Climate Action: Transforming Climate Hope into Climate Action
 
Now more than ever, transforming climate hope into climate action shall be the tipping point in defining the future of the Filipino people. The Climate Change Commission (CCC) is at the forefront of this movement as the sole policy-making body of the government mandated to coordinate, monitor, and evaluate programs and action plans of the Philippines related to climate change. The National Strategic Framework on Climate Change serves as a blueprint in our shared aspirations to create a low-carbon development path for the Philippines through the synergy of climate change adaptation and mitigation. It also aggressively highlights the critical aspect of adaptation and mitigation principles, to be mainstreamed in all levels of governance alongside coordinating national efforts towards integrated ecosystem-based management which shall ultimately render sectors climate-resilient. 

Since its inception in 2009, the CCC has worked towards the fulfilment of its mandate through the creation of policies and the provision of services in accordance with the National Climate Change Action Plan. Following the principles of climate justice and stakeholders’ engagement, science-based climate action and gender empowerment, the CCC can propel the Philippines towards a sustainable future. 

The CCC spearheads the formulation of key policy instruments that would build the foundation for a climate-resilient Philippines. Many of these policy instruments require partnerships with relevant government agencies and have resulted in the release of joint memoranda that tackle issues on budget tagging, protecting the natural ecosystems, capacity building of LGUs and other agencies, and even support for climate science research.

At the national level, the CCC continues to monitor the progress of climate action, producing several documents such as the Monitoring and Evaluation Report and the National GHG Inventory. Furthermore, the CCC has improved its monitoring capabilities with the enhancement of the National Integrated Climate Change Database and Information Exchange System (NICCDIES). With this project in place, the CCC is in a better position to fulfil its mandate to monitor and track progress on climate actions.

The CCC also embarked on the strengthening of climate finance and investment system and services through the People’s Survival Fund, created under the Climate Change Act of 2009 as amended by RA 10174. This aims to provide LGUs and local communities with resources to enable implementation of climate change adaptation projects. Knowledge products in several media formats were translated in several languages to ease the process of accessing PSF for LGUs. As of 2018, there were six approved projects funded by the PSF.

In April 2016, the Philippine Green Jobs Act has been passed into law to scale up promotion of sustainable growth and decent job creation, while building resilience against impacts of climate change, by providing incentives to enterprises generating green jobs across all economic sectors. The CCC and the International Labour Organization have been collaborating on a joint policy development forum to promote convergence towards pursuing an environmentally sustainable economy and society that creates decent jobs and in ensuring a just transition for all as well as contribute to the updating of the Philippines’ Nationally Determined Contribution through a roundtable series on “Green Jobs and Just Transition to a Green Economy”.

However, the deep emission reductions envisioned in IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15) are not supported by commitments under the countries’ current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), thus the world could be off track in meeting the climate targets of the Paris Agreement. Global warming greater than 1.5°C will cause serious damaging impacts and even irreversible changes. Such impacts will require “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” (SR15).  Let us not be lulled into the false hope that the Philippines alone can prevent climate change by reducing our CO2 emission to the minimum or by not using a single drop of oil at all. At this point in time, climate change seems to be inevitable.  Hence, the CCC is pursuing significantly increased efforts towards disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA).