22 January 2020 - The Climate Change Commission successfully conducted its relief mission in Taysan, Batangas which housed families from several municipalities of Batangas displaced by the eruption of Taal Volcano. The relief mission was able to reach 72 families from Barangay Pinagbayanan, 96 families from Barangay Mabayabas, and 16 families from Barangay Bilogo, in Taysan. These evacuees came from the municipalities of Taal, Laurel, Lemery and Agoncillo, Batangas This relief mission was made in coordination with Hon. Larry Biso, Federation President of Barangay Councilors in Taysan.
JANUARY 14, 2020 - At the Low Carbon Transport Forum organized by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-Philippines on January 7, 2020, Climate Change Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera said that incorporating climate smart and low carbon perspectives in the national and local transportation plans is vital in our efforts to avoid increasing the levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which has caused the climate crisis. Commissioner Herrera added that the GHG emissions in our transport sector is projected to also significantly increase due to our country’s continually high population growth and economic expansion. “Based on the latest GHG investory, the transport sector remains the third largest contributor of our country’s GHG emissions, next to the energy and agriculture sectors. The most significant contributor of GHGs in transport is the road sector. Although utility vehicles and trucks constitute a minority of the projected vehicle fleet, their average usage is high, resulting in an outsized share of vehicle activity,” Herrera explained. Herrera expressed appreciation to the local governments of Baguio, Sta. Rosa, and Iloilo for their commitment to improve the quality of life of their constituents by shifting towards a climate-friendly and sustainable transport system. She also supported clean transport initiatives, such as the e-Sakay and Star8, whose operations are beginning to generate profit. Herrera was also grateful for the Climate Change Commission’s partnership with the DOTr, there represented by Undersecretary Mark Richmund De Leon, noting that the department has set the bar for being the first to propose climate actions and submit contributions for our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to help achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement of limiting global temperature rise to well below two degrees and even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Herrera mentioned that these actions include the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization (PUVM) Program; Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) Program; Rail Projects under the Build-Build-Build (BBB) Program; and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Projects—all of which are “unconditional commitments” and will not be dependent on foreign support and are expected to result in the avoidance of 10.71 million tons of CO2 of emissions by 2040. With the recent devastation of Typhoon Ursula in the Visayas region, flooding and landslides in Indonesia, and bushfires in Australia, Commissioner Herrera stressed the urgency for real leadership on climate action. “With the climate crisis in full swing, Earth has seemingly reached a tipping point. We could only hope that these tragic events would be the final push for governments and decision-makers across the globe to respond and act with a greater sense of urgency to transition from fossil fuel-based towards low carbon systems and economies,” said Herrera concluded.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES 17 December 2019 — Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda calls for bolder climate action amid disappointing outcome of the 25th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). COP 25 failed to conclude key matters and adopt critical decisions on financing for developing countries, loss and damage, and the rules on carbon markets. “We are disappointed with the general outcome of COP25. Delaying actions on relevant issues on climate will drive higher risks to vulnerable countries like the Philippines. Based on the outcomes of the summit, it appears that most of the developed nations do not see the urgency of taking action now to keep to the 1.5 degrees target of the Paris Agreement,” said Deputy Speaker Legarda, Head of the Philippine Delegation to COP 25. However, the Philippine Delegation sees a silver lining to the outcome having asserted the rights of developing countries to development in terms of emissions avoidance and access to long-term climate finance. “Emissions avoidance is now a serious option for climate change mitigation strategy instead of just the constraining emissions reduction. As guaranteed under the Convention and the Paris Agreement, developing countries can pursue economic development and poverty eradication with whatever energy supply means at their disposal,” Legarda said. “Moreover, we were able to champion the continued consideration of the long-term finance needs of developing countries. Long-term finance deliberations must be given a new lease on life and should not stop until the urgent needs of developing countries like the Philippines in addressing climate change impacts are secured,” she added. The Philippines, despite contributing only 0.3% – one-third of one percent – to the total global carbon emissions, has been a vocal champion for the most vulnerable countries and played an important role in the global climate arena. It will be recalled that the Climate Vulnerable Forum under the Philippine chairmanship advocated strongly for the 1.5C climate ambition to define and drive the global climate action, a stand embodied in the Manila Paris Declaration adopted in November 2015, by more than 40 developing nations then, at the resumption of negotiations at the COP21 in December 2015 in Paris. The Philippines was also able to successfully table overarching provisions that ensure climate justice and ecosystems integrity in addressing climate change including the recognition of loss and damage as a separate area of global priority from adaptation, scaled-up financial resources aiming for a balance between adaptation and mitigation, and advocated for adaptation finance to solely be in the form of grants, and not loans. “The Philippines has done so much. It is only expected for the developed world to take decisive and bold actions in cutting emissions, delivering on climate finance, and upholding climate justice”, Legarda said. With greater hope, the Philippines will continue to strengthen its stand and policy advocacy on the pursuit of the 1.5C threshold, and will work with the COP26 presidency and the CVF member Parties to address the unresolved issues of COP25.
