Press Releases
CCC Conducted Climate Impact Assessment, Health Services in Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya
To address the needs of the indigenous peoples (IPs) severely affected by the Supertyphoon Ompong in the provinces of Benguet and Nueva Vizcaya, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) in partnership with the Office of the Cabinet Secretary (OCS) and the Department of Health (DOH) conducted technical and humanitarian services for the IPs of Mount Pulag on 10-12 October 2018. CCC Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman led the mission. More than 600 IPs benefited in the joint service delivery in the municipalities of Bokod and Kabayan in Benguet, and Kayapa in Nueva Vizcaya - places severely scoured by landslides during the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong. Through series of assessments conducted with the help of several technical experts, Sec. De Guzman said that the local governments are expected to develop project proposals on their climate change adaptation and mitigation measures and apply for grant financing from the People’s Survival Fund. De Guzman said that this initiative will also enable the participating cities and towns from said provinces to review and enhance their local climate change action plans (LCCAPs) by adopting an ecosystems-based adaptation and mitigation (EbAM) planning network and complete their climate and disaster risk assessment (CDRA). Medical assistance in coordination with DOH Central and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) were also held to ensure that the IPs were provided with proper medication and treatment. Following the mission, in a meeting with Benguet Governor Crescenio C. Pacalso, Secretary De Guzman shared that the local governments of Benguet were able to identify and prioritize several adaptation measures which includes organic farming, bamboo propagation, planting and processing for generating livelihood and mitigating landslides, solid waste management, rainwater catchment and renewable energy for homes, and promoting indigenous knowledge and cultural heritage, among others.
October 12,2018 Friday
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CCC Pushes for Greater Resolve, Solidarity to Achieve 1.5°C Threshold
Manila, Philippines - The Climate Change Commission (CCC) urges for stricter and more efficient implementation of the Paris Agreement during its press briefing for policymakers and media on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C today. “The Summary for Policymakers of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) affirms the Philippines’ call for greater urgency and ambition in implementing the Paris Agreement,” said CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Emmanuel de Guzman on his welcoming remarks. This briefing, held in partnership with the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) is the first of a series that the CCC will conduct to sustain a common understanding on the 1.5 science and goal, and to effectively align science, policy and action at all levels. Through this briefing, de Guzman wishes to localize and provide a layperson’s viewpoint of the IPCC Special Report and employ massive public information, communication and education strategies so that Filipinos can adopt green lifestyles and respond to save vulnerable communities and the planet. The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) under Philippine chairmanship advocated strongly for the 1.5 climate ambition to define and drive the global climate action, as reflected in the Manila-Paris Declaration adopted in Manila and in Paris in November 2015, by more than 40 developing nations.   As this latest climate science informs national policy and global action, De Guzman emphasized that now is the time to uphold the integrity of our ecosystems, to protect local communities from the onslaught of extreme weather, and to secure sustainable food and water supply, and the health and safety of our homes and communities. “There is no more eloquent moment than now to declare that climate action in the context of climate justice is a moral imperative and that all must now work together, as brothers and sisters of one humanity, to build a common home and a common future that lets all survive and thrive,” De Guzman added. Rosa T. Perez, PhD, a member of the National Panel of Technical Experts (NPTE) of the Climate Change Commission and one of the Lead Authors of the IPCC Special Report, reiterated that “Climate change is already affecting people, ecosystems and livelihoods around world.” She continued that “clearly, half a degree matters, there are clear benefits in keeping warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius compared with 2 degrees Celsius or higher.” In the context of sustainable development, Dr. Perez added “limiting to a 1.5 degree Celsius can go hand in hand in the achievement of other world goals such as the Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development.” Limiting warming to a 1.5 degree Celsius is not impossible but very challenging as it requires “rapid and far-reaching” transition in land, energy, buildings, transport and cities. On the economic implications of the Special Report, Professor Toby Monsod, PhD, of the University of the Philippines School of Economics, said that “getting to a 1.5 degree Celsius is still technically and economically feasible under a variety of social and economic assumptions providing action begins very soon.” She added “there will be trade-offs but these (trade-offs) are context-specific. We, as a country, need to build on this and do our homework.” “Addressing climate change as a distinct objective is an opportunity to spur wider economic transformation. That climate change should not be paired with disaster risk reduction and management or subsumed under environmental sustainability, rather should be paired with development as a necessary condition to reduce poverty and achieve prosperity,” Professor Monsod added. Commissioner Rachel Herrera of the Climate Change Commission committed to communicate and organize briefings with the members of the cabinet and with the key committees of both Houses of Congress in the coming weeks. Said Special Report is the IPCC’s response to the governments’ appeal for the publication of a special report comprised of the impacts of global warming on natural and human systems, several climate change research, as well as the effects of global warming on sustainable development when they adopted the Paris Agreement in 2015. With more than 6,000 scientific references cited worldwide, said report was prepared and furnished by ninety-one authors and review editors from 40 countries.
