Get ready, be updated. Bringing you the latest news about the Climate Change Commission.
 


 

CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje urges LGUs and stakeholders to help the government ‘achieve more and better’ in the climate agenda during the Eastern Visayas Summit on Climate-Resilient Development at Tacloban City. TACLOBAN CITY, 27 May 2024 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) highlighted the crucial role of the local government units (LGUs) in the localized implementation of national climate change mitigation and adaptation plans during the recently held Eastern Visayas Summit on Climate-Resilient Development. Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director, emphasized the different national climate change frameworks that were drafted to serve as the nation’s guides in building climate resiliency and smartness. This includes the National Framework Strategy on Climate Change, National Climate Change Action Plan, National Climate Risks Management Framework, the Philippine Development Plan, National Adaptation Plan, and Nationally Determined Contribution Implementation Plan. During his opening speech, Borje underscored the government's commitment to effectively implement national climate frameworks and strategies. He stressed the urgent need for swift action to address the increasing loss and damage caused by climate-induced disasters in the country. “Gone are the times when government agencies simply came up with policies and frameworks for the stakeholders to understand. The responsibility of agencies, such as the Climate Change Commission, is not just to formulate and coordinate policies but also to ensure that policies are fully understood and ultimately implemented,” said Borje. The CCC is tasked to provide technical assistance and support to LGUs in developing their Local Climate Change Action Plans, ensuring high-quality plans that are aligned with international and national climate change frameworks. As of March 2024, LCCAP submission rates are at 87.23%, accounting for 1,496 LGUs around the country. This indicates that more LGUs are ramping up their efforts to integrate climate change into their development plans. Borje also discussed government efforts to assist LGUs in accessing and making full use of international and national climate financing mechanisms such as the People’s Survival Fund (PSF), Green Climate Fund, Loss and Damage Fund, and the Global Shield Against Climate Risk. During the recent PSF Board meeting, six new projects from various LGUs were approved,  bringing the utilization rate of the 1 billion peso fund to 100% and consequently initiating its supposed annual replenishment. Borje urged the LGUs to challenge the commission and the PSF board to maintain 100% utilization annually by submitting cohesive, feasible, and tangible pro-climate initiatives and programs. Recognizing the capacity of LGUs to effectively tailor and execute climate actions, ensuring that national climate objectives are met through practical, on-the-ground efforts, the CCC remains active in working closely with LGUs across the country. By supporting LGUs in local climate policy development, project implementation, community engagement, and collaborations, the Commission aims to bridge the gap between national climate frameworks and local implementation. The Eastern Visayas Summit on Climate-Resilient Development, organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), was held in Tacloban City from May 14-15. The two-day event convened stakeholders from across the region to develop community-focused strategies and actionable plans for fostering inclusive, sustainable, and climate-resilient solutions. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl.
May 27, 2024 Monday
The Philippine delegation, composed of the Climate Change Commission and other national government agencies, engages in groundwork for the upcoming climate change conference of the United Nations. MANILA, 27 May 2024 — The Philippine Delegation (PhilDel) ramped up its series of interagency meetings to further solidify preparations for the 60th Session of Subsidiary Bodies (SB60) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Bonn, Germany this June. Drawing from experiences and challenges during previous conferences, the PhilDel to the SB60, composed of representatives from different national agencies, initiated a series of preparatory interagency meetings.These meetings are aimed at discussing ways forward for the upcoming negotiations. During the first meeting, Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director, and Head of Delegation, led the discussions, particularly in developing various approaches to address these possible hurdles. Borje emphasized the importance of communication throughout the entire sessions of SB60. He pointed out that constant internal and external communication will help the delegates to effectively navigate the complexities of the negotiations. “Our participation in SB60 aligns with the guidance of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to optimize opportunities to articulate and emphasize the Philippines’ position on climate change,” he concluded. As a member of the G77, a coalition of developing nations in the United Nations, the Philippines can receive valuable support, solidarity, and resources to navigate the negotiations within the UNFCCC process and advance its interests in addressing climate change. The first PhilDel preparatory assembly was attended by the CCC, Department of Finance, Department of Foreign Affairs, National Youth Commission, Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Economic and Development Authority, Presidential Communication Office, Department of Labor and Employment, and Philippine Information Agency. SB60 is a subsidiary body that helps and negotiates with the conference of the parties to assist the technological, methodological, and scientific matters related to assessing global climate change. The PhilDel continues to prepare for the upcoming SB60. Further interagency meetings are anticipated to equip its members with the necessary knowledge and resources for the conference. The CCC remains dedicated to its commitment to addressing the challenges brought by climate change through active participation in these UNFCCC sessions. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl.
May 27, 2024 Monday
MANILA, 27 May 2024 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) emphasized the importance of protecting biodiversity and urged for a collective and inclusive action to address issues detrimental to the health of ecosystems and all life forms in the country. The CCC explained the vital functions that ecosystems in the country perform. Biodiversity-rich ecosystems act as natural carbon sinks, absorbing large amounts of heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and oceans, thereby helping to regulate temperature and climate. The Philippines is one of the 18 mega-biodiverse countries in the world. Its ecosystems, ranging from wetlands, tree forests, mangrove forests, and coral reefs, house between 70 and 80 percent of the world’s plant and animal species, making the country a hotspot for biodiversity conservation. Currently, drivers of habitat and biodiversity loss in the country include illegal logging and fishing, mining, pollution, sea and land-use conversion, animal trafficking and poaching, and climate change. Recognizing the value of biodiversity to address climate change and its effects, CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje urged for collective action to protect the country’s biodiverse ecosystems. “Biodiversity is crucial for ecosystem balance and our well-being, and it's increasingly threatened by climate change. We must work together to protect natural habitats, adopt sustainable practices, and support strong environmental policies. By acting now and by being part of the plan, we can ensure a resilient world for future generations,” said Borje. In the Philippines’ draft National Adaptation Plan, ecosystems and biodiversity are identified as one of the eight key sector outcomes, making Philippine biodiversity and ecosystems a priority area for adaptation efforts. The 2023-2028 Philippine Development Plan also emphasizes strategies to improve and protect the country’s biodiversity, primarily through intensified monitoring, protection, management, and rehabilitation. The CCC remains steadfast in its commitment to protect and preserve Philippine biodiversity. Recognizing the ecological services that biodiversity-rich ecosystems provide, the CCC actively seeks further ways to establish mechanisms that effectively aid the protection, conservation, and preservation of our biodiversity and ecosystems. The International Day for Biological Diversity is celebrated annually on May 22 to emphasize the importance of public education and awareness about biological diversity. The UN designated this date during the General Assembly and Convention on Biological Diversity on February 8, 2001. This year, the theme “Be part of the Plan,” encompasses the need for a whole-of-society approach in protecting biodiversity. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl.
