CCC Bans Single-Use Plastics in Office-Wide Operations
MANILA, 19 February 2020 — As part of its ongoing climate action and sustainability efforts, the Climate Change Commission-Climate Change Office (CCC-CCO) imposed a ban on single-use plastics in its office operations. Office Order No. 2020-010 entitled Office Waste Management System dated 24 January 2020 prohibits the use of disposable plastics, such as plastic straws, stirrers, utensils, food wrappers, grocery bags, instant food packaging, lids, drinking bottles and caps, within the CCC-CCO premises and during the conduct of official meetings, conferences, and other activities. The Order also provides that unavoidable plastics used in office operations must be reused, recycled, and disposed of properly, in accordance with Republic Act No. 9003, otherwise known as the Philippine Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. “Although we have been avoiding single-use plastics ever since, we saw the need to institutionalize this practice to instill sustainable consumption as a way of life among our staff and partners and lessen our carbon footprint from unnecessary plastic use,” CCC Secretary Emmanuel M. De Guzman said. Plastic wastes exacerbate climate change. When mixed with other wastes in the landfills, plastics release methane, a greenhouse gas that is at least 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. According to a report released by the Ocean Conservancy in 2017, the Philippines was among the top plastic-waste producers in the world alongside neighboring Asian countries, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. The CCC has repeatedly called for the private sector to come up with innovative, game-changing, and sustainable measures that would eliminate the problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging. “Banning single-use plastics is just the first step toward tackling the plastic crisis. Moving forward, there is an urgent need for retailers and manufacturers to take the lead in innovating our production and distribution systems to eliminate plastic wastes,” De Guzman added.
February 19, 2020 Wednesday
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Filipino Scientists Urge Declaration of Climate Emergency
QUEZON CITY, 19 February 2020 — The National Panel of Technical Experts (NPTE), composed of the country’s leading climate scientists who have contributed to several reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, recently called for the declaration of a climate emergency in the country.  The NPTE submitted a resolution entitled Declaration of a Climate Emergency and the Immediate Need to Consolidate Government Data to Generate a Nationwide Climate Risk Assessment to the Climate Change Commission (CCC) during their First Quarterly Meeting last 05 February 2020. The resolution proposed using the term climate emergency instead of the term climate change to emphasize the urgency of the climate problem. It pointed out that as of 2019, forty-one (41) countries, including twenty-eight (28) European Union member states have already declared a climate emergency. The resolution also urged the government to mobilize its people, institutions, and resources to identify cities and municipalities that are most at risk from the prevailing climate emergency.  Noting that the CCC is in the best position to gather and analyze data sets from national government agencies and produce baseline climate risk assessments at a city/municipality scale, the resolution also recommended that the lead agency assembles a team of GIS specialists, remote sensing image analysts, and data scientists to work on the gathering, integration, and initial analysis of data. Dr. Carlos Primo David, chair of the NPTE, ensured the CCC during the meeting that the NPTE will provide technical guidance and assistance in analyzing the data sets and in identifying climate risks. Welcoming the NPTE resolution, CCC Secretary Emmanuel M. De Guzman said that a nationwide climate risk assessment will inform national and local development and investment planning and will enable more local government units to access the People’s Survival Fund, the country’s financing mechanism for local adaptation solutions established by law in 2012.
February 19, 2020 Wednesday
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Legarda Urges Strong Wildlife Trade Regulation to Halt Future Public Health Crises
QUEZON CITY, 19 February 2020 – Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda highlighted the possible connection between unsustainable use of wildlife for food and the COVID-19 in her privilege speech on Monday, 17 February. The COVID-19, or the coronavirus disease 2019, a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China in December last year, has infected more than 49,000 people in 28 countries and territories around the world and has claimed the lives of more than a thousand people, including a Chinese national who died here in Manila. “As the courageous workers in our health care system and local governments tackle the dangers, we as Filipinos and human beings must also recognize a historic opportunity to rethink our relationship with nature, and the lifestyles that compel us to kill wildlife to sell and consume as food or medicine,” said Legarda. “As we continue to stand in solidarity with the international community in containing this outbreak and in ensuring the safety of the Filipino people, we must reflect on the causes of this outbreak and on ways to avoid and overcome future and interconnected threats,” Legarda continued.  Illegal smuggling, trafficking, and poaching of wild animals are still operational and remain rampant across many Asian countries and across the globe. Experts say that there is a high likelihood that the COVID-19 came from the illegal wildlife trade, as people are eating various kinds of wildlife. “This ongoing public health crisis is only one of many that will beset us if we continue to ignore the warnings of scientists. If we continue on the path to a warming planet as we seem to be doing, we could use this crisis in three ways: as a test of our current coping mechanisms, as a drill for future crises, and as a wake-up call to the connection of this public health crisis to the destruction of biodiversity and ecosystems on which we all depend,” Legarda exclaimed. Legarda also emphasized that overcoming threats like the COVID-19 will require functioning local ecosystems, local sufficiency of prime commodities, avoidance of mass hysteria and the ability to survive lockdowns. She also encouraged the international organizations and communities to make the necessary shift and step up efforts toward successfully regulating the trade in wildlife, such as: • Reinforce the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) on transformative change in wildlife conservation and management and in combating wildlife trafficking on all fronts. This should be the primary legal framework for regulating international trade in species of wild animals and plants. Our country should take decisive steps to ensure effective wildlife trade controls on all fronts. • Ensure an ambitious, meaningful, and inclusive post-2020 global biodiversity framework. This year, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity will adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework as a stepping stone towards the 2050 Vision of “living in harmony with nature”. Armed with the latest science enriched by indigenous knowledge systems, we must deepen our understanding of our ecosystems and what levels of change they can sustain. We need to ensure equitable access and benefits associated with biodiversity. • Develop science-based standards, guidelines and recommendations on disease prevention, detection, and control that will enable governments to safeguard biodiversity and public and animal health worldwide. This includes policy frameworks on disease risk management specifically catering to the interface among wildlife, domestic animals, and humans. “We can start”, she continued, “with two bills I aim to file in the coming days, revising the wildlife act to include better detection and higher penalties, and to create a new bureau in the DENR to ensure swift, fair and certain enforcement for effective deterrence.” She said that these measures will not only strengthen the international effort to tackle illegal wildlife trade and prevent public health crises, but also contribute to the sustainability of our planet. “Also, DOH should give flesh to Sec 31d of the Universal Health Care Law mandating adequate funding support for participatory action research on high impact, cost effective health promotion measures, one of which can be outbreak prevention by finding causes in wildlife consumption,” Legarda added. “We have ignored the laws of nature to our peril. It is time to heed her warnings: do not eat what is not intended for human consumption, do not trade what should not be traded. We must relearn to coexist with animals, and their habitats.” “We have many laws in place already but we need to treat them as measures for survival rather than mere obstacles to the relentless pursuit of an economic future that will be mired in new dangers. We will not survive this and other coming changes unless we value the intricate interrelationships of all life on earth, unless we see that the rules of the game have changed and we need a fundamental shift in the way we live. From what we eat, how we travel, how we manage our discards, to how we do business and treat each other, this august body has to forge new ways to support these changes with policy,” said Legarda. Privilege Speech of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda on COVID-19 and Biodiversity Conservation