October 09,2018 Tuesday
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CCC Holds 5th NPTE Forum: Reiterates Role of Science Towards Renewable Energy Development, Climate Change Resiliency
July 24, 2018. The Climate Change Commission (CCC) acknowledges the importance of science in leading efforts towards climate resilience and renewable energy policy development during the 5th National Panel of Technical Experts’ (NPTE) Forum on July 24 at the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU). With the theme “Renewable Energy and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation for Sustainable Development,” this NPTE forum aims to develop and provide deeper understanding on the significance of utilizing and investing more on renewable sources of energy to lower our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. First City Councilor Belen Acosta of the Davao City local government spoke in behalf of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte proudly remarked that the city strongly advocates renewable energy with corresponding policy legislation to help them create jobs and minimize the effects of climate change. Acosta also emphasized that environmental protection is a priority of the Davao City government as manifested in their “No Mining Policy” and the active functioning of their Watershed Management Council (WMC). CCC Commissioner Rachel Ann Herrera, on her opening remarks said that we are “aiming for affordable and clean energy as set by the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development and for sustainable energy being one of seven priorities under the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP).” Series of sessions and presentations were conducted during the forum led by NPTE members, Dr. Rosa Perez, and Mr. Leandro Buendia, on Climate Projection and Mitigation of Climate Change in the Philippines. Dr. Glenn Paraso served as the forum’s moderator. Climate Change Commissioner Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman echoed Senator Loren Legarda’s call for renewable energy as the author of the Climate Change Act and one of the authors of the Renewable Energy Act of the Philippines. De Guzman said that Legarda asked our policy implementors to observe closely enough the examples of other countries to begin to appreciate the rise of renewables in many countries around the world because it is what we need today, not just from a social and ecological standpoint, but also from an economic and sustainable policy development perspective. “Our country would be able to avoid future carbon emissions by pursuing low carbon development pathways with climate change adaptation and resilience building actions” de Guzman said. “Let me assure you that the CCC is committed to work in convergence with other government agencies in transforming energy sector with an increasing share of renewable energy to bring cleaner, greener, healthier, and more resilient future for the Filipino people,” de Guzman concluded. ###
July 24,2018 Tuesday
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CCC Reiterates Call to Ban Single-Use Plastics in Celebration of World Oceans Day
June 8, 2018. The Climate Change Commission (CCC) renewed its call to ban single-use plastics to halt the worsening state of our marine ecosystems in observance of the World Oceans Day.   “Preventing plastic pollution and encouraging solutions for a healthy ocean, which is the theme of this year’s Ocean Day, pictures the urgent need to end the excessive use of plastics,” CCC Vice Chairman and Executive Director Emmanuel De Guzman said. “Plastics found in our oceans is a clear manifestation of our throwaway culture that we developed over the years. We cannot continue to go business-as-usual as it heavily pollutes not only our waters, but also our air when burned,” de Guzman added. Philippines is recognized as one of the countries with rich marine ecosystems in the world but is also one of the major source of plastic trash contributing almost 3 million metric tons of plastic wastes and 500,000 metric tons of plastic waste leakage per year. "We have relied so much on our oceans for food, employment, energy and recreation for many years. Unfortunately, due to our abusive practices and lack of sense of responsibility, our waters are slowly dying and it is not impossible that marine habitats and life in the sea will soon become extinct," de Guzman said. Aside from our crisis with marine litter, we are also experiencing destruction of coral reefs and diminishing fish population because of the fast sea surface temperature rise and ocean aciditation. “It cannot be denied that climate change is existing. We have to do appropriate actions to address it and ending plastic pollution is one good way to start,” de Guzman emphasized. The health of our marine life is crucial to continuity of life, especially since the Philippines is among the top fish-producing countries in the world. Thus, de Guzman urged big corporations, the major contributor of microplastics, to step up and strictly regulate the production of plastics. “We certainly cannot do this alone. Aside from the advances made by different government agencies and other stakeholders, I would also like to call the attention of big companies here in the Philippines to come and join us in bringing our oceans back to its pristine state.” de Guzman said. “We fear that in no time, our oceans are carrying more plastics than fishes. We cannot see any more solution but to come together and implement necessary actions that will help us achieve our goal – bring back the health of our ocean, coral reefs, and the entire marine ecosystem for the benefit of the present and future generations,” de Guzman concluded. ###
June 08,2018 Friday
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CCC AND UNDP Launches Climate Change Data Portal and New Project in Support of the Paris Agreement
June 1, 2018. The Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the National Integrated Climate Change Database and Information Exchange System (NICCDIES) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Support Project for the Philippines (NSPP) last May 31 at Novotel in Quezon City. As access to climate change data becomes vital to multi-sectoral development planning, NICCDIES (http://www.niccdies.ph/) is designed to be a game-changing element in the collaboration process. It is a web-based, “one-stop-shop” information portal for climate change mitigation activities in key sectors of agriculture, waste, industry, transport, forestry and energy. NICCDIES is intended to consolidate climate change data both from the public and private sectors and other stakeholders, allowing for decision makers to access, distribute and exchange these data for use in policymaking, development planning, investment decision making. The portal is the fruition of LECB PHL’s accomplishments concentrating on three components which are capacity building for public sector, enhanced support programme with the private sector and development of the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Action Plan. “Thanks to LECB, we are better-equipped and share a collective resolve in pursuing a low-carbon and climate-resilient development pathway. Moving forward, we can mobilize finance and find innovative solutions for the benefit of our nation and future generations,” said CCC Sec. Emmanuel M. De Guzman. “The challenge at hand is to transform the NDCs into tangible actions that would lead to long term, zero-carbon and climate-resilient development—a development that responds to the needs of working class families and places them at the heart of the government’s climate agenda,” he explained. De Guzman said the NSPP will help the Philippines its contributions to the Paris Agreement. “This new work stream shall support the government in achieving the transformation and change we seek,’ he said “Keeping the global temperatures below 1.5 degrees celsius seems difficult but the consequences of not doing it is devastating. The Philippines may not be a major contributor but if you pool in the emissions from countries with smaller contributions it can make a fundamental difference in lowering the carbon debt and greenhouse emissions globally, especially if we have the private sector on board in achieving the NDC,” UNDP Country Director Titon Mitra said. Based on the UNDP global NDC Support Programme framework, the NSPP will also advance gender-responsive NDCs by strengthening and supporting leading roles of women in climate action. ###
June 01,2018 Friday
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CCC Urges Stricter Enforcement of Laws to Protect Biodiversity
May 22, 2018. In observance of this year’s International Biological Diversity (IBD) Day on May 22, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) called on national and local authorities to strictly implement laws for the conservation of Philippine biodiversity, such as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001 and the National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act of 1992. With the theme of “Celebrating 25 Years of Action for Biodiversity”, this year’s IBD Day coincides with the 25th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and highlights the progress made in the achievement of its objectives at the national and global levels. “As the inevitable impacts of climate change are becoming more and more intense, the need for adaptation measures through our laws and other initiatives has also become more urgent. The Philippines is a mega biodiverse country, with millions of Filipinos dependent on our rich natural resources. It is therefore an imperative for us to build the resilience of our biodiversity against climate and disaster impacts,” said Climate Change Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman. De Guzman also placed importance the value of convergence among various governance spheres at all levels and sectors in ensuring that our biodiversity, natural resources, ecosystems, and protected areas are sustainably developed and managed. De Guzman also supported the call of Senator Loren Legarda to implement Ecosystems-based Adaptation (EbA), which includes the sustainable management, conservation, and restoration ecosystems, in order to enhance the resilience of our biodiversity against the impacts of climate change. Among these EbA practices include the maintenance and/or restoration of mangroves and other coastal wetlands to reduce flooding and erosion; sustainable management of upland wetlands and floodplains for maintenance of water flow and quality; conservation and restoration of forests to stabilize land slopes and regulate water flows; establishment of diverse agroforestry systems to cope with increased risk from changed climatic conditions; and the conservation of agrobiodiversity to provide specific gene pools for crop and livestock adaptation to climate change.[1] “Let us consider the case of Boracay, which was once considered as one of the world’s most beautiful islands but has fallen under serious threat because of human degradation and climate change. With the strong resolve from our government, we are slowly rebuilding Boracay back to its pristine state. When our country succeeds in enforcing our laws and maximizing our action in protecting our environment and addressing climate change, we can be certain that the Philippines will remain a natural wonder in the years and generations to come,” De Guzman concluded. __________________ [1]Climate Change and Biodiversity. Convention of Biological Diversity. https://www.cbd.int/climate/intro.shtml
May 22,2018 Tuesday
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CCC: Transition to Green, Climate-Smart Economy Will Drive Green Jobs, Sustainable Growth Amidst Climate Change
May 18, 2018. The Climate Change Commission (CCC), in cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO) pushed for just transition to green and climate-smart economy during the first Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on the Development of the Green Jobs Act Assessment and Certification System and Guidelines, May 17 at the Aruga by Rockwell, Rockwell Center, Makati City. “In this era of climate change, it is important to pave way for low-carbon and green economic development with innovative and reformative practices, plans, and programs on climate change adaptation, mitigation, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable development,” highlighted Vice Chairperson and Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman in his opening speech. The multi-stakeholder consultation focused on the provision of broad perspectives of the Philippine Green Jobs Act of 2016 (RA 10771) as well as the incentives scheme for enterprises. Products and services standards that will be used to define which products can be considered green and conventional were also tackled during the meeting. RA 10771 provides a framework to identify, develop, certify, sustain, and incentivize “green jobs” to support the country. This law also promotes environmental sustainability and decent work by sharpening the country’s policy focus on promoting green jobs. Another important feature is the creation of an incentives system that will encourage business enterprises to generate and sustain more green jobs. ILO Director Khalid Hassan reiterated that “the message of the Green Jobs Act enables the country to address both environmental and climate change. We no longer have to choose between creating jobs and preserving the environment. Environmental sustainability can be pursued while creating decent jobs.” De Guzman highlighted the importance of integrating green jobs and just transition to the development of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) which the Philippines intends to submit to the UNFCCC within the year as in line with our ratification and joining of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Highlights of the meeting include the presentations on the Green Jobs Certification Process, Framework, and Green Jobs Content and Accounting. Sectoral workshop for Green products Standards and presentations were also held during the meeting. “We will constantly support convergence meetings such as this so we could all work together, pool our resources, knowledge and expertise, for a safer, more secure and sustainable future for the Filipino people,” de Guzman added. This multi-stakeholder consultative meeting was participated by several government agencies, business and development partners and members of the academe. The sectoral consultative meeting is set to happen on May 23-25.
May 18,2018 Friday
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PH in Talanoa Dialogue: Climate Justice Is Reducing Emissions Now While Leaving No One Behind
May 8, 2018. The spirit of climate justice enshrined in the Paris Climate Change Agreement calls for the international community to urgently pursue the low-carbon development pathway while leaving no one behind. This was the key message of the Philippines in the Talanoa Dialogue for Climate Ambition[i] Group Discussions organized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat last May 6, 2018. Senator Loren Legarda, Head of the Philippine Delegation to the 48th Session of the Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC convening in Bonn, Germany, stressed the need for big industrialized developed nations to drastically reduce their fossil fuel consumption. “The most important thing is to institutionalize local climate action or resilience. The way forward is to make sure that the big industrialized developed nations, would actually walk their talk,” Legarda said. The Senator also renewed the commitment of the Philippines to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent as stated in its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC). “We believe that mitigation is a function of adaptation. That is why, even if the Philippines is not a major emitter of GHG, with only 0.3 percent share in global emissions, we vow to remain committed to a conditional 70 percent INDC, which we will translate into our NDC, underpinned by the assurance that support for its materialization is guaranteed under the Paris Agreement,” Legarda explained. Climate Change Commissioner Rachel Herrera, meanwhile, emphasized the need for industrialized countries to assist developing and vulnerable nations in transitioning to a low-carbon economy and in building community resilience. “We must be enabled with the capacity, the technology and the means of the implementations to mitigate and to adapt, not because we have a mindset of dependency but because we recognize that doing so cannot be done successfully with using only domestic resources,” Herrera said. "Collective global efforts are very important along with individual country actions and this is the concept of Climate Justice that we have said in Paris. We say “now” and to “leave no one behind,” she added. Legarda and Herrera alternately represented the Philippines in the Talanoa Dialogue, a year-long facilitative dialogue officially adopted by the Conference of Parties (COP) to take stock of collective efforts in relation to progress towards the long-term global climate goal and to inform the preparation of nationally determined contributions.[ii] Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji and across the Pacific to reflect a process of inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue. The purpose of Talanoa is to share stories, build empathy and to make wise decisions for the collective good. The process of Talanoa involves the sharing of ideas, skills and experience through storytelling. Seven Talanoa groups were set up last May 6 as part of the preparatory phase of the Dialogue. The Philippines is under Talanoa Group Lakeba (Lah-kem-bah). The group discussions will be summarized along with the totality of submissions and inputs received throughout the year. This summary will lead to a Synthesis Report which will inform the political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue which will take place at COP24 in Katowice, Poland in December 2018. ###
May 08,2018 Tuesday
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CCC: Transformational Shift Needed to Mainstream Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EBA)
May 7, 2018. The Climate Change Commission (CCC), as represented by Senior Technical Adviser Joyceline A. Goco, highlighted the importance of ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) in conserving and managing ecosystems to help people adapt to climate change and expressed that a transformational shift in our policy and decisionmakers’ mindset is needed to successfully mainstream EbA, not only in policy but also in practice. Goco made the statement during her presentation “10 Years of IKI in the Philippines: Bridging Theory, Policy, and Practice of Nature-based Solutions to Adaptation,” at the 10th Anniversary of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) held at the sidelines of the 48th Session of the Subsidiary Bodies of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on May 5 in Bonn, Germany. “EbA in the Philippines builds from a long history of community-based approaches to natural resources management in the country. The support we received from IKI and other development partners enabled us to mainstream EbA solutions into national policies, development processes, and major climate actions,” Goco said. Among these policies, processes, and climate actions Goco mentioned included: the National Research and Development Agenda on Climate Change; Results-based Monitoring and Evaluation System of the National Climate Change Action Plan and the Climate Change Expenditure Tagging (CCET); Enhancement of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) Guidebooks; National Climate Change Mitigation Framework Strategy (NCCMFS); and the preparation of the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). Goco noted that the valuation of ecosystem services is instrumental to help “visualize” trade-offs and provide evidence for EbA that is tangible, visible, and relatable. She added that developing tools that address context-specific requirements and building in-country expertise is key to getting political buy-in of EbA both at the national and local levels. “While climate change projections are available, impact models and assessments are still very limited—except in isolated, pilot cases—which could be addressed by policy and decision-makers through specific interventions and measures,” Goco said. Goco emphasized that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is a key agency in mainstreaming EbA at the national level. She mentioned that the global learning and knowledge exchange platform facilitated by the IKI-supported EbA Global Community of Practice helped the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in articulating their Ecological and Environmental Stability (EES) strategy in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP). She also noted that, in 2016, the DENR issued a Memorandum Order for bureaus and services, from national to sub-national down to the community level, to integrate EbA in all programs, projects and activities—as an articulation of the department’s contributions to the implementation of the Philippine INDC in relation to the Paris Agreement. For Goco, while EbA is an acknowledged approach to adaptation to climate change, the Philippines still has a long way to go in bridging the fast-evolving science, policy, and practice. “The Philippines is well positioned for mainstreaming EbA in theory and policy, but prevailing practice shows otherwise. Measures focusing on resilience building through enhancing capacity of social and ecological systems, policy and governance, and research and development still receive smaller portions of the government budget,” Goco explained. In closing, Goco expressed appreciation to BMUB IKI’s diverse support in the country, covering policy advisory, capacity development, developing tools and methodologies, and testing solutions at the national and sub-national levels, all of which “enable the country to innovate on the approach for climate-resilient ecosystems and communities in the Philippines.”