May 27, 2024 Monday
CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje iterates on the importance of having a climate-resilient and climate-smart agriculture sector during the inauguration program of Oriental Mindoro’s Calamansi Processing Center (CPC) and Provincial Agriculture Center (PAC). ORIENTAL MINDORO, 20 May 2024 — The Climate Change Commission echoed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s call to boost sustainable and climate-resilient agriculture in the country during the inauguration program of the Calamansi Processing Center (CPC) and Provincial Agriculture Center (PAC) of Oriental Mindoro. The Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro (PGOM), with support from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the CCC, established the CPC and PAC to stimulate and foster growth of sustainable food production and processing industry in the province. The projects are fully funded by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) as part of their Climate Resilient and Inclusive Green Growth Project. In his last official visit to the United States last May 2023, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., committed his utmost effort to boost climate-smart agriculture in the Philippines, institutionalizing a Ministerial-level study group to advance the matter. Months following the visit, President Marcos directed the Department of Agriculture (DA) to urgently modernize agriculture and ensure food security for Filipinos through science-based agri practices. On a more recent note, the President also welcomed Former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, President of the Assembly & Chair of the Council of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) last February where he was able to reinforce GGGI financial and technical interventions towards building climate resiliency in the country. GGGI’s current notable area of work in the country includes boosting climate-smart agriculture and food production which fueled the establishment of the newly opened PAC and CPC of Oriental Mindoro. In support of President Marcos’ initiatives and recognizing the threats that climate change poses to the country’s national food production, agriculture, and livestock, the CCC highlighted the urgency of supporting the development of climate-resilient and sustainable agriculture across the archipelago through research, development, investments, policies, and projects. “Many Filipinos work in the agriculture sector. One in every four Filipinos, or over 10 million people, depend entirely on agriculture to support themselves and their families. Climate change-induced disasters such as extreme droughts and tropical cyclones, threaten their livelihoods. In the first quarter of this year alone, agricultural losses have already doubled our initial farmer support funds of PHP 10 billion. This underscores the critical importance of the agricultural sector,” said CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje in his message of support. Food security amid climate change is included as one of the sectoral outcomes in the draft National Adaptation Plan of the Philippines. It entails mechanisms that ensure the climate-proofing of the Philippine agriculture sector by empowering farmers to use climate information and services and climate-benign technologies to enable sustainable food production.   In response to the President’s call for a climate-smart agriculture sector, the CCC is committed to build the capacity of farming communities and cooperatives to adapt to the devastating effects of climate change.   By forming partnerships with international, local and private organizations, and through the implementation of robust green policies and projects, the CCC aims to further strengthen policy framework and create an enabling environment for a climate-smart and climate-resilient agriculture industry in the Philippines. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl.
May 20, 2024 Monday
CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje emphasizes the crucial role of the academe, youth and IPs in achieving a climate-resilient and climate-smart Philippines during a forum at the Northern Bukidnon State College. BUKIDNON, 20 May 2024 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) emphasized the crucial role of the academe, youth and the indigenous people communities in fostering climate-resilient and developing climate-active leadership at a forum at the Northern Bukidnon State College. CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje highlighted the urgent need for community-level climate action, underscoring the academe’s indispensable function in catalyzing grassroots efforts across all sectors.   “Education is a powerful tool in the fight against climate change. It equips us with the knowledge and skills to understand complex ecological issues and find innovative solutions. But education alone is not enough. We need action, and that is where you come in,” Borje said during his keynote speech. He noted the importance of evidence-based research in informing public policies, with the academe serving as a crucial source of data and knowledge. Borje also stressed the academe’s role in raising awareness, fostering dialogue, and inspiring action within communities. In the Philippines, climate education is integrated into the education system, with  subjects across various fields incorporating Disaster Risks Reduction Management (DRRM), Climate Change, and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) concepts. Also, the academe contributes in the field of climate research and development, mobilizing Filipino expertise to understand climate change and guide policy and programmatic responses. The IP communities, on the other hand, play a vital role in managing resources sustainably, conserving ecosystems and biodiversity, and passing down indigenous knowledge from one generation to the next to sustain their communities and the environment. Borje emphasized the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities, recognizing that individuals have distinct roles based on their resources and capabilities in addressing climate change. “Sometimes, the challenges we face seem overwhelming, and it's easy to feel powerless. But remember, every climate action counts. Small changes, when multiplied across millions of people, can make a big difference,” Borje encouraged. The CCC, as the head policymaking body of the Philippines on climate change, is tasked to mainstream climate change within the Filipino populace. The Commission reiterated its commitment to educating all Filipino people about climate science, its dangers and potential solutions. By harnessing the academe’s capacity to educate, advocate, and research climate-related issues, the CCC aims to foster climate-smart and climate-conscious individuals, industries, and communities across the country. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl.