February 19, 2020 Wednesday
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Legarda: Global Climate Risk Index Underscores Need to Scale Up PH Adaptation
Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda today said that the Philippines’ ranking in the Global Climate Risk Index 2020[1] released by the Germanwatch organization, further reveals the country’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and underscores the need to accelerate and strengthen adaptation measures, especially at the community level. Legarda said that the report analyzes the extent countries have been affected by impacts of weather-related events, such as storms, floods, and heatwaves, for the year 2018 and for a twenty-year period from 1999 to 2018. The report ranked the Philippines 2nd among countries most affected by climate change in 2018 (from 20th in 2017), with Japan and Germany ranking 1st and 3rd, respectively; and 4th most affected from 1999 to 2018 (from 5th in the previous period of 1998-2017), together with Puerto Rico (1st), Myanmar (2nd), Haiti (3rd), and Pakistan (5th) in the list. Legarda said that Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut)—the most powerful typhoon recorded in 2018—influenced the Philippines’ score for that year, while other typhoons, such as Pablo (Bopha) in 2012 and Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013, have affected the country’s score for the twenty-year period from 1999 to 2018. The report also noted that the Philippines is “recurrently affected by catastrophes” and is “still in the process of recovering from the previous year’s impacts” and has therefore “continuously rank(ed) among the most affected countries both in the long-term index and in the index for the respective year.” “While the report has a comprehensive take on countries’ vulnerability from rapid weather-related events, it has yet to factor in impacts from slow onset climate events, such as sea level rise and warmer and more acidic oceans, which, for an archipelagic nation like ours, could spell greater danger to our communities. What is clear, however, is that we need to ramp up efforts on adaptation and building genuine climate resilience within our vulnerable communities,” Legarda explained. Legarda expressed the need to implement the Climate Change Commission’s National Climate Risk Management Framework (NCRMF), which aims to produce a comprehensive assessment of climate risks (in terms of hazards, exposures, and vulnerabilities) in the Philippines by consolidating datasets across government agencies, local government units, academic and research institutions, and civil society organizations. She also urged to access more climate funds to finance adaptation projects in the country through the local People’s Survival Fund (PSF) and the international Green Climate Fund (GCF), adding that our proactive stance for additional climate finance for loss and damage (unavoidable and residual effects of climate impacts) must also continue and prosper. Legarda also shared the earlier flagship report by the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), where she also performs as Commissioner, which reported that investing USD1.8 trillion in five areas of adaptation—early warning systems, infrastructure, improving dry-land agriculture, restoring and protecting mangroves, and water—could prevent USD7 trillion in losses and damages by 2050. “It is every nation’s responsibility to stop this climate crisis from further escalating. As they say, the best adaptation is still mitigation because reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would also minimize the scale and intensity of the climate impacts we have to face. While we continue to urge developed nations to do their fair share in climate action, we must also remain steadfast in pushing for both adaptation and mitigation to our communities down to the very last mile,” Legarda concluded.
February 06, 2020 Thursday
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CCC: Transformative Action Key to Effective Climate Adaptation
January 30, 2020 - At the workshop for the Formulation of Local Climate Change Actions for Davao City held today, Climate Change Commissioner Rachel Herrera said that addressing the climate crisis requires us to change the way we think and work and that transformative action is key to effective climate change action.   The City Government of Davao, in partnership with the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)-Japan and Malayan Colleges Mindanao, organized the two-day workshop with the aim of deepening the understanding of climate change causes, impacts, and risks for the city, as well as gather support and commitment for its Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP).  “Adaptation, done right, saves lives and protects the place we call home. Adaptation, done right, creates opportunity, and builds a better future for us all. Our choice is clear: Do we delay and pay, or plan and prosper?” Herrera said.  “It is now a must for local government units, especially cities being economic hubs with a huge population, to act now to adapt to climate change. It is now a must for LGUs to integrate nature-based solutions into spatial planning, investments, and infrastructure implementation to reduce climate risks. We must put premium in ensuring that the ecosystem services—or the wealth that comes from nature–will not be derailed by the impacts of climate change,” Herrera added.  Herrera cited findings from the Philippine Climate Change Assessment, a three-volume report that the Climate Change Commission (CCC) produced together with the Oscar M. Lopez  (OML) Center, which identified Davao del Sur as one of the most vulnerable to drought and tropical cyclones.  The report further indicated that reduced rainfall, increasing temperature, and increasing frequency of drought conditions in the region can lead to risks of grass, bush, or forest fires in highly vulnerable forest areas; reduced productivity in agricultural areas; reduced productivity in community-based forest management (CBFM) areas; and slower growth and development of industrial forestry areas.  Moreover, Davao City is also listed as one of the top 25 cities with the largest population exposure to storm surges caused by strong winds from typhoons, which can pose risks on human health, such as surge in dengue fever transmission; respiratory diseases, such as asthma and bronchitis; and heat-related illnesses, such as heat stress and dehydration. “What is alarming is that, if planning, financing, and production across economies will go business-as-usual, our average global temperature is on track to increase by at least 3 to 4 degrees Celsius towards the end of the century—twice of what climate experts have warned as the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit to avoid the most severe economic, social, and environmental consequences,” Herrera explained. “The threat may be global, but we know that a truly effective response must be local. We must therefore recognize the crucial role of local government units in ensuring that our communities are aware and able to adapt to climate impacts, being in the frontlines in this fight,” Herrera added.   Commissioner Herrera also mentioned the CCC’s flagship program, the Communities for Resilience (CORE) Program, which aims to strengthen the capacity of local leaders and planners in mainstreaming climate change in development planning and investment programming processes, as well as ensure that the LCCAPs of LGUs are science-based and risk-informed as these will serve as good foundations towards accessing climate finance, such as our national People’s Survival Fund (PSF).   Herrera also commended Davao City for its proactive work to include climate change adaptation and mitigation and disaster risk reduction (CCAM-DRR) into local development plans, as well as accomplishing a comprehensive climate and disaster risk assessment and identifying adaptation and mitigation priority actions for the city.  “Our workshop today will further strengthen Davao’s commitment towards sustainable development, where nature is a stakeholder, and ensuring that no Davaoeño is left behind. It is also our hope that Davao will become a prime example to encourage other LGUs to follow suit in moving towards scaled up actions in climate change adaptation and mitigation, so that we can be one step closer to our vision of a climate-resilient Philippines,” Herrera concluded.