May 07,2018 Monday
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CCC, PH Delegates Attend 48th Session of UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies
May 6, 2018. The Climate Change Commission (CCC), as represented by Commissioner Rachel Herrera, joins the Philippine Delegation to the 48th Session of the Subsidiary Bodies of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) convening in Bonn, Germany. Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, Foreign Relations, and Finance, serves as the Head of the Philippine Delegation, which is composed of government representatives from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), and the Special Committee on Climate Change of the House of Representatives. Civil society representatives include Renato Redentor Constantino and Sara Jane Ahmed of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities. “This is an opportunity for all nations to prepare for the upcoming discussions in COP24 in Poland this December, where the aim is to come up with the ‘rulebook’ to operationalize the Paris Agreement. Thus, 2018 is going to be a big year for the climate agreement. The Philippines will certainly remain to be aggressive in advancing our country’s interests and will continue to carry and champion the voice of the climate vulnerable in the negotiations,” Herrera said. On April 30 and May 1, the CCC attended the opening plenaries and meetings of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA), as well as the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA). A training workshop on the use of economic modeling tools was attended by NEDA, while the DENR participated in the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) workshop on ways to enhance the implementation of education, training, public awareness, public participation, and public access to information. On May 2, Commissioner Herrera delivered the Philippine interventions on risk assessment in the Suva Expert Dialogue, which explored ways for securing expertise and enhancing support (including finance, technology and capacity-building) for averting, minimizing, and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, including extreme weather events and slow onset events. On May 3, the CCC attended the 7th Durban Forum on Capacity Building, which had an overarching topic of “Enhancing Capacities for the Implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions in the context of the Paris Agreement.” Ms. Yamide Dagnet, Senior Associate of the World Resources Institute (WRI), delivered the keynote presentation and highlighted the capacity building support provided to developing countries in at least 42 NDC-related initiatives. On May 4, the CCC attended the Meeting of the Paris Committee on Capacity Building (PCCB), which focused on addressing current and emerging gaps and needs in implementing capacity-building efforts in developing countries. In the Policy Dinner: New Ground to Step Up on the Path to 1.5°C, Herrera shared strategies and discussed concrete steps for how the international climate policy community can close the gap to 1.5°C. On May 5, Commissioner Herrera took part in the “Gender Dialogue: Constituted Bodies and the Integration of Gender Considerations,” which discussed gender considerations and perspectives that could be integrated to enable informed reporting on the progress towards the goals set by Parties of gender balance and gender-responsive climate policy. Citing incidents during Typhoon Yolanda, Herrera shared that sub-national agencies should be able to cater to the needs of women in times of disasters. She also supported the suggestion of Ms. Timaima Vakadewabuka, senior member of the Fijian delegation, for countries to nominate a National Gender Focal Point (NGFP) in order to sustain the momentum of a country’s Gender Action Plan (GAP). At the 10th Anniversary of the BMU’s International Climate Initiative (IKI), Legarda delivered a speech at a high level panel to discuss the theme “IKI in the Years to Come,” alongside Ingrid-Gabriela Hoven, Director-General for Global Issues-Sector Policies and Programmes of the German BMZ; Prof. Dirk Messner, Director of the German Development Institute; and Ms. Sonia Medina, Executive Director of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. The CCC also delivered a presentation on the Philippine experience on implementing IKI projects. On May 6, Legarda represented the Philippines as participant in the Talanoa[1] Dialogue, consisting of about 35 participants (comprising of 30 Party representatives and 5 non-Party stakeholder representatives), which will work in parallel to address three questions: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How will we get there? In her statement, Legarda expressed that, “the way forward is to make sure that the big industrialized developed nations—while some have committed to veering away from coal—would actually walk their talk.” On May 7 and 8, the CCC will participate in the Long-Term Climate Finance (LTF) Workshop, which will facilitate technical and action-oriented discussions on scaling up climate finance for mitigation and adaptation, with focus on country experiences and learning. At the event “We are Stepping Up Climate Ambition” convened by the Climate Action Network, Legarda will be representing the Philippines to discuss climate ambition and deliver strong statements on enhancing ambition and revising NDCs by 2020. She will also represent the global alliance Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). On May 9, the Technical Expert Meeting – Adaptation (TEM-A) shall take place, which will focus on the topic “Adaptation Planning for Vulnerable Groups, Communities, and Ecosystems.” At the closing of the Presidency Event on the Talanoa Dialogue, both the Fijian and Polish Presidencies will share general reflections about the process and provide next steps leading up to COP24 in Poland. Parties and non-Party stakeholders will also be invited to share their views moving forward. The closing plenaries shall be held on May 10. “The Philippines welcomes the positive spirit of solidarity and cooperation fostered in this climate conference. We hope that our main objective of operationalizing the mechanisms on climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building for developing nations would be achieved in the coming days,” Herrera concluded. ### [1] Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji and across the Pacific to reflect a process of inclusive, participatory, and transparent dialogue.