May 20, 2024 Monday
CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje iterates the vital roles of the civil society in pushing climate action in the country during the 7th Consultation Meeting with Civil Society Organizations of WE CAN mechanism. QUEZON CITY, 20 May 2024 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) emphasized the crucial role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in advancing and supporting the government’s agenda to efficiently address the adverse impacts of climate change during the Working to Empower Climate Action Network’s (WE CAN) 7th Consultation Meeting with Civil Society Organizations. Recognizing the need to formalize and institutionalize robust coordination and engagement with CSOs, the CCC embarked on establishing WE CAN in 2022. The mechanism, at full capacity, will pave the way for the Commission and the CSOs to have a multilateral working partnership with the shared benefits of knowledge and network resource exchange, strengthening further their relationship. As part of its regular preparatory process, the CCC conducted WE CAN’s 7th Consultation Meeting with the main agenda of strengthening the mechanism’s Terms of Reference. CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje highlighted the government’s continued commitment to invoking a whole-of-society and whole-of-government approach in addressing climate change, citing WE CAN as the pathway for government-to-civil society engagement. “WE CAN will institutionalize the ways of our engagement, providing a sustainable platform for both civil society and the CCC to work together towards downstream and upstream climate action,” said Borje during his keynote speech. Meanwhile, CCC Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera stressed the vitality of WE CAN in ensuring a balanced and sustained engagement with the civil society in pursuing climate resiliency and smartness in the country. “WE CAN is a detailed mechanism that guides us on how we can work together on various programs and efforts on climate action. It is a platform that will make our partnerships more inclusive, participatory, relevant, and more meaningful,” Herrera commented. “The intention is to move away from a top-down approach and instead establish a coordination mechanism that is co-owned by the civil society in order to enable a more in-depth discussion of various climate-related matters,” she added. The CCC remains steadfast in its pursuit of inclusive climate goals, ensuring that all sectors, including the civil society, are engaged in the process of building a climate-resilient and climate-smart Philippines. By leveraging the grassroots connections, advocacy capabilities, and localized knowledge of CSOs, the CCC hopes to involve a majority of the local communities in the achievement of the country’s climate agenda. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl.
May 20, 2024 Monday
MANDAUE CITY, CEBU, 20 May 2024 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) emphasized the critical role of women in addressing climate change and advocating for gender equality in ecological governance at the recent Advancing Women’s and Girls’ Climate Action through Rule of Law Multi-stakeholder Conference. CCC Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera underscored the importance of empowering women as leaders in climate action and ensuring their full participation in decision-making processes. "As representatives of government, institutions, and sectors, we must ensure that women climate advocates are not only represented but empowered to lead the charge in climate action," she emphasized. "Climate justice and the rights of women and girls are intertwined, and it is imperative that we address the gender disparities exacerbated by climate change." Acknowledging the disproportionate impact of climate disasters on women, Herrera stressed the need to amplify women's voices in climate discourse. She emphasized the importance of communication in spreading awareness about the intersectionality of gender and climate issues, advocating for policies that eliminate barriers to women's access to resources and representation. "The CCC recognizes that women are agents of change, capable of managing resources and driving community resilience," Herrera stated. "Empowering women and strengthening legal frameworks that address their needs are vital steps towards achieving climate justice and gender equality." By engaging with various stakeholders, including women and girls, the CCC endeavors to create a more inclusive and effective approach to tackling environmental challenges. “We recognize the key role of women in transformative climate action, and as object and instrument of policy, the CCC is committed to promote gender mainstreaming in all aspects of our work,” said CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje. The CCC has partnered with the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) to host the three-day conference in Mandaue City from May 7 to May 9. Co-organized by the Philippine Commission on Women, Philippine Earth Justice Center, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the event underscores the urgency of collective action in addressing the intertwined challenges of gender inequality and climate change. Supreme Court Associate Justice Maria Filomena D. Singh delivered the keynote address on the opening day, emphasizing the indispensable contribution of women and girls to the preservation of our planet. "Future generations cannot exist without women and girls. Thus, protecting and empowering them in relation to environmental responsibilities is essential," she said. Dr. Macario T. Jusayan, Chief Gender and Development Specialist of the Philippine Commission on Women, emphasized the importance of knowledge sharing and capacity building to remove barriers hindering women and girls from exercising their rights and actively engaging in climate resilience initiatives. “This event will also showcase successful legal and regulatory frameworks from across the country and identify actionable steps for collective action to advance gender-responsive climate justice,” he said. Director Elenida Basug of Climate Change Service and National GAD Focal Point System of DENR, stressed the crucial role of the rule of law in promoting feminist climate justice. “By prioritizing women and girls in climate action, we not only strengthen our legal and judicial frameworks but also foster resilient institutions and champion the rights of women amid environmental transformations. Empowering women and girls to actively participate in decision-making processes is not merely a goal but a fundamental necessity for sustainable and inclusive development." The multi-stakeholder conference, attended by government agencies, civil society, and academia, signifies a collaborative effort to mainstream gender-responsive climate action and legal frameworks. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl.