January 30, 2020 Thursday
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Green Climate Fund Philippines Website Now Live
January 24, 2020 - In order to raise awareness on the Green Climate Fund (GCF)—the world’s largest climate fund meant to serve developing countries—the “Green Climate Fund Philippines” website was developed and can now be accessed via https://www.gov.ph/web/green-climate-fund/home.  Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda said that the website aims to inform the public on the GCF processes and policies, as well as provide timely advisories and updates relative to our country’s activities to access the Fund.  “The country continues to experience extreme weather events like flooding, landslides, and drought, which we are also seeing worldwide such as in the catastrophic wildfires. The stakes have never been higher. Through this website, we hope to reach more people, communities, and organizations who may need to access the Fund,” said Legarda, who is also a member of the GCF Board.  Legarda noted that the international community established the GCF to deliver equal amounts of funding to mitigation and adaptation, adding that the Fund is meant to serve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius and even further to 1.5 degrees. To date, the GCF has approved a total of 124 projects amounting to USD5.6 billion, with an estimated total of 348 million people with increased resilience and 1.6 billion tons of CO2 equivalent avoided.  At the last GCF Board Meeting in Songdo, South Korea in November last year, the Philippines successfully secured a grant of USD10 million for a project led by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and Land Bank of the Philippines, to establish a multi-hazard impact-based early warning system (MHIBEWS) in the country.  “We invite the public to visit the GCF-Philippines website to be informed of important announcements and events as we strive to secure more climate finance for our vulnerable communities,” Legarda concluded.
January 24, 2020 Friday
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CCC Conducted Relief Ops in Batangas
22 January 2020 - The Climate Change Commission successfully conducted its relief mission in Taysan, Batangas which housed families from several municipalities of Batangas displaced by the eruption of Taal Volcano. The relief mission was able to reach 72 families from Barangay Pinagbayanan, 96 families from Barangay Mabayabas, and 16 families from Barangay Bilogo, in Taysan. These evacuees came from the municipalities of Taal, Laurel, Lemery and Agoncillo, Batangas This relief mission was made in coordination with Hon. Larry Biso, Federation President of Barangay Councilors in Taysan.
January 22, 2020 Wednesday
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CCC: Climate Smart and Low Carbon Transport Plans Vital in Avoiding GHG Emissions, Mitigating Climate Crisis
JANUARY 14, 2020 - At the Low Carbon Transport Forum organized by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-Philippines on January 7, 2020, Climate Change Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera said that incorporating climate smart and low carbon perspectives in the national and local transportation plans is vital in our efforts to avoid increasing the levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which has caused the climate crisis. Commissioner Herrera added that the GHG emissions in our transport sector is projected to also significantly increase due to our country’s continually high population growth and economic expansion. “Based on the latest GHG investory, the transport sector remains the third largest contributor of our country’s GHG emissions, next to the energy and agriculture sectors. The most significant contributor of GHGs in transport is the road sector. Although utility vehicles and trucks constitute a minority of the projected vehicle fleet, their average usage is high, resulting in an outsized share of vehicle activity,” Herrera explained. Herrera expressed appreciation to the local governments of Baguio, Sta. Rosa, and Iloilo for their commitment to improve the quality of life of their constituents by shifting towards a climate-friendly and sustainable transport system. She also supported clean transport initiatives, such as the e-Sakay and Star8, whose operations are beginning to generate profit. Herrera was also grateful for the Climate Change Commission’s partnership with the DOTr, there represented by Undersecretary Mark Richmund De Leon, noting that the department has set the bar for being the first to propose climate actions and submit contributions for our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to help achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement of limiting global temperature rise to well below two degrees and even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  Herrera mentioned that these actions include the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization (PUVM) Program; Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS) Program; Rail Projects under the Build-Build-Build (BBB) Program; and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Projects—all of which are “unconditional commitments” and will not be dependent on foreign support and are expected to result in the avoidance of 10.71 million tons of CO2 of emissions by 2040.  With the recent devastation of Typhoon Ursula in the Visayas region, flooding and landslides in Indonesia, and bushfires in Australia, Commissioner Herrera stressed the urgency for real leadership on climate action. “With the climate crisis in full swing, Earth has seemingly reached a tipping point. We could only hope that these tragic events would be the final push for governments and decision-makers across the globe to respond and act with a greater sense of urgency to transition from fossil fuel-based towards low carbon systems and economies,” said Herrera concluded. 
January 14, 2020 Tuesday
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PH to rally nations for bolder climate action toward COP 26 - Legarda
MANILA, PHILIPPINES 17 December 2019 — Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda calls for bolder climate action amid disappointing outcome of the 25th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). COP 25 failed to conclude key matters and adopt critical decisions on financing for developing countries, loss and damage, and the rules on carbon markets. “We are disappointed with the general outcome of COP25. Delaying actions on relevant issues on climate will drive higher risks to vulnerable countries like the Philippines. Based on the outcomes of the summit, it appears that most of the developed nations do not see the urgency of taking action now to keep to the 1.5 degrees target of the Paris Agreement,” said Deputy Speaker Legarda, Head of the Philippine Delegation to COP 25. However, the Philippine Delegation sees a silver lining to the outcome having asserted the rights of developing countries to development in terms of emissions avoidance and access to long-term climate finance. “Emissions avoidance is now a serious option for climate change mitigation strategy instead of just the constraining emissions reduction. As guaranteed under the Convention and the Paris Agreement, developing countries can pursue economic development and poverty eradication with whatever energy supply means at their disposal,” Legarda said. “Moreover, we were able to champion the continued consideration of the long-term finance needs of developing countries. Long-term finance deliberations must be given a new lease on life and should not stop until the urgent needs of developing countries like the Philippines in addressing climate change impacts are secured,” she added. The Philippines, despite contributing only 0.3% – one-third of one percent – to the total global carbon emissions, has been a vocal champion for the most vulnerable countries and played an important role in the global climate arena. It will be recalled that the Climate Vulnerable Forum under the Philippine chairmanship advocated strongly for the 1.5C climate ambition to define and drive the global climate action, a stand embodied in the Manila Paris Declaration adopted in November 2015, by more than 40 developing nations then, at the resumption of negotiations at the COP21 in December 2015 in Paris. The Philippines was also able to successfully table overarching provisions that ensure climate justice and ecosystems integrity in addressing climate change including the recognition of loss and damage as a separate area of global priority from adaptation, scaled-up financial resources aiming for a balance between adaptation and mitigation, and advocated for adaptation finance to solely be in the form of grants, and not loans. “The Philippines has done so much. It is only expected for the developed world to take decisive and bold actions in cutting emissions, delivering on climate finance, and upholding climate justice”, Legarda said. With greater hope, the Philippines will continue to strengthen its stand and policy advocacy on the pursuit of the 1.5C threshold, and will work with the COP26 presidency and the CVF member Parties to address the unresolved issues of COP25.
