines Los Baños - School of Environmental Science and Management (UPLB-SESAM) have committed to collaborate on harnessing science and humanware in climate policies and recommendations toward climate resilience.   CCC Secretary Robert E.A. Borje and UPLB-SESAM Dean Dr. Rico C. Ancog formalized the partnership through a Letter of Commitment (LOC) highlighting the importance of analytics- and science-based approaches in formulating climate policies.   In his message, Secretary Borje emphasized that addressing climate crisis is an “intergenerational responsibility”, and that the academe and educators have a critical role to play in developing human and community capacities for climate change and sustainable development.   Citing the local experience and expertise that can be tapped and “moved forward” to the next generation, Secretary Borje said, “We our doing our part. We're harnessing not just the hardware, not just the software, but what we call humanware,” said Secretary Borje.   Stressing the need for specialized training on the sciences to increase the Philippines’ resiliency and development capacities, Secretary Borje recognized the UPLB-SESAM for its interdisciplinary academic programs that will address “humanware” requirements for Philippine climate resiliency.   Secretary Borje also lauded the availability of UPLB-SESAM’s extension programs and support to government agencies like the Climate Change Commission formalized now through the LOC.   The CCC is embarking on strengthening partnerships with stakeholders such as the academic and scientific community to bolster science- and evidence-based policies and recommendations while maximizing and optimizing domestic resources.   The Commitment between CCC and UPLB-SESAM is in line with the ongoing case study on local climate risk profiling of vulnerable communities, to assist in the identification of adaptation and mitigation initiatives anchored on site-specific risks and vulnerabilities.   Also present during the LOC signing were Dr. Patricia Ann J. Sanchez, and UPLB Professors, Dr. Maria Victoria O. Espaldon and Dr. Evaristo T. Cando. 

Responsible PH seeks broader, results-oriented partnerships for stronger national climate resiliency
July 06, 2022 Wednesday

MANILA, 6 July 2022 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) is set to meet bilateral and multilateral development partners to push for broader, results-oriented collaboration for stronger Philippine climate change resiliency.   CCC will convene ‘Strengthening Partnerships for Climate-Resilient Philippines’ on 7 July 2022 to take stock of existing climate change partnerships and determine ways to optimise international partnerships for a more climate-resilient Philippines.   “This will be the first meeting with Philippine development partners since the inauguration of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. who made clear his guidance regarding national responsibility and international engagement in order to address the challenges of climate change,” said Secretary Robert E.A. Borje of the Climate Change Commission.   “President Marcos has  recognized the principle of “Common But Differentiated Responsibilities” of States and, while stating that the Philippines is a responsible member of the international community, stresses that it’s the responsibility of States responsible for climate change to do more,” said Secretary Borje.   “This is climate justice in no uncertain terms. It’s a principled position because, as President Marcos said, the Philippines has a relatively small carbon footprint but we bear the impact of climate change. The CCC will be guided by President Marcos’ guidance and vision of building a more climate-resilient Philippines through stronger international partnerships,” he added.   CCC Secretary Borje will lead the meeting highlighting the importance of building and fostering multilateral and bilateral partnerships for climate resilience.   He will be joined by Finland’s Ambassador Juha Marku Pyykkö.   Representatives from the embassies of Canada, Denmark, the European Union, France, Germany, Republic of Korea, the Kingdom of Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America will also be present.   The Agence Française de Développement (AFD), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), NDC Partnership, United Nations Development Programme Philippines (UNDP), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), United States Agency for International Development Philippines (USAID), and the World Bank are also sending representatives, to share  the status and progress on their climate change initiatives in the Philippines.   Currently, the Philippines has ongoing partnerships with GGGI for the ‘Climate-Resilient and Inclusive Green Growth’, and IOM for ‘Accelerating Implementation in the Agricultural Value Chain in Oriental Mindoro’, both in the form of technical assistance amounting to US $519,094.   “We are hopeful that the meeting will provide fresh impetus to collaborative climate change efforts aimed at delivering results,” said Secretary Borje.   As the lead policy-making body of the government on climate change, the Commission recognizes the importance of coordinating and synchronizing climate change programs with national government agencies and other stakeholders, such as foreign embassies and development partners.