May 20, 2024 Monday
Dhaka, Bangladesh. Recognizing that finance and investments are crucial for implementing transformative climate actions, the Philippines called for the immediate delivery of climate finance commitments and underscored the need to close adaptation finance gaps, including through exploring innovative sources, to support developing nations’ adaptation measures. The importance of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) for developing nations most at-risk to and affected by climate change was emphasized at the NAP Expo 2024. A high-level transformational dialogue was held to unlock diverse sources of adaptation finance. Climate Change Commission (CCC) Secretary Robert E.A. Borje joined the dialogue, together with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Simon Stiell, and Bangladesh Minister for Environment, Forestry and Climate Change Saber Hossain Chowdhury. Borje underscored the importance of holistic approach to close adaptation finance gaps, ensuring that support for developing countries’ NAP formulation and implementation is available and easily accessible. “To close the gaps, address our growing needs, and enhance adaptation action and support, we must work collectively to determine and unlock various sources, including the UNFCCC financial mechanism, and finance options with highest concessionality, least to no conditionalities, and no additional debt burden for developing nations,” Borje said. The UN Environment Programme’s Adaptation Gap Report 2023 estimated that support for adaptation falls short by up to USD 366 billion per year. Public finance flows for climate change adaptation from developed to developing countries have declined by 15 percent from 2021 figures, signaling the need to explore other sources for timely implementation of adaptation measures. “We need to go beyond the doubling of adaptation finance by 2025, and delivering on the overdue commitment of USD 100 billion for developing countries’ climate actions,” Borje emphasized. “We need to be more creative and innovative to enable our timely implementation of action plans – so that we avoid further loss and damage, while building our adaptive capacities.”  Guided by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., the Philippines forges partnerships with various countries, partners and stakeholders to augment domestic resources, enabling implementation of climate actions in speed and scale. In addition to the UNFCCC financial mechanism including the Green Climate Fund (GCF), Borje highlighted other innovative sources of support applicable to the Philippines, such as bilateral partnerships, private sector investments, foreign-assisted support from development partners and stakeholders, and mechanisms such as thematic bonds. From formulation to implementation, Borje underscored the importance of climate finance throughout the iterative process of NAPs. “NAPs should then be considered as investment plans. With sufficient finance and transparent and predictable support flows, developing nations can translate plans into concrete actions with results,” Borje added. Discussions on closing adaptation finance gaps and determining the new collective quantified goal on climate finance are expected to progress at  the 29th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP29). Hosted by the UNFCCC through the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Expert Group or LEG, in collaboration with the Adaptation Committee (AC) and other constituted bodies, the NAP Expo 2024 was held from 22-25 April 2024 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Outcomes of the NAP Expo 2024 will be further discussed in the upcoming Climate Change Conference in June 2024 in Bonn, Germany, and COP29 in November 2024 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
May 10, 2024 Friday
Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Philippines emphasized the importance of developing and implementing National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and accelerating the provision and mobilization of support for developing nations to enable countries to outline their roadmaps towards climate resilience.  The ninth NAP Expo, hosted by the UN Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in Dhaka, Bangladesh, centered on the theme "Driving Transformational Adaptation through National Adaptation Plans." Bangladesh Prime Minister, H.E. Sheikh Hasina, urged nations to prioritize their policies and programs enhancing their adaptive capacities. Hasina also inaugurated the “Bangladesh Climate Development Partnership” to bolster cooperation with international partners in advancing their climate agenda. CCC Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, serving as member of the UNFCCC’s Adaptation Committee attended the opening ceremony, joining UNFCCC Executive Secretary Simon Stiell and Adaptation Director Youseff Nasseff.  