December 18, 2019 Wednesday
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Legarda Presents PH Expectations in 2020 Climate Talks
MADRID, Spain 13 December 2019— Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda presented the Philippines’ expectations and priorities for next year’s 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will be hosted by the Government of the United Kingdom in Glasgow, Scotland, in partnership with the Government of Italy. During the Panel Discussion on ASEAN Priorities for COP26, held on December 12 at the sidelines of COP25 in Madrid, Legarda said that next year’s climate talks will be a defining moment in our history because it will be the start of the full implementation of the Paris Agreement, as Parties strive to finalize the Paris rulebook this year. She added that the period from COP25 to COP26 will also be just as crucial, as countries are given until March next year to submit their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which should reflect scaled up commitments in order to achieve the prescribed climate goals of the Paris Agreement.  “By that time, we can already gauge if our NDCs are on the pathway to limit global temperature rise to two degrees or even further to 1.5 degrees. The outcome will certainly set the tone for COP26. We therefore hope that whatever residual issues here in COP25 will be immediately addressed, to allow Parties to focus on putting forward ambitious NDCs,” said Legarda, who serves as Head of the Philippine Delegation in COP25. Legarda said that the issue of clarity and predictability for the Means of Implementation—climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building—will be a major concern, and that the Philippines expects the UK COP Presidency to facilitate progress on long-term finance, as well as support efforts to address loss and damage. Legarda also stated that the Philippines is open to a market-driven approach to greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation, but also expressed that the struggle of developing countries to survive the impacts of climate change by putting in place “anticipatory adaptation” systems must be respected. Legarda also hoped that the UK COP Presidency will amplify and support the agenda in the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group, as well as the establishment of a transparent and technology aided global platform that can keep track of the generation, movement, and use of certified emission reduction credits (CERs). Legarda also suggested that Philippines be included in the “Friends of the Chair” group that will help the UK COP Presidency in the preparations leading up to COP26. “We hope that developing countries, such as the Philippines, will have more opportunities to have meaningful engagement with the Convention, such as in the decision-making processes of the COP. This is in line with the principle of climate justice—a principle we championed since the beginning and which we hope the UK COP Presidency will also uphold in COP26,” Legarda concluded. Legarda joined the panel together with Dr. John Murton, UK Special Envoy COP26; Mr. Pham Van Tan, Deputy Director-General of Vietnam’s Department of Climate Change; Dr. Stefanos Fotiou, Director of the Environment and Development Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific  (UNESCAP); Min. Plen. Tosca Barucco, Italian Special Envoy for COP 26; and Dr. Ruandha Agung Sugardiman, Indonesia’s Director-General of Climate Change. Legarda is a UNEP Laureate, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, and Member of the Governing Board of the Green Climate Fund. --- The public is invited to monitor events of COP25 and of Deputy Speaker Legarda through the following channels: Website – lorenlegarda.com.ph Facebook – facebook.com/conglorenlegarda Twitter – twitter.com/loren_legarda Instagram – instagram.com/iamlorenlegarda
December 13, 2019 Friday
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Legarda Meets COP26 President Claire O’Neill, Discusses PH and Asia Priorities in 2020 Climate Talks
MADRID, Spain 13 December 2019 – Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda had a bilateral meeting with Ms. Claire O’Neill, President-designate to the 26th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to discuss Philippine expectations and priorities for next year’s climate talks.  Legarda, Head of the Philippine Delegation to COP25, congratulated and expressed support to O’Neill and the Government of the United Kingdom as they prepare to host the “critical” COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, in partnership with the Government of Italy.  Legarda conveyed to O’Neill the importance of meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement by urging developed nations to make drastic cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to scale up ambition in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).  “The Philippines, as a victim country in this climate crisis, expects the UK COP26 Presidency to urge developed nations to make more drastic cuts in their emissions to meet the 1.5-degree climate goal of the Paris Agreement. Otherwise, global warming will reach three degrees Celsius and that is unacceptable for us highly vulnerable countries,” Legarda said.  “This means that the top emitters must have the largest cuts, but also provide the means for climate finance, technologies, and capacity building in order for us to build resilience against climate impacts. The UK should help champion all of these, Legarda added Legarda welcomed the UK Government’s doubling of its climate financing to 12 billion pounds and in making all their official development assistance (ODA) compliant with the Paris Agreement, but also stressed that it is equally important to double the cuts in GHG emissions. Noting that the top banks have not declared any explicit support for climate finance, Legarda said that the UK could play a role in pressuring financial institutions to make coal an unattractive proposition.   O’Neill said that the slogan they use in UK is “Let’s make coal history.” She also mentioned the “Powering Past Coal Alliance” whose 96 members, composed of national and local governments, companies, and organizations, have taken a pledge to phase out coal. The Provincial Government of Negros Oriental government joined the alliance last year.  O’Neill expressed that moving past coal will not be easy and will require large amounts of transitional funding and assurance of energy security, but also acknowledged that coal will become a huge stranded asset.  Legarda also sought support for the UK COP26 Presidency to amplify the voice of the alliance of highly vulnerable countries called the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group. She also suggested working with the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) to help the UK make adaptation the centerpiece of COP26.  Legarda expressed that the Philippines must take a more active role in the UK COP26 Presidency, noting the country’s climate leadership in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific and its expertise in adaptation and disaster risk resiliency. Both Legarda and O’Neill resolved to form the “Sisters in Climate” group in next year’s COP. Legarda is a UNEP Laureate, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, and Member of the Governing Board of the Green Climate Fund. --- The public is invited to monitor events of COP25 and of Deputy Speaker Legarda through the following channels:   Website – lorenlegarda.com.ph Facebook – facebook.com/conglorenlegarda Twitter – twitter.com/loren_legarda Instagram – instagram.com/iamlorenlegarda
December 13, 2019 Friday
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Legarda: Let’s Operationalize Adaptation Down to the Last Mile
