June 08, 2020 Monday
MANILA, 08 June 2020 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) underscored the need for a holistic and comprehensive approach in addressing the complex challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, its ensuing economic fallout, and the unfolding climate and environmental crisis.
This pronouncement was made in support of the two House Resolutions calling for emergency action to save communities and the economy from the clear and present danger of climate change, which were adopted by the House Committee on Climate Change during the virtual meeting on 04 June 2020.
HR No. 724, which was authored by Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, calls for the mobilization of government agencies and instrumentalities and local government units toward the effective implementation of environmental, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and disaster risk reduction and management laws in light of the global climate and environmental emergency.
HR No. 761, which was authored by Bohol 1st District Representative Edgar M. Chatto, encourages that climate emergency be placed at the center of all policy decision-making at the local and national levels and calls on local government units to adopt a No To New Coal Policy.
“Dealing with climate change is a matter of life and death with enormous and lingering socio-economic consequences, many times more than the pandemic,” CCC Secretary Emmanuel M. De Guzman said during the meeting. “Neither the virus nor greenhouse gases respect national boundaries. But both of them demand rapid and far-reaching action on an unprecedented scale. We see it now happening on Covid-19, but not yet on carbon emissions,” he added.
An international team of climate experts has recently estimated that the failure of the global community to achieve the 1.5 C goal of the Paris Agreement could lead to up to USD 600 trillion in losses by the end of the century.
Rep. Chatto, Chair of the House Committee on Climate Change, emphasized the role of developed countries in addressing the climate emergency. "If the world and the government, especially in the industrialized nations took climate change mitigation and adaptation seriously with great dispatch and urgency as we have seen in our fight with COVID-19, then perhaps humanity will be in a better state of well-being and virus free,” he said.
The Paris Agreement and the decisions adopted by the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) stated that developed countries are to continue to take the lead in mobilizing climate finance to support the poorest and most vulnerable countries. The goal is to allocate US$100 billion a year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020 with a commitment for further finances by 2025, taking into consideration the needs and priorities of developing countries.
In line with this, the CCC said that it endeavors to facilitate the country’s access to international climate finance to fill in the gaps in funding for programs and projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build the adaptive capacities of communities to climate change.
“We hope that the economic adjustments shall give way to a streamlined and rationalized process for accessing international green and climate finance. We must accelerate the implementation of technical cooperation projects and grants supportive of adaptation and mitigation programs such as those under the Green Climate Fund”, CCC Commissioner Rachel Herrera, National Focal Point to the Green Climate Fund, said.
The CCC also assured the House Committee on Climate Change that it shall continue to heed science to pave a better normal toward a sustainable recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the climate body, it shall deliver on its mandates under the law and respond to the challenges of a better normal by pursuing four (4) action tracks: (1) development of science-based policies and plans through the National Climate Change Action Plan, National Adaptation Plan, and Nationally Determined Contributions; (2) conduct of climate science and policy research studies and the production of climate risk management decision support and knowledge management tools; (3) provision of technical assistance and capacity development services on climate change adaptation and mitigation to local government units and key stakeholders, especially for accessing climate finance; and (4) monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of the implementation of climate change adaptation and mitigation policies, plans, programs, and projects of the government.
 Wei, Y., Han, R., Wang, C. et al. Self-preservation strategy for approaching global warming targets in the post-Paris Agreement era. Nat Commun 11, 1624 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15453-z