May 06,2018 Sunday
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Filipino Scientists Among Experts Selected to Author IPCCC Sixth Assessment Report
April 30, 2018. Filipino scientists and members of the Climate Change Commission’s National Panel of Technical Experts (CCC-NPTE) are set to contribute to one of the most important global reports on climate change to be published in 2022.  Dr. Rodel Lasco, Dr. Rosa Perez, and Dr. John Pulhin are among the 721 experts representing 90 countries invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to serve as coordinating lead authors and review editors for its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The IPCC is the foremost intergovernmental body established to assess the science related to climate change. As key input into international climate negotiations, IPCC assessment reports provide governments with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. The conclusions of the AR6 cycle will be available in time for the Paris Agreement’s first Global Stocktake, a periodic review of collective progress towards achieving the agreement’s long-term goal of limiting global temperature rise at 1.5° C above pre-industrial temperature levels—the global warming threshold for vulnerable countries like the Philippines to survive and thrive. CCC Vice Chairperson and Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman lauded the NPTE members for being selected from a total of 2858 nominated experts representing 105 countries. “The designation of our NPTE members as lead IPCC authors will provide the report with a much-needed perspective from vulnerable countries like the Philippines,” De Guzman said. “The IPCC has always hoped that more scientists from developing countries and more women scientists will be nominated and invited as IPCC authors to achieve more diversity," he added. According to the IPCC, 44 percent of the selected authors for AR6 represent developing countries and countries with economies in transition and 33 percent are women. “This is not the first time for Filipino climate experts to lend their expertise to IPCC publications. Our three AR6 authors, together with NPTE members Dr. Felino Lansigan and Ms. Lourdes Tibig, have contributed to the previous IPCC assessment report,” De Guzman shared. Following their selection, AR6 authors are now set to review the existing scientific literature and prepare drafts based on the outlines of the Working Group contributions agreed upon by the IPCC during its 46th session in Montreal in September 2017. The IPCC has three working groups: Working Group I, dealing with the physical science basis of climate change; Working Group II, dealing with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability; and Working Group III, dealing with the mitigation of climate change. Lasco will be the coordinating lead author of the Working Group II’s Chapter 2, which will focus on food, fibre, and other ecosystem products. Perez and Pulhin, on the other hand, will be the lead authors of Working Group II’s Chapters 10 (Asia) and 18 (Climate Resilient Development Pathways), respectively.
April 30,2018 Monday
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CCC Urges ASEAN Experts to Bridge the Gap Between Policy and Climate Action
April 28, 2018. Representing the Climate Change Commission (CCC) at the Closing Ceremony of the Second Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Science Diplomats Assembly held at the Ritz Hotel in Davao City yesterday, Commissioner Rachel Anne Herrera urged experts to enhance government and public engagement in the context of greater and more ambitious climate action. The Science Diplomats Assembly aims to build collaboration and partnership among ASEAN scientists and engineers to address the impacts and risks of climate change in the region. This year, 19 representatives from seven ASEAN states qualified to participate in the five-day capacity building workshop on communicating scientific or technical information in a variety of public and professional interactions, which includes writing grant proposals, discussing ideas with students, or participating in media interviews and public fora or seminars. In her speech, Herrera congratulated the second batch of ASEAN Science Diplomats[i], who were chosen for their exceptional track record in research for climate change, food security, water sufficiency, and sustainable energy. “As scientists, your work is vital in determining climate change scenarios, but equally critical if used to help our people find ways to adapt to the worst impacts,” she said as she encouraged the delegates to reach out and communicate to their respective government officials and leaders the urgency of climate action. Environmental and Climate Research Institute (ECCRI) Executive Director Glenn Banaguas, Chair of the ASEAN Science Diplomats Assembly, echoed Herrera’s message, reiterating the need for scientists and engineers to communicate scientific data and projections to the masses. Aside from the 19 ASEAN science diplomats, special recognition were given to Marawi State University Prof. Madid A. Sheik, Engr. Abu Ammar Mama Mangoranga, and Prof. Warlito M. Sanguila for their exceptional contribution to the scientific community in Mindanao. Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Planning and Policy Director Reyzaldy Tan reminded all the awardees of the shared responsibility and accountability of the government and the scientific community in safeguarding communities against the impacts of climate change. Tan also commended the project development skills of the awardees for coming up with sound project proposals on food security, water efficiency, and energy efficiency during the assembly’s collaborative proposal grant writing session. “Young scientists are catalysts of technology for a climate–smart ASEAN. We hope to see the results of the project proposals,” he noted. The Second ASEAN Science Diplomats Assembly was organized by the ECCRI, in partnership with MinDA and the Harvard Kennedy School Alumni Association of the Philippines. See https://eccri.ph/ for the full list of the 2018 Outstanding ASEAN Science Diplomats
April 28,2018 Saturday
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CCC Joins Call to End Plastic Pollution, Marks PH First Anniversary of Being Party to the Paris Agreement
April 22, 2018. In celebration of Earth Day 2018 and the first anniversary of the Paris Agreement taking effect in the Philippines, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) joined calls to end plastic pollution. The Philippines became the 138th state party to the Paris Climate Accord on April 22, 2017—thirty days after the Philippine Mission to the United Nations deposited the country’s Instrument of Accession on March 23, 2017. “Joining the global call to end plastic pollution, which is the theme for this year’s Earth Day Celebration, shows our commitment to the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global temperature to 1.5-degrees Celsius,” CCC Vice Chairperson and Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman said. “Plastics do not only affect biodiversity, ecosystem services, food security and human health, they also exacerbate climate change,” he added. According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, the drilling of oil and processing into plastic releases harmful gas emissions into the environment including carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, ozone, benzene, and methane, a greenhouse gas that causes a greater warming effect than carbon dioxide. The US Environment Protection Agency estimates as much as one ounce of carbon dioxide emitted for each ounce of polyethylene (PET) produced. PET is the type of plastic most commonly used for beverage bottles. “Ending plastic pollution is climate action. This is why the Climate Change Commission supports the proposed Plastic Bags Regulation Act, which is currently pending at the Senate,” De Guzman said. The proposed measure, which was filed by Senator Loren Legarda, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, aims to strictly regulate the production, importation, sale and use of plastic bags. Under the bill, a point-of-sale store will be prohibited from providing the consumer with plastic bags for the purpose of carrying or transporting items or products purchased. Only plastic bags that are used to contain fresh fish, meat and poultry products, and primary plastic packaging used to pre-pack food items and in the manufacturing of finished products for sale in the general market are excluded from the prohibitions under the bill. “The true test of our country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement will be in the implementation of the necessary measures that will help us achieve the global climate goal,” De Guzman noted. “Enacting the Plastic Bags Regulation Act will be a testament to the Philippines’ resolve to protect the environment while mitigating the effects of climate change,” he added. ###
April 22,2018 Sunday
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CCC: Climate Vulnerable Forum, Vulnerable Twenty in Day 4 of WB-IMF Spring Meetings