MADRID, Spain 11 December 2019 – Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda, who is also a Commissioner of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), said that the GCA must operationalize adaptation to the smallest and most far-flung communities, down to the last mile. Legarda made the statement on December 10 at the High-Level Forum of the GCA’s Convening Countries: Raising Ambition Ahead of the 2020 Climate Adaptation Summit, held at the sidelines of the 25th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Madrid, Spain, where Legarda serves as Head of the Philippine Delegation. In her intervention, Legarda said that the GCA’s flagship report, titled “Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience”, must guide all parliaments around the world. She also enumerated ten local adaptation practices in the Philippines which she helped mainstream in the national budget, as Chair of Senate Committee on Finance, and which other countries can also implement.  These recommendations include: (1) harvesting rainwater for household and community use; (2) establishment of food gardens; (3) constructing roadside ditches to mitigate floods; (4) harnessing solar and other renewable energy; (5) reducing waste to zero and refusing single-use plastics; (6) planting mangroves and sea grass beds; (7) promoting climate fields schools and resilient livelihoods for farming and rural communities; (8) promoting use of indigenous knowledge and women leadership roles; (9) knowing local risks to natural hazards and improving early warning and ensuring early action; and (10) building the capacity of local communities on emergency preparedness, response, and early recovery.  “I am sure all our Ministers and Commissioners from other countries have ten more to offer. Let us continue engaging the youth to help and join us in implementing local adaptation action. Let’s operationalize adaptation to the most basic level, to the smallest and most far-flung communities, down to the last mile. Only then can we ably say that the GCA has been successful in translating adaptation into urgent climate action,” Legarda concluded. The forum is convened by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and hosted by Minister Cora Van Nieuwenhuizen, Infrastructure and Water Management Ministry of the Netherlands. It calls upon the convening countries of the GCA to raise ambitions and contribute to the Year of Action,starting in September 2019 and culminating in the Climate Adaptation Summit in October 2020. The event was moderated by Dr. Patrick Verkooijen, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Global Center on Adaptation. Legarda is a UNEP Laureate, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, and Member of the Governing Board to the Green Climate Fund. --- The public is invited to monitor events of COP25 and of Deputy Speaker Legarda through the following channels: Website – lorenlegarda.com.ph Facebook – facebook.com/conglorenlegarda Twitter – twitter.com/loren_legarda Instagram – instagram.com/iamlorenlegarda
December 11, 2019 Wednesday
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Legarda Stands with Women-led #MAD4Survival Campaign
MADRID, Spain 11 December 2019 – Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda delivered an impassioned statement at the press event for the Madrid Ambition Drive for Survival (#MAD4Survival), organized by the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), at the sidelines of the 25th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Madrid, Spain. Legarda, Head of the Philippine Delegation to COP25, joined fellow panelists—including Ms. Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner, Climate Envoy of the Marshall Islands, Ms. Shanchita Haque, Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN, and Ms. Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation—to call for enhanced ambition of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 2020. The campaign has been launched online and garnered support from various world leaders, such as Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, and UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet. In her speech, Legarda asked governments and citizens to support the Madrid Ambition Drive for Survival. She also amplified the demand for world leaders to deliver far stronger climate action by 2020. “We live in an upside down world. Today, children have stepped forward to lead. Today, as our world burns, adults expected to act like leaders behave like children. When our youth demand action from those with the means to stave off this crisis, the rich and the powerful gaze at their navels, seemingly in love with the illusion they can bring their wealth to the afterlife,” Legarda said. “Today we stand together before you—an all-women’s panel—to represent both defiance and hope. Our very composition reflects our own statement, for by doing so we highlight a truth too many have ignored. Those who have contributed the least to the problem bear the heaviest burden. And yet within vulnerable nations are people who are even more vulnerable. Let us name them. They are called women,” Legarda added. Legarda expressed that the world already has the scientific knowledge and technology to implement the Paris Agreement and keep temperatures to the prescribed 1.5C threshold, which vulnerable countries fought for knowing that keeping to 1.5 will be barely enough to allow us to return eventually to a pathway where the climate is stabilized. “We also know that we can do far more, if only the means to implement ‘Paris’ is provided. So we are here as well in Madrid to demand developed countries to live up to their financial obligations. We ask those who insist they are still in to fulfil the entirety of their commitment to the Paris Agreement. Reduce emissions far faster and far earlier, but also deliver your financial commitments. Anything less is not leadership,” Legarda said. Legarda is a UNEP Laureate, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, and Member of the Governing Board of the Green Climate Fund. --- The public is invited to monitor events of COP25 and of Deputy Speaker Legarda through the following channels: Website – lorenlegarda.com.ph Facebook – facebook.com/conglorenlegarda Twitter – twitter.com/loren_legarda Instagram – instagram.com/iamlorenlegarda
December 11, 2019 Wednesday
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Legarda, UNFCCC Senior Director Martin Frick Explore Ways to Scale Up Global Ambition in NDCs
MADRID, Spain 11 December 2019 – Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda had a bilateral meetingwith Dr. Martin Frick, Senior Director of Policy and Programme Coordination of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which focused on how to urge developed countries enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) towards meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.  The meeting took place on December 10, at the sidelines of the UNFCCC’s 25th Session of the Conference of Parties(COP25) in Madrid, Spain, where Legarda serves as Head of the Philippine Delegation.  “What can we do to put pressure on the high-emitting countries to scale up their ambition in their NDCs? Current country commitments lead to a world that is over three degrees Celsius. That is not acceptable. Perhaps, the developed countries must double their commitments in orderto limit global warming below 1.5-degrees, as prescribed in the Paris Agreement,” Legarda said.  Legarda, who is a UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, noted that the Philippines is such a small contributor to the total global emissions and that high-emitting countries or those that contribute the most to global warming and climate change must present more ambitious targets in their NDCs.  Dr. Frick said that developing countries, such as the Philippines, must continue speaking up and leading by example by presenting meaningful NDCs that are supported by the people and can offer better alternatives and pathways towards low carbon development. He added that the voices of the youth, especially of those holding climate strikes outside the conference and elsewhere across the world, must be amplified to reach world leaders and officials.  Legarda learned that New Zealand, Canada, and Costa Rica are some countries that are most aggressive in setting ambitious targets in their NDCs. For the European Union(EU), Dr. Frick said it is a challenge because there are countries, such as Poland and Czech Republic that are still heavily reliant on coal, while there are other EU states, such as Belgium and Germany that wish to push harder for higher NDCs.  Dr. Frick also mentioned that European Commission President-elect Ursula Von der Leyen  (Germany) is eyeing the imposition of a carbon border tax for imported goods that are not produced in a climate-friendly way. Legarda expressed that this could also be adopted in the Asia-Pacific region. Legarda recalled her time in the Philippine Senate,specifically, her authorship of the Climate Change Act, the Renewable Energy Act, and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act; as well as her term as Chair of the Senate Committee Finance that allowed her to integrate climate change initiatives within the budgets of national agencies—all of which helped broaden the climate advocacy.  On the topic of the Carbon Credits Trading System under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, Legarda offered to connect the UNFCCC with Dr. Arturo Bris, Legarda’s former professor at the IMD World Competitiveness Center, who is a block chain technology expert. She also suggested that the Philippine Embassy in Berlin take lead in the establishment of a “Friends of UNFCCC,” a network for periodic briefing on UNFCCC updates, which Dr. Frick earlier proposed to Philippine Ambassador to Berlin Tess de Vega during her courtesy call on him.  Legarda, a UNEP Laureate, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, and a Member of the GCF Board, expressed that this network will further strengthen Philippine ties with the UNFCCC. --- The public is invited to monitor events of COP25 and of Deputy Speaker Legarda through the following channels: Website – lorenlegarda.com.ph Facebook – facebook.com/conglorenlegarda Twitter – twitter.com/loren_legarda Instagram – instagram.com/iamlorenlegarda