He echoed Hasina's sentiments, stressing NAPs' significance for developing countries. Borje emphasized that NAPs, based on local risks and priorities, serve as crucial roadmaps to resilience, safeguarding lives and livelihoods amidst worsening climate change. “Country-driven, science- and evidence-based NAPs will assist developing countries in addressing climate change and its impacts. With the assessment of local risks and vulnerabilities, and priority climate actions, NAP serves as our roadmap to resilience – a plan that can save our lives and livelihoods, and protect our future amidst worsening climate change,” Borje said. The Philippines shared its NAP formulation journey during various sessions, discussing best practices, lessons learned, and challenges. Borje underscored the need to view NAPs as investment plans during high-level dialogues, advocating for support to facilitate NAP formulation for developing nations. Hosted by the UNFCCC through the Least Developed Countries (LDC) Expert Group or LEG, in collaboration with the Adaptation Committee (AC) and other constituted bodies, the NAP Expo 2024 was held from 22-25 April 2024 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.  Appointed during the 28th Sessions of the Conference of Parties (COP28), Borje serves as a member of the AC representing developing nations. It is the first time a Filipino national was appointed in the 14-year history of the AC, developing policies and providing guidance on global adaptation actions. Outcomes of the NAP Expo 2024 will be deliberated at the Bonn Climate Change Conference in June 2024 and reported at the Conference of Parties in November 2024, signaling ongoing international collaboration towards climate resilience.
May 09, 2024 Thursday
CCC and Bhutan’s RSPN discuss pro-climate practices and explore potential opportunities for future collaboration during a lunch meeting. MANILA, 9 May 2024 — Sharing insights and experiences, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and Bhutan’s Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) engaged in a discussion, exchanging best practices, victories, and challenges in addressing the impacts of climate change and examining potential areas of collaboration. During a meeting with RSPN, the CCC delegation, led by Deputy Executive Director Rommel Antonio O. Cuenca, delved into several key aspects of the nation’s climate change strategy. These include mainstreaming frameworks such as the National Framework Strategy on Climate Change, the National Climate Change Action Plan, and the development of the National Adaptation Plan. He outlined the Philippine government’s process for accessing the Green Climate Fund, establishing the People’s Survival Fund, and building collaborative relationships with all stakeholders across all sectors. Furthermore, Cuenca conveyed the country’s ongoing challenges in promoting climate resilience, emphasizing the difficulties in laymanizing and communicating climate change to the general public and improving compliance with Local Climate Change Action Plans, particularly in remote areas of the Philippine archipelago. “Climate change affects the lives, livelihoods, and future of many Filipinos. Despite contributing only a small percent to the global emissions, the Philippines suffers much devastation from climate change effects. Hence, there is a need for us to take comprehensive action to address climate change, with a focus on adaptation,” stressed Cuenca. Meanwhile, Mr. Dasho Phub Dorji, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the RSPN, shared practical insights and experiences in pushing for climate mitigation and adaptation, sustainable development, and ecological education in Bhutan.   The Kingdom of Bhutan is currently the only country in the world that is carbon negative — a distinction reserved for countries capable of removing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they emit. “Despite this achievement, we still face many challenges, especially in managing climate-induced disasters like flooding and in stopping illegal human activities that exacerbate climate change such as deforestation,” Dorji said. RSPN, a non-government organization, aims to raise awareness of climate change among Bhutanese people through education, advocacy and public participation in conservation efforts. Through the continued dedication, both the CCC and RSPN seek to innovate strategies to mitigate climate change impacts through knowledge and practices sharing. “Growing partnerships through cooperation continues to be needed to allow developing nations to learn and adapt to climate change and its impacts. We need to continue working together to ensure that we are empowered to adapt to and mitigate climate change impacts and safeguard the precious balance in our planet, ” said Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje. The CCC remains resolute in its commitment to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 13 - Climate Action and SDG 17 -  Partnerships for Sustainable Development. The Commission continues to forge effective partnerships to advance the country’s progress toward achieving its climate goals and agendas. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl.