April 22, 2018. In Day 4 of the Spring Meetings hosted by the World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, D.C., members of the Philippine Delegation discussed with the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Troika Leadership the way forward in advancing the global alliance’s work program for vulnerable countries leading to the upcoming 24th Conference of Parties (COP24) to be held in Poland in December of this year. The CVF Troika Leadership is composed of the Philippines, being the former chair of the CVF for 19 months since January 2015; Ethiopia, as current chair until August 2018, represented in the meeting by Environment Minister Gemedo Dalle; and Marshall Islands, as incoming chair, represented by Environment Minister David Paul. Climate Change Commissioner Rachel Herrera represented the Philippines, together with Senator Loren Legarda and Finance Undersecretary Gil Beltran. “We highly value our participation in the CVF because we share with the countries that comprise the CVF the same goals and aspirations for greater and more ambitious global climate action,” Herrera said. “As led by the Philippines in 2015, the CVF, during the Paris Agreement negotiations, was victorious in further bringing down the climate goal to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The CVF had eventually become a strong moral force in climate talks, as they continue to champion and voice out the rights of highly vulnerable countries,” Herrera added. Aside from sustaining the global advocacy and action on climate change, the CVF Troika Leadership and the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) discussed further unlocking vulnerable countries' direct access to climate finance mechanisms. Herrera noted that the V20 consists 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.” “We cannot truly say that we are successful in our climate advocacy until there is actual climate financing and technical assistance in order for our climate vulnerable countries to be resilient against climate impacts,” Herrera said. “The CVF and V20 are two important channels for us to communicate and inspire the rest of the world to address climate change in a systematic and urgent manner. We need to sustain this voice in future climate talks in order to secure a better future for the world and humanity,” Herrera concluded. The CVF-V20 meeting is the last participation of the CCC in the WB-IMF Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C. ###
April 22,2018 Sunday
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CCC: Gender, Blue Economy, Carbon Pricing, and DRR in Day 2 of WB-IMF Spring Meetings
April 21, 2018. On the second day of the Spring Meetings hosted by the World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Wasington, D.C., the Climate Change Commission (CCC) participated in a series of meetings that focused on gender, “blue economy,” carbon pricing, and disaster risk management. Climate Change Commission Rachel Herrera represented the CCC in the meetings, together with Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno serving as Head of Delegation and Senator Loren Legarda as Alternate Head of the Philippine Delegation, as well as other members of the Philippine Delegation. “Our meetings for today focused on topics and issues that the Commission is very much concerned about. Climate change factors in all of these discussions, and therefore we could lead the conversation and learn from the experiences of other countries,” Herrera said. The day started with the IMF Gender Coffee Chat: “Advocating for Women Empowerment: Voices from the Field,” with Senator Loren Legarda, as a panelist, discussing Philippine efforts to close the gender gap through landmark laws, such as the Magna Carta for Women, Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, Domestic Workers Act, Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and Community Livelihood and Skills Training Act. Herrera expressed that there is greater burden on women because of societal and cultural responsibilities and that there is unequal involvement in decision-making processes that hampers women participation in climate-related planning and implementation. She also mentioned that while women are more vulnerable than men in the context of climate change, women also do play a critical role in spurring and sustaining climate action. This was followed by another high-level event, “Towards a Blue Economy: Concrete Actions for Addressing the Ocean Health,” which explored challenges and actions being done by countries to protect and rehabilitate marine ecosystems. Legarda cited the dumping of plastic trash and sea level rise brought about by climate change as the main challenges facing our ocean health, which she hoped could be addressed by stricter enforcement of existing laws and programs, such as the Sustainable Coral Reef Ecosystem Management Program (SCREMP), Ecological Solid Waste Management Law, and related international treaties. At the Third High Level Assembly (HLA) 2018 – Advancing Climate Action Through Carbon Pricing: Challenges, Opportunities, and Solutions organized by the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC), the Philippine Delegation was able to learn about carbon pricing policies based on policy recommendations made by Atty. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who also emphasized the need to communicate the opportunities carbon pricing provides, which she estimated could increase a country’s GDP by one to 2%. During the Technical Dialogue with the Philippines Delegation on Disaster Risk Management and Climate Change, Legarda shared how she had endeavored to transform our national budget into a climate budget for three years in a row, in her capacity as Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance. She noted that the next goal for the country is to transform our budget into a resilient budget. “The meetings today certainly give us a lot of material and learning for our work back home. The discussion on carbon pricing, particularly, is relatively new to us and would definitely be helpful as we begin to craft our own. All this will help us fine-tune climate policies and programs for the Commission and the people it serves,” Herrera concluded.
April 21,2018 Saturday
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CCC: Social Protection, Climate Adaptation, Climate Finance, US-PH Socio-Economic Ties, and Climate Resilience in Day 3 of WB-IMF Spring Meetings
April 21, 2018. The third day of the Spring Meetings hosted by the World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, D.C. focused on social protection, climate adaptation, climate finance, US-PH socio-economic relations, and climate resilience. Commissioner Rachel Herrera represents the Climate Change Commission (CCC) as part of the Philippine Delegation to the Spring Meetings, together with Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno serving as Head of Delegation and Senator Loren Legarda as Alternate Head of the Philippine Delegation, as well as other delegation members from the Department of Finance (DOF) and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). “The topics for our third day of the Spring Meetings have become more specific, but we see that climate change remains to be a central concern in the discussions. As climate change is a cross-cutting development issue, discussions on sustainability and inclusiveness must also be in the context of addressing climate change,” Herrera said. The first event was the World Bank’s Technical Dialogue with the Philippine Delegation: Social Protection and Community-Driven Development (CDD), which discussed the bank’s long-running engagement with the country’s social welfare programs, such as the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps), Listahanan, and the Kapitbisig Laban Sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS). According to the World Bank, the 4Ps, in particular, accounted for 25% in poverty reduction in the Philippines, despite the government allocating only .7% of its GDP to the program. This prompted Legarda to explore with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) the feasibility of increasing the budget’s program to the ideal allocation of 1% of GDP. Herrera also expressed that CDD programs, such as the KALAHI-CIDSS, should continue training and honing volunteers in the areas of disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and mitigation. This event was followed by a meeting with Dr. Patrick Verkooijen, World Bank’s Special Representative for Climate Change, to discuss the proposed Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), which is supported by World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and former United Nations Secretaries General Ban Ki-Moon and Kofi Annan, as well as climate leaders Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and Feike Sijbesma, Global Climate Leader for the World Bank Group and Co-Chair of the High Level Assembly of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition. Herrera said that the GCA will further advance international negotiations on climate adaptation and resilience, and hopefully, spur and sustain talks on the issue of loss and damage. Climate finance was one topic highlighted at the Roundtable with World Resources Institute (WRI), where Legarda provided a background on the history of the People Survival Fund (PSF), the country’s first climate finance mechanism dedicated to supporting local climate adaptation projects, and also expressed the urgent need for direct access of institutions to other climate finance mechanisms. The WRI mentioned that the Vulnerable Twenty (V20), the sister initiative of the global alliance Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), could be the vehicle for the Philippines in voicing out the need for financial and technical assistance from developed countries for vulnerable countries to pursue climate mitigation within their respective countries. At the Banyan Tree Leadership Forum: Roundtable Discussion with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), co-sponsored by the US-Philippines Society, Legarda emphasized that the US and Philippines have a long history of cooperation in the fields of trade, security, human rights, national defense, infrastructure, and other investments. Legarda said that the Philippines is endeavoring to attract more investments in innovative and inclusive industries, such as alternative vehicles and climate-change related projects—an aggressive push that the Duterte administration also wants to see in the agriculture sector with the adoption of globally-competitive agribusiness practices and spurring structural change in agriculture. Commissioner Herrera also participated in the dialogue “The Future of Resilience: Banking on Cities,” which tackled key issues faced by major global cities in building climate resilience. She supported the notion that governments must build resilience of cities much earlier as two thirds of all people are projected to live in cities by 2050, which would make our cities become more concentrated, and thereby making their exposure to disaster and climate risks also higher. “As we participate and learn from the knowledge and experiences from other countries, we also get to assess our own initiatives and commit to improve on them. While we have made significant strides in our work for climate adaptation and mitigation, we certainly need to strive harder to amplify our call for climate justice,” Herrera concluded.