December 11, 2019 Wednesday
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Legarda Delivers PH Statement in COP25, Urges Developed Countries to Fulfill Commitments to Paris Agreement
MADRID, Spain 11 December 2019– Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda delivered the Philippine Statement at the High-Level Segment of the 25thSession of the Conference of Parties (COP25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Madrid, Spain, where she serves as Head of the Philippine Delegation. Legarda urged developed countries to fulfill their commitments to the Paris Agreement by leading deep and drastic cuts in carbon emissions and providing finance and investments for innovative adaptation solutions in local communities. “The latest science tells us that our options to survive and thrive are swiftly diminishing. So in this COP, let us finish the work at hand, “the Paris rulebook.” The urgency of action, unequivocally, is most pronounced today than ever. United climate actions must now happen in an ambitious scale, scope, and speed,” Legarda said.  “The committed climate finance of at least 100 billion dollars by 2020 and every year thereafter for the adaptation and mitigation needs of developing countries must now materialize, beginning with the immediate replenishment of the Green Climate Fund,” Legarda added. Legarda said that the Philippines has exhibited climate leadership and commitment to act on the climate emergency. She cited landmark climate legislation, such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Renewable Energy Act, Climate Change Act, People’s Survival Fund Act, National Protected Areas Act, Green Jobs Act, and the recent Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act, as well as the country’s increase of excise tax on coal importation. As a parliamentarian for the past two decades, Legarda also mentioned that she has led innovative policy and strategy development for climate action, including the mainstreaming of climate change adaptation and mitigation and disaster risk reduction in the government’s annual national budget. “The Philippines, constrained as we are in means and capacities, has been doing all it can to make a difference in responding to the global climate emergency. It is in this context that we urge the developed country Parties to rise to the 1.5 climate challenge and uphold climate justice,” Legarda said.  “The time for action has long passed. Now is the time to catch up. Now is the time to translate words into actions. As we end the year to welcome a new one—the year Paris Agreement will be fully enforced—let the era of procrastination, inaction and apathy end as well. Let this end present a new beginning for humanity—a new chance to rise to the climate challenge, this time with a renewed commitment and a stronger resolve,” Legarda concluded. Legarda thanked the people of Spain for co-hosting COP25and expressed her confidence to the Chilean Presidency todeliver on the higher ambition and faster action that the 1.5 Paris goal requires of the global community. Legarda is a UNEP Laureate, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, and Member of the Governing Board of the Green Climate Fund. --- The public is invited to monitor events of COP25 and of Deputy Speaker Legarda through the following channels: Website – lorenlegarda.com.ph Facebook – facebook.com/conglorenlegarda Twitter – twitter.com/loren_legarda Instagram – instagram.com/iamlorenlegarda
December 11, 2019 Wednesday
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Message of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda Parliamentary Breakfast of the Global Renewables Congress
December 9, 2019 | Madrid, Spain Good morning to my fellow legislators. It is an honor and a pleasure to be with colleagues in this Parliamentary Breakfast of the Global Renewables Congress. I thank Chairperson Bärbel Höhn for this opportunity to hold a dialogue on renewable energy and its role in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. I am often asked why the Philippines—a highly climate-vulnerable archipelagic country considered a non-emitter with only 0.3% contribution to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions—should exert so much effort to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, when the developed nations have the historical accountability and the moral imperative to do so.   The simple answer I always offer is this: Because the Philippines and other developing countries, in their national capacities, must exhibit leadership by not further contributing to the warming that has caused so much of our people’s suffering in terms of loss and damage. We must also express solidarity to those nations expected to raise ambition and accelerate action to combat climate change. Second, because it is actually the Philippines and the global alliance of developing countries called the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) that successfully enshrined the 1.5-degree goal in the Paris Agreement. Turning our backs from this goal is going against the principles of climate justice we have championed since the beginning. But the urgency to act springs from our recognition of the significant opportunities for economic growth that a low carbon development path actually provides us. Helping realize the goals of the Paris Agreement through our Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) will bring to focus the untapped massive potential for renewable energy development in the Philippines.  In 2008, I co-authored the Renewable Energy Act in the Philippine Senate to offer a wide range of incentives to spur growth within the renewable energy sector. We incentivized both foreign and local suppliers of RE technologies. We provided for a Feed-in-Tariff and a Renewable Portfolio Standards Policy.  It has been more than a decade since the enactment of the law, but RE accounts for only 30.3% of our energy mix, while that of coal is at 37.1%; oil-based at 18%; and natural gas at 14.5%.   This is quite alarming as the Philippines is projected to sharply increase its GHG emissions over the next decades—more than triple by 2030 and quadruple by 2050, if no mitigation action is taken.   But as our country finalizes our NDC, we remain hopeful that we can submit ambitious and realistic targets that are consistent with the 1.5-degree goal.  The cost estimate to implement the identified mitigation actions in our Philippine Development Plan (PDP)—which is the blueprint of our national government’s strategies and plans—for our energy, forestry, industry, and transport sectors alone is US$4.12 billion for the period of 2015 to 2030.  Moreover, just this April, we passed an Energy Efficiency Law, which I also co-authored, that will institutionalize energy efficiency and conservation as a national way of life, and ensure a market-driven approach to energy efficiency, conservation, sufficiency, and sustainability in the country. One groundbreaking action we did in the Philippine Senate is to impose higher taxes on coal, which, for decades, had enjoyed minimal taxes at 10 pesos or 20 US centavos per metric ton. There was stiff opposition, but we were able to increase the taxes to 50, 100, and 150 pesos for the next three years. The new taxes are four times lower that what I had wanted, but to break the wall that could not be penetrated against dirty energy is, for us, already a monumental feat. In July 2019, our President also ordered to reduce the country’s dependence on traditional sources of energy, such as coal, and to advance the development of renewable energy. We are also looking at our national Climate Change Commission to issue the guidelines on the standards for “green jobs” accreditation, following the passage of our Green Jobs Act in 2016, and to fast track our National Policy Review on Energy (NPRE), in order to produce a framework that will guide legislation needed for low carbon development. These are all positive indicators that our NDC can indeed help achieve the goals we set in the Paris Agreement. I believe that the Philippines already has the laws and policies in place—while some, underway—but the immediate challenge for us now is on how we can truly breathe life into these policies.  Our government has always emphasized a “whole-of-nation” approach to addressing this climate crisis, as we have demonstrated in our NDC process and even in our access to climate finance. But national actions will be for naught if we do not foster and sustain convergences among our countries and parliaments. Realizing the goals of the Paris Agreement requires a “whole-of-planet” approach. Through this dialogue, let us continue finding solutions to this climate crisis for the sake of humanity and the world. Thank you very much.