May 09, 2024 Thursday
CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje delivers a keynote message at the "Writing the Story of Our Generation" event, coinciding with World Press Freedom Day. The event underscores the critical role of journalism in shaping public understanding of climate change and driving positive ecological action. MANILA, 8 May 2024 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) highlighted the importance of informed and responsible journalism in the face of rapid ecological degradation and escalating climate crisis. At the "Writing the Story of Our Generation," an online community hangout and story festival hosted by Climate Tracker Asia, the CCC commended the journalists for amplifying the voices of vulnerable sectors and communities affected by ecological injustices, thereby empowering individuals and communities to make informed decisions. "In an era marked by these challenges, the role of journalism in promoting awareness and advocating for sustainable solutions cannot be overstated. You – journalists – have the power to discuss difficult issues, to tell the public the warning signs of a planet in distress. But these are also the stories that bring the reality of climate change into focus, urging us to act," CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje emphasized. Climate change demands transformative action on a global scale, and journalism can play a crucial role in amplifying the urgency of the climate crisis and highlighting innovative solutions from around the world. Journalists serve as catalysts for positive change by showcasing renewable energy initiatives, conservation efforts, and community-led sustainability projects. "In these uncertain times, we should go beyond acknowledging the existence of ecological challenges," Borje remarked. "We must cultivate a deep respect for the intricate web of life that sustains us all, helping to move everyone toward positive change and responsible stewardship of our planet." Borje also stressed the need for stories that not only illuminate the problems but also highlight the solutions—the ingenuity of scientists, the passion of activists, and the resilience of communities. "We need stories that give hope, because hope drives action leading to positive change." The CCC reaffirmed its commitment to press freedom, transparency, and accountability. Borje encouraged journalists to harness their storytelling power and use their platform to discuss difficult issues and bring the reality of climate change into focus. "Together, let's commit to writing the story of our generation—a story where the voices of the most vulnerable are heard and valued, where we embrace our responsibility as stewards of the Earth, and where we envision a future that is better than today," Borje concluded. World Press Freedom Day, observed on May 3rd, honors the principles of press freedom and underscores the importance of freedom of expression as a fundamental human right. This year’s theme, “A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the face of the environmental crisis” emphasizes the importance of accurate reporting, combating misinformation, and promoting a diverse and resilient media landscape. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl.