April 21,2018 Saturday
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CCC Joins PHL Delegation to the 2018 Spring Meetings of World Bank and IMF
April 18, 2018. From April 18 to 21, 2018, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) is part of the Philippine Delegation to the 2018 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) in Washington, D.C. The CCC is represented by Commissioner Rachel Herrera, alongside other Philippine Delegation members Undersecretary Gil Beltran from the Department of Finance (DOF), Undersecretaries Adoracion Navarro and Rolando Tungpalan from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), with Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno serving as Head of Delegation and Senator Loren Legarda as Alternate Head of the Philippine Delegation. Herrera said that the WBG-IMF Spring Meetings provide a platform where government officials, bankers, private sector executives, academics, and other stakeholders discuss a wide range of issues related to poverty reduction, international economic development, and finance. “The Spring Meetings, as well as the seminars, briefings, and conferences at the sidelines, give the Government of the Philippines the opportunity to learn from other countries, while sharing our own efforts and initiatives in various fields of cooperation. This also allows us to strengthen, especially our climate advocacy and agenda, by communicating to the international community the urgency to transition to clean and renewable sources of energy in order to limit global warming,” Herrera said. For the first day, Herrera participated in the Second Annual High-Level Strategy Session (HLSS2) on Sustainable, Healthy Cities, and Sustainable Energy Solutions organized by AirQualityAsia (AQA) and the US-Asia Institute, where Sen. Legarda presented the Parliamentary Leadership on Carbon Reduction Policies – Implementing the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Clean Air. In a luncheon meeting hosted by former US Ambassador to the Philippines John Negroponte and Executive Director Hank Hendrickson of the US-Philippines Society, Commissioner Herrera, Senator Legarda, Philippine Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez, and Director Kristine Sheree Mangunay-Infante shared their thoughts on how US-PH relations could be further enhanced in various fields of international cooperation. This was soon followed by a roundtable discussion with the US Chamber of Commerce organized by the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. Herrera also participated in a series of meetings, first with Mr. Paul Shmotolokha, Vice President for International Sales of Alpha Technologies, to know more about their work and partnerships with Philippine companies in promoting clean energy; and with US Senator Cory Scott Gardner, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific, to discuss US-PHL partnership in the areas of security, defense, and rehabilitation, as well as the development of renewable energy sources in the Philippines. “Our events for the first day bring new light to the value of clean and renewable sources of energy in improving air quality and reducing carbon in the atmosphere. I hope that we could sustain this positive energy and collaborative spirit among nations in the coming days,” Herrera added.
April 18,2018 Wednesday
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Legarda Shares PH Efforts to Promote Blue Economy
Senator Loren Legarda at the High-Level event, “Towards a Blue Economy: Concrete Actions for Addressing the Ocean Health,” where she shared that despite the challenges of being a developing archipelagic country with a hundred million population, the Philippines is carrying out efforts to move towards a blue economy. The event is part of the 2018 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group. Senator Loren Legarda today said that despite the challenges of being a developing archipelagic country with a hundred million population, the Philippines is carrying out efforts to move towards a blue economy.  At the High-Level event, “Towards a Blue Economy: Concrete Actions for Addressing the Ocean Health,” which is part of the 2018 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group, Legarda shared the challenges and actions being done by the Philippine government to protect and rehabilitate the country’s marine ecosystems.  “The Philippines has one of the world’s richest marine ecosystems. It is located within the Coral Triangle and houses what is considered the world’s center of the center of marine biodiversity, the Verde Island Passage. Unfortunately, only one percent of coral reefs in our country remains in excellent condition; coastal cities and municipalities are threatened by creeping sea level rise; and we are one of the top sources of plastic trash dumped into the sea,” said Legarda.  The Senator said that what happened in Boracay island, considered as among the best beaches in the world, is an example of wanton disregard for our marine ecosystems.  She noted that around 17.5 million liters of wastewater is generated in Boracay island every day and only about half of which is treated properly, while the other half is discharged untreated. Moreover, 5 of the 9 wetland areas in the island have been encroached upon by various structures or establishments. “The Philippine government has ordered the temporary closure of Boracay to be able to fully rehabilitate the island and hopefully bring it back to its pristine state, if this is at all possible,” said Legarda.  Laura Tuck, World Bank’s Vice President for Sustainable Development, lauded the bold move of the Philippines to close an entire island for the protection and rehabilitation of its marine ecosystem.  Moreover, Legarda shared that as part of its commitment with the international community to protect marine ecosystems, the Philippines recently acceded to several treaties, such as the Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas; the Port State Measures Agreement, which is the first binding international agreement to specifically target illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing; the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships; and the MARPOL Protocol, which prevents and minimizes pollution from ships by setting limits on sulphur oxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from ship exhausts, which are harmful to human health, and prohibits deliberate emissions of ozone depleting substances.  On the country level, Legarda said that the Philippine government implements the Sustainable Coral Reef Ecosystem Management Program (SCREMP), a national program on the protection and rehabilitation of coral reef ecosystems through a strategic, sustainable and ecosystem-based approach.  The Philippines also has the Ecological Solid Waste Management Law, authored by Legarda, which promotes a clean and healthy environment through segregation of waste at source, recycling and composting.  Legarda also said that she will file measures to promote a circular economy, in which resources are used for as long as possible and the use of non-renewable resources is minimized, and to ban the use of microplastics.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), microplastics are small plastic pieces that can easily pass through water filtration systems and end up in the ocean, posing threat to the aquatic life and human health. Microbeads is a type of microplastic that is added as exfoliants to cleansers, toothpaste, beauty products, and shampoo.  USA already has a Microbead-Free Waters Act, Canada has banned products with plastic microbeads, and the United Kingdom has officially banned the use of plastic microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products.  “A ban on microplastics and single-use plastics is a measure that I wish to propose in the Philippine Senate. We need to reduce wastage and veer away from a throwaway culture, because the waste that we produce, unless minimized and managed properly, will find its way into our oceans and will affect both marine and human life,” Legarda concluded.  Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, Finance and Climate Change, is the Alternate Head of the Philippine Delegation to the 2018 Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C., USA.