December 09, 2019 Monday
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Legarda, Jurors Announce Winners of the First GCF Green Champions Awards
MADRID, Spain 9 December 2019 – Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda, together with fellow jurors, announced the winners of the very first Green Climate Fund (GCF) Green Champions Awards, in recognition of individuals and organizations that are driving transformations to combat climate change, as well as promote initiatives that set as examples of environmental, social, and business-led commitments on climate action. The event took place on December 6, at the sidelines of the 25th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Madrid, Spain, where Legarda also serves as Head of the Philippine Delegation. The winners of the GCF Green Champions Awards are as follows: Climate Youth Champion: Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti (Kenya) – Founder of the Green Generation Initiative, Elizabeth is a passionate environmentalist with experience in climate change issues and wildlife and forest conservation. She works towards youth involvement in global environmental challenges and raise their awareness towards collective action to face climate change. Through her work, she nurtures children and promotes “love nature” by greening schools, planting fruit trees for food security, and inculcating a tree growing culture among people for forest cover increment through an adopt a tree campaign.  Climate Entrepreneur Champion: Muhammed Lubowa (Uganda) – Muhammed is a renewable energy entrepreneur. He is the Founder and Managing Director of All In Trade Limited, a Ugandan company dealing in provision and maintenance of reliable and affordable solar energy systems, wind energy systems, and other renewable energy solutions for Uganda and the neighboring East African Countries. All In Trade creates awareness of clean energy through active Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs from constructing underground solar-powered boreholes, in-house solar lighting, solar water heating, and solar street lighting systems to schools and worship centers in rural communities of Uganda. Climate Transformational Country Champion: Wills Agricole (Seychelles) – The Ministry of Environment Energy and Climate Change (MEE&CC) in Seychelles develops shareholder mechanism to support initiatives, such as the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA+), ecosystem-based adaptation through South-South Cooperation. The MEE&CC addresses priority areas for climate action with proposals that demonstrate dynamic, scalable, replicable, transformative orientation, which are urgently needed for Seychelles and the world. Will, with his four decades of experience in Meteorology and Climate Change Negotiations, aims to gradually reduce Seychelles’ dependence on fossil fuel by promoting renewable energy use and energy efficiency. Climate Gender Champion: Trupti Jain (India) – Trupti is a gender activist who developed Women Climate Leaders (WCL) programme that aims to provide women smallholder farmers with the technical and financial skills to offer fee-based services to other smallholder farmers in their community. Over the next years, the programme is expected to transform the lives of hundreds and thousands of rural poor, helping them access food security and boost their income. Her actions significantly contribute to making women smallholders around the world resilient to the adverse effects of climate change. Climate Community Champion: Red Argentina de Municipios Frente al Cambio Climatico (RAMCC) (Argentina) – The RAMCC is an instrument for the coordination and promotion of local public policies fighting climate change in Argentina’s cities and towns. It created the first municipalities’ trust fund to promote climate action, which is a vehicle that allows the RAMCC to gain the support and transparency needed to promote investment at a subnational level. Climate Lifetime Achievement Champion: Francisco Gordillo (Ecuador) – An Ecuadorian researcher who focuses his efforts combating river pollution, especially in the binational basins of Ecuador and Peru. As the Technical Secretary of the Regional Water Fund, FORAGUA, he has spirited the creation of new water funds across the country and across the national borders. Francisco believes in the importance of sharing the lessons learned from his experiences and those who fight the good fight to keep rivers clean, through actively promoting exchange programs, and further raising awareness of the issue. He established a Water Conservation School that seeks to support in training municipal officials about water conservation. Legarda presented the awards for Climate Gender Champion and Transformational Country Champion.  Legarda is among the high-level members of the jury, which also include UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa; Former President of Chile Ricardo Lagos; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Vice Chairperson Youba Sokana; Ms. Claudia Dobles Camargo, First Lady of Costa Rica; and UNFCCC Youth Representative Mary Jane Enchill. Legarda is a UNEP Laureate, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, and Member of the Governing Board to the GCF.                                                                                                                      --- The public is invited to monitor events of COP25 and of Deputy Speaker Legarda through the following channels: Website – lorenlegarda.com.ph Facebook – facebook.com/conglorenlegarda Twitter – twitter.com/loren_legarda Instagram – instagram.com/iamlorenlegarda
December 09, 2019 Monday
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Legarda, UNFCCC Chief Patricia Espinosa Discuss Ways to Raise Global Commitment on Climate Finance, Renewable Energy Development
MADRID, Spain 9 December 2019– Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda met with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa to discuss matters related to increasing global commitment for climate finance and in leading low carbon and climate-resilient pathways. The meeting took place at the sidelines of the UNFCCC’s 25th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP25), where Legarda serves as Head of the Philippine Delegation. Mr. Youssef Nassef, Adaptation Director of UNFCCC, was also present in the meeting. On the issue of climate finance, Legarda raised concerns on the progress of the Long-Term Climate Finance work programme, which urges developed countries to identify pathways for mobilizing climate finance to USD100 billion per year by 2020; the stringent process of accessing the Green Climate Fund (GCF); and on financial compensation for developing countries’ “loss and damage.” “How do we encourage developed countries to deliver and go beyond their commitments? Because even if we reach the USD100 billion target by 2020, it is still not enough to address the needs of all vulnerable countries,” Legarda said. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa cited a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) stating that public and private climate finance from developed countries are on track in reaching the USD100 billion target. Mr. Nassef also explained that, at the end of 2020, countries will negotiate on a higher commitment per year until 2025.  