CCC commends Mayor Joy Belmonte for UN Champions of the Earth Award

November 22, 2023 Wednesday

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has been awarded as one of the UN Champions of the Earth by UNEP for her policy leadership in eliminating plastic pollution. (Source: UNEP)

MANILA, 22 November 2023 —  The Climate Change Commission (CCC) commends Quezon City Mayor Josefina "Joy" Belmonte for winning the UN Champions of the Earth award under the Policy Leadership category.   She was recognized by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) for her accomplishment in eliminating plastic pollution within the local government of Quezon City.

The Champions of the Earth award is given to individuals, groups, and organizations whose actions bring about transformative change in ecological conservation. Under Belmonte's leadership, Quezon City has become a model for sustainable governance. She led the development of policies that minimize plastic pollution. Her initiatives include the banning of single-use plastic bags, cutlery, straws and containers in hotels, restaurants and fast-food chains for dine-in customers. Additionally, her administration has spearheaded measures to eliminate single-use packaging materials. 

The CCC underscores the critical role of local government leaders in driving positive environmental change. Mayor Belmonte's efforts in Quezon City exemplify the kind of proactive and impactful measures needed to combat the adverse impacts of climate change and plastic pollution.

CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje  remarked, "Mayor Joy Belmonte's dedication to sustainability and her effective measures to eliminate plastic pollution make her a true environmental champion. Her leadership sets a remarkable example for other local governments and reinforces the urgent need for collective action in addressing climate change. The Climate Change Commission looks forward to continued collaboration with Mayor Belmonte and other local leaders who share a commitment to building a sustainable and resilient future for our planet.”

Secretary Borje adds that her recognition underlines the vital role women play in shaping meaningful policies for our planet. This achievement sends a powerful message: that women are not just passive victims of climate change; rather, they have the agency to lead. Mayor Belmonte's success serves as an inspiration that women can thrive and contribute meaningfully to the global efforts aimed at creating a gender-inclusive and sustainable future.

Mayor Belmonte is the very first elected local official to receive the UN Champions of the Earth award.  She now stands alongside three other Filipinos who have been bestowed with this distinguished laurel. The other three awardees were former DENR Secretary Elisea Gozun, Human rights activist and environmentalist Joan Carling and environmentalist Louise Mabulo.