MADRID, Spain 13 December 2019— Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda presented the Philippines’ expectations and priorities for next year’s 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will be hosted by the Government of the United Kingdom in Glasgow, Scotland, in partnership with the Government of Italy. During the Panel Discussion on ASEAN Priorities for COP26, held on December 12 at the sidelines of COP25 in Madrid, Legarda said that next year’s climate talks will be a defining moment in our history because it will be the start of the full implementation of the Paris Agreement, as Parties strive to finalize the Paris rulebook this year. She added that the period from COP25 to COP26 will also be just as crucial, as countries are given until March next year to submit their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which should reflect scaled up commitments in order to achieve the prescribed climate goals of the Paris Agreement. “By that time, we can already gauge if our NDCs are on the pathway to limit global temperature rise to two degrees or even further to 1.5 degrees. The outcome will certainly set the tone for COP26. We therefore hope that whatever residual issues here in COP25 will be immediately addressed, to allow Parties to focus on putting forward ambitious NDCs,” said Legarda, who serves as Head of the Philippine Delegation in COP25. Legarda said that the issue of clarity and predictability for the Means of Implementation—climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building—will be a major concern, and that the Philippines expects the UK COP Presidency to facilitate progress on long-term finance, as well as support efforts to address loss and damage. Legarda also stated that the Philippines is open to a market-driven approach to greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation, but also expressed that the struggle of developing countries to survive the impacts of climate change by putting in place “anticipatory adaptation” systems must be respected. Legarda also hoped that the UK COP Presidency will amplify and support the agenda in the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group, as well as the establishment of a transparent and technology aided global platform that can keep track of the generation, movement, and use of certified emission reduction credits (CERs). Legarda also suggested that Philippines be included in the “Friends of the Chair” group that will help the UK COP Presidency in the preparations leading up to COP26. “We hope that developing countries, such as the Philippines, will have more opportunities to have meaningful engagement with the Convention, such as in the decision-making processes of the COP. This is in line with the principle of climate justice—a principle we championed since the beginning and which we hope the UK COP Presidency will also uphold in COP26,” Legarda concluded. Legarda joined the panel together with Dr. John Murton, UK Special Envoy COP26; Mr. Pham Van Tan, Deputy Director-General of Vietnam’s Department of Climate Change; Dr. Stefanos Fotiou, Director of the Environment and Development Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP); Min. Plen. Tosca Barucco, Italian Special Envoy for COP 26; and Dr. Ruandha Agung Sugardiman, Indonesia’s Director-General of Climate Change. Legarda is a UNEP Laureate, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, and Member of the Governing Board of the Green Climate Fund. --- The public is invited to monitor events of COP25 and of Deputy Speaker Legarda through the following channels: Website – lorenlegarda.com.ph Facebook – facebook.com/conglorenlegarda Twitter – twitter.com/loren_legarda Instagram – instagram.com/iamlorenlegarda
MADRID, Spain 13 December 2019 – Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda had a bilateral meeting with Ms. Claire O’Neill, President-designate to the 26th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to discuss Philippine expectations and priorities for next year’s climate talks. Legarda, Head of the Philippine Delegation to COP25, congratulated and expressed support to O’Neill and the Government of the United Kingdom as they prepare to host the “critical” COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, in partnership with the Government of Italy. Legarda conveyed to O’Neill the importance of meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement by urging developed nations to make drastic cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to scale up ambition in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). “The Philippines, as a victim country in this climate crisis, expects the UK COP26 Presidency to urge developed nations to make more drastic cuts in their emissions to meet the 1.5-degree climate goal of the Paris Agreement. Otherwise, global warming will reach three degrees Celsius and that is unacceptable for us highly vulnerable countries,” Legarda said. “This means that the top emitters must have the largest cuts, but also provide the means for climate finance, technologies, and capacity building in order for us to build resilience against climate impacts. The UK should help champion all of these, Legarda added Legarda welcomed the UK Government’s doubling of its climate financing to 12 billion pounds and in making all their official development assistance (ODA) compliant with the Paris Agreement, but also stressed that it is equally important to double the cuts in GHG emissions. Noting that the top banks have not declared any explicit support for climate finance, Legarda said that the UK could play a role in pressuring financial institutions to make coal an unattractive proposition. O’Neill said that the slogan they use in UK is “Let’s make coal history.” She also mentioned the “Powering Past Coal Alliance” whose 96 members, composed of national and local governments, companies, and organizations, have taken a pledge to phase out coal. The Provincial Government of Negros Oriental government joined the alliance last year. O’Neill expressed that moving past coal will not be easy and will require large amounts of transitional funding and assurance of energy security, but also acknowledged that coal will become a huge stranded asset. Legarda also sought support for the UK COP26 Presidency to amplify the voice of the alliance of highly vulnerable countries called the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group. She also suggested working with the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) to help the UK make adaptation the centerpiece of COP26. Legarda expressed that the Philippines must take a more active role in the UK COP26 Presidency, noting the country’s climate leadership in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific and its expertise in adaptation and disaster risk resiliency. Both Legarda and O’Neill resolved to form the “Sisters in Climate” group in next year’s COP. Legarda is a UNEP Laureate, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, and Member of the Governing Board of the Green Climate Fund. --- The public is invited to monitor events of COP25 and of Deputy Speaker Legarda through the following channels: Website – lorenlegarda.com.ph Facebook – facebook.com/conglorenlegarda Twitter – twitter.com/loren_legarda Instagram – instagram.com/iamlorenlegarda
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