Espinosa also said that even though resources to achieve this goal already exists, they are not easily accessible and often locked behind layers of bureaucracy. She added that countries do acknowledge that there is a climate emergency, but the challenge is to impart a sense of urgency for nations to decide and take action. Legarda, who sits as Member of the Governing Board for the GCF, mentioned the recent success of the Philippines to secure a grant of USD10 million for the establishment of a multi-hazard impact-based forecasting and early warning system (MH-IBF-EWS), but also noted the difficulty in accessing this grant and the need to bring the GCF process down to the community level. “For the GCF, the requirements are so stringent. It took us years to develop and secure approval for our country’s very first proposal. We need to simplify the process. We also need to capacitate not just our institutions, but also our local communities to further understand how to access the GCF. We need to see them positively affected by climate finance,” Legarda said. Legarda inquired on how to encourage banks and financial institutions to support renewable energy, instead of new coal and other fossil fuels. Espinosa offered suggestions, which include: putting a price on carbon; providing viable alternatives to coal; creating legal and institutional support to make renewable energy more preferred and attractive; and bringing together relevant sectors that will address the needs of developing countries in terms of technology, finance, and capacity. On the issue of “loss and damage,” referring to residual costs of climate impacts, which cannot be avoided through adaptation and mitigation, Legarda said that the UNFCCC must “push harder” and that developed nations must “face the facts that they caused it.” Espinosa said that, while progress is being made in this sensitive topic, countries might get stuck in a theoretical disucssion if they focus on the aspect of compensation, adding that countries can be more productive by focusing on what can be put in place moving forward. Before the meeting concluded, Legarda gave Espinosa bamboo straws, noting that she filed a bill to ban single-use plastics in the Philippines, as well as a copy of her book, “The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the Humanitarian Space: Building Resilience, Fostering Resilient Communities,” which is based on her Commandant Paper for her Command and General Staff Course (CGSC) in the AFP.   Legarda shared that the book analyzes how the Philippine military, which also acts as first lines of defense in times of disasters, can help make a difference if they are further engaged in climate action, adding that, “They have the equipment, warm bodies, and budget. Instead of fighting wars, they can fight climate change.” Espinosa said she would share the idea with the Inter-American Board of Defense, which brings together defense ministers from around the world.   Legarda, a UNEP Laureate, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, and UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, also welcomed the fact that the UN now has rules to make COP25 and related operations carbon-neutral. --- The public is invited to monitor events of COP25 and of Deputy Speaker Legarda through the following channels: Website – lorenlegarda.com.ph Facebook – facebook.com/conglorenlegarda Twitter – twitter.com/loren_legarda Instagram – instagram.com/iamlorenlegarda
December 09, 2019 Monday
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Legarda to Speak on the Role of RE in Implementing the Paris Agreement at the Global Renewables Congress
MADRID, Spain 7 December 2019 – Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda is set to deliver a statement on country insights and participate in the open dialogue on the role of renewable energies in implementing the Paris Agreement, at the Parliamentary Breakfast of the Global Renewables Congress (GRC). Legarda, UNEP Laureate, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, and Member of the Governing Board for the Green Climate Fund, serves as Head of the Philippine Delegation to the 25th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), from December 6 to 12, 2019, in Madrid, Spain. The event will facilitate dialogue among legislators from across the world in discussing legislative measures to aid in the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as a means to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. It aims to identify the most suitable energy policies and solutions for effective acceleration of energy transition, emphasizing local benefits to communities, such as the creation of livelihood opportunities. Legarda will share her expertise and insights from the Philippines and the Asia Pacific region. The GRC is a cross-country, cross-party platform facilitating peer-to-peer exchanges among legislators on issues related to the rapid and large-scale deployment of renewable energy solutions. It focuses on solutions for a rapid and large-scale deployment of renewable energy through enabling legislative frameworks. It supports the global commitment of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.” The GRC is a project of the World Future Council Foundation, which consists of 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, civil society, academia, the arts and business. It is currently chaired by Ms. Bärbel Höhn, Commissioner for Energy Reform in Africa for the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development and a former Member of Parliament of the German Bundestag. --- The public is invited to monitor events of COP25 and of Deputy Speaker Legarda through the following channels: Website – lorenlegarda.com.ph Facebook – facebook.com/conglorenlegarda Twitter – twitter.com/loren_legarda Instagram – instagram.com/iamlorenlegarda
December 07, 2019 Saturday
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Legarda, UNFCCC Senior Director Martin Frick to Hold Bilateral in COP25
MADRID, Spain 7 December  2019 – Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda is scheduled to have a bilateral meeting with Dr. Martin Frick, Senior Director for Policy and Programme Coordination of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat, on December 9, Monday, in Madrid, Spain. The meeting shall take place at the sidelines of the UNFCCC’s 25th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP25), where Legarda serves as Head of the Philippine Delegation. Deputy Speaker Legarda, who is a UNEP Laureate, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, and a Member of the Governing Board for the Green Climate Fund, is expected to discuss the replenishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the need to establish more readiness support facilities under the GCF. Legarda is also expected to discuss further collaboration between the UNFCCC Secretariat with the Government of the Philippines and with the Global Commission on Adaptation, of which Legarda is a Commissioner.  The Philippines has been actively collaborating with the UNFCCC Secretariat on the delivery of capacity building and knowledge exchange in climate finance among developing countries through regional forums co-hosted by the Climate Change Commission in Manila.    This collaboration that directly benefits the climate vulnerable countries and promotes south-south cooperation should be strengthened and advanced according to Legarda. The meeting is expected to deepen the relationship between the Philippines and the UNFCCC Secretariat towards enhancing collective action and empowering country stakeholders to be part of urgent efforts in addressing the impacts of climate change. --- The public is invited to monitor events of COP25 and of Deputy Speaker Legarda through the following channels: Website – lorenlegarda.com.ph Facebook – facebook.com/conglorenlegarda Twitter – twitter.com/loren_legarda Instagram – instagram.com/iamlorenlegarda
December 07, 2019 Saturday
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