PH and 194 Countries Adopt a Set of Rules to Strengthen Global Climate Action

December 20, 2018 Thursday

KATOWICEPOLAND 20 December 2018 – Over 20,000 delegates from 195 countries, including the Philippines, adopted over the weekend a set of guidelines for implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement meant to guide efforts for global climate action.

After two weeks of negotiations, the so-called ‘Paris Rulebook’ was adopted by all member countries at the 24th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 24). The set of guidelines covered technical details of the Paris Agreement, including setting up of new finance goals of US$100 billion a year by 2020 as well as on how countries provide information about countries’ climate actions, mitigation and adaptation measures.

As Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum in 2015, the Philippines, on behalf of 48 developing countries, led the advocacy for the ambitious global warming threshold of 1.5C, now enshrined in the Paris Agreement as its long-term temperature goal (stated as: “limiting global average temperature to well below 2 °C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C”). The Paris Agreement is set to come into effect in 2020.

With the adoption of the ‘rulebook’ on how to tackle climate change, Climate Change Commission Secretary Emmanuel M. de Guzman, however said that more work needs to be done by all countries. He also recognized the hard work and extraordinary leadership that Poland have exemplified to bring COP24 to its conclusion.

The Philippines, he said, reaffirmed its commitment to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement and engaged in all climate talks while protecting its key interests, including climate justice.

“For the work we cannot finish in our time, we shall pass on to our younger colleagues. After all, climate change is an intergenerational challenge that requires the passing of the baton of responsibility from one generation to another,” de Guzman said.

Countries are expected to re-submit or update their climate pledges known as “Nationally Determined Contributions” (NDCs) in 2020. The Philippines is set to submit its Nationally Determined Contributions next year after it has completed its ground work with all local stakeholders – both with the national government agencies and the non-state actors.

Secretary De Guzman further said the Philippines will continue to champion the following concerns of developing countries: finance are delivered, including for technology development, transfer and diffusion, and capacity-building; developed countries have clear programmes for delivery; clarity and acceptability of the time frame of the programmes to enable developing countries like the Philippines to build their national capacities to avoid future generation of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and to survive the intensifying impacts of climate change through anticipatory adaptation.

In the closing hour of the conference, Secretary de Guzman, on behalf of the entire Filipino nation, conveyed its appreciation to the COP Presidency and the Parties for the recognition they have shown on the untimely demise of Bernaditas de Castro-Muller. Ms de Castro-Muller is a veteran negotiator representing the Group of 77 and China and was dubbed as the “dragon lady” of climate negotiations. “Beyond her institutional legacy, she lives on in the hearts and minds of the younger colleagues she had taught and inspired. With the passing of Ditas, the Philippines lost a dear colleague; the developing countries lost a champion of their cause; and the world lost a great citizen. May the passion and commitment we saw in Ditas inspire us and those who will come after us to carry on the work in the climate negotiation process,” de Guzman added.