April 01,2018 Sunday
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Legarda: Carbon Pricing Effective Measure to Achieve Mitigation Goals
Senator Loren Legarda supported the push for countries to implement carbon pricing policies in order to meet the goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, which the Philippines, along with the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), further brought down to 1.5 degrees Celsius, in the Paris Agreement. Legarda made the statement during the Third High Level Assembly (HLA) 2018— “Advancing Climate Action Through Carbon Pricing: Challenges, Opportunities, and Solutions” organized by the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC), one of the events during the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C.  Addressing Finance and Environment Ministers of other governments, fellow legislators, Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of major multinational companies, and heads of international and regional organizations, Legarda expressed that the benefits and opportunities that carbon pricing would provide must be communicated well, especially for the millions of Filipino fisherfolk and farmers.  “Even though the Philippines emits so little carbon in the atmosphere—at 0.33% compared to other countries—we are committed in this low carbon development pathway. Carbon pricing policies will certainly be effective in achieving our mitigation goals, but new taxation is almost always passed on to the consumers,” Legarda said.  “It will be a massive challenge for us to convey to our farmers and fisherfolk who comprise the agriculture sector—a sector that registers high intensity of carbon—what carbon pricing really is. How do we ensure their participation in this carbon pricing initiative considering that the price of their commodities will be affected?” she added. Legarda also shared that when further tax on coal was introduced under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law, it was met with stiff opposition from both houses of Congress. She said that tax on coal, which used to be only Php10 or 20 US cents per metric ton, was eventually increased to Php50, Php100, and Php150 per metric ton for the next three years.  “It is still very low especially if we consider the harmful effects of coal in our health and our environment. However, to break the wall of dirty energy that could not be penetrated for decades is already a victory,” Legarda said.  Mr. John Roome, Senior Director of the Climate Change Group of the World Bank Group, also commended the Philippines for its leadership in the Vulnerable Twenty (V20), an alliance of Finance Ministers created by the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), as well as the establishment of the Climate Action Peer Exchange (CAPE), which is a platform among Finance Ministers to share experiences on how climate change is taken into consideration into their budgeting and fiscal policies.  Furthermore, Atty. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), provided the following policy recommendations in pursuing carbon pricing initiatives:  First, undertake analytical work on the emissions prices consistent with countries’ mitigation roles and the resulting impact on the economy on the fiscal balances and vulnerable groups, as well as trade-offs with other instruments.  Second, emphasize the opportunities carbon pricing provides. If done properly, 1 to 2% of our GDP can be used to fund priority programs. Third, think about complementary measures to make carbon pricing more effective, such as infrastructure investment for renewable and electric vehicles, and to mimic some of the effects of carbon pricing, while containing impact on households and industries.  And fourth, consider reinforcing the Paris Agreement process through carbon price floor arrangements, particularly among the large emitters.  For Legarda, governments must go beyond the macro approach and make people understand the importance of carbon pricing and mandating taxation, not just on coal but all fossil fuels, and how its way forward would actually redound to better economic practices, sustainability, and incomes.  “Apart from talking about fiscal reforms, we should convey that pursuing the low carbon pathway would actually mean more jobs, less vulnerability, less risks, and more income. By our discussions, fossil fuel is already a thing of the past. It is important that we now explain to our people that the low carbon pathway is sustainable and profitable,” Legarda concluded.
March 28,2018 Wednesday
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Legarda Discusses Women Empowerment Issues at IMF Coffee Chat
Senator Loren Legarda stresses the gains of the Philippines in closing the gender gap while also identifying areas where stronger push for women empowerment is needed. Legarda was a panelist at the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Gender Coffee Chat on “Advocating for Women’s Empowerment: Voices from the Field”, which is part of the 2018 Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C. With her are forum moderator Akshay Modi from IMF and fellow panelist Shanti Uprety of the International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific. Senator Loren Legarda today stressed the gains of the Philippines in closing the gender gap while also identifying areas where stronger push for women empowerment is needed. Legarda was a panelist at the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Gender Coffee Chat on “Advocating for Women’s Empowerment: Voices from the Field”, which is part of the 2018 Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group. “The Philippines has been consistently number one in Southeast Asia and one of the top ten countries in the world in terms of closing the gender gap. This is because of the pieces of legislation we crafted, policies and programs of the Executive department, and even the work of non-government organizations to protect the interests of our women,” said Legarda.   The Senator shared relevant laws she authored for the protection of women—the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act to protect women and children against trafficking, prostitution and slavery. It was amended in 2012 to include harsher penalties against violators and to address the new challenges brought by human trafficking, such as online sexual exploitation; The Magna Carta of Women, patterned after the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), sets the framework for policies for the protection of women. It guarantees social, economic, civil and political rights of women; and the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Act to protect women and children from domestic violence and abuse.  She added that the Philippines also has the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and the Community Livelihood and Skills Training Act, which support rural livelihood development, including those engaged in traditional industries such as weaving and crafts-making, which are mostly done by rural and indigenous women. Legarda, however, said that despite the Philippines doing well in terms of closing gender gap, there are continuing challenges to be addressed. “It is unfortunate that Filipino women and children continue to become victims of human trafficking, including online sexual exploitation. In fact, the Philippines is the number one global source of child pornography. But this is not due to the lack of domestic laws, rather, the absence of stricter penalties for human traffickers and online sexual predators from other nations,” she stressed. The Senator also raised the issue of vulnerability of women to natural hazards and climate change impacts, which can be addressed by empowering women and engaging them in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation and mitigation in their communities.  “We also need to strengthen access to education, reproductive healthcare, and livelihood opportunities. Even if policies are in place, we need to do more especially in reaching out to those in the rural areas,” Legarda said.  “We recognize the stark contrast between empowered Filipino women in the cities versus the rural women who lack opportunities. Women, especially those in the countryside, should have access to capital for micro enterprises for economic empowerment. We need to provide viable income alternatives to women and allow them to participate in livelihood and other economic activities,” Legarda concluded. Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, Finance and Climate Change, is the Alternate Head of the Philippine Delegation to the 2018 Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C., USA.***
March 28,2018 Wednesday
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