May 08, 2024 Wednesday
CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje discusses the integral role of Coops in attaining  the country’s sustainability and climate goals during the 47th General Assembly and 22nd Leader’s Congress of NATCCO. DAVAO CITY, 8 May 2024 — The Climate Change Commission highlighted the integral function of cooperatives in ushering sustainable development and attaining effective climate action in the country during the 47th General Assembly and 22nd Leaders’ Congress of the National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO) held recently. Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director, emphasized the vital role of cooperatives during the second plenary session titled “Green Growth and Climate Resilience as a Path for Sustainability.” “Cooperatives embody the spirit of bayanihan where people come together to help one another, to share resources, and work towards a common goal. It is also a creative approach to supporting people who need help. Strengthening the resilience of cooperatives enhances the resilience of our people, thereby fortifying the resilience of our entire nation,” said Borje. “Local energy cooperatives can promote renewable sources, such as solar and wind, reducing fossil fuel dependence through shared resources. Agricultural cooperatives, on the other hand, aid sustainable farming, lowering carbon footprints and enhancing biodiversity. Meanwhile, transportation cooperatives advocate eco-friendly travel, cutting emissions and congestion. All of these foster local production for a resilient Philippine economy,” he further explained. During the discussion, Borje amplified the ongoing efforts of the national government to achieve climate resilience and sustainable development across all sectors. He detailed the country’s overarching development and climate plans and frameworks such as the National Framework on Climate Change (NFCC), National Climate Change Adaptation Plan (NCCAP), and the draft National Adaptation Plan (NAP). Borje emphasized the importance of the NAP in assisting cooperatives in identifying their assets and financial risks amid disasters and climate challenges. He delved into how our climate frameworks can effectively facilitate cooperative efforts to promote eco-friendly goods, services, technologies and practices to help protect Philippine ecosystems and biodiversity. Moreover, Borje also highlighted the importance of reducing energy, materials, and water consumption through highly efficient strategies, transitioning to a low-carbon economy, and mitigating long-term waste and pollution. NATCCO was established to supervise the coordination and provision of training and educational services at the national level and serve as a support mechanism for promoting social justice and economic development.  This year, NATCCO’s assembly is focused on the theme “Building Trust, Climate Resilience and Sustainable Futures: Happy Members of Secured Co-ops in an Integrated Network.” The CCC remains steadfast in its commitment to mainstreaming a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach in developing the country’s strategies and plans for the climate crisis. By engaging and involving the public, private, and cooperatives, the CCC aims to foster ecological and sustainable practices across a range of industries and contribute to the attainment of a climate smart and climate resilient Philippines. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl.
May 08, 2024 Wednesday
The Filipina Changemakers: Champions for Climate Resilience was attended by officials and staff from the Senate of the Philippines, national government agencies, civil society, and relevant organizations. MANILA, 8 May 2024 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC), in partnership with the Office of Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda (OSLL) and The Climate Reality Project (TCRP) Philippines, convened “Filipina Changemakers: Champions for Climate Resilience,” a forum and panel discussion highlighting the roles and challenges of women in climate action. The forum pushed for women's empowerment across various aspects of climate stewardship and planetary  protection, including policy, legislation, science and the arts, in recognition of the disproportionate impacts of climate change on women and girls, as well as their valuable role in influencing national governance and community-based action. “Throughout history, women have been at the forefront of ecological protection and sustainability. From grassroots activists to policymakers, women have played pivotal roles in championing sustainable practices and policies that promote climate resilience,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda during her keynote speech. “The Philippines is blessed with a wealth of changemakers who are leading the way in climate action. From farmers implementing sustainable practices to activists advocating for clean energy, Filipino women are driving innovation and inspiring change,” she added. “But while we celebrate the achievements of these remarkable women, we must also acknowledge the challenges they face. The majority of women, particularly those in vulnerable communities, bear the brunt of climate change impacts, yet they are often marginalized in decision-making processes and excluded from leadership roles,” she added. Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director, emphasized the crucial role of women in climate action. "Women are at the forefront of climate action, and their unique perspectives are crucial in our journey towards a more resilient and sustainable future. Their leadership and contribution in areas such as conservation, renewable energy, and community empowerment can lead to more inclusive and effective solutions to address the challenges we face. I thank our partners for helping us bring this initiative to life," Borje said. Panelists Dr. Faye Abigail Cruz, Head of the Regional Climate Systems Laboratory of Manila Observatory and Lead Author for IPCC Working Group I Report for AR6, along with Desiree Llanos Dee, Creative Artist and Co-founder of Tofu Creatives, and Danica Marie Supnet, Director for Climate Policy of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, shared their personal climate stories and how they became champions for climate resilience in their respective fields. The discussion was moderated by Peachie Dioquino-Valera, Climate Reality Leader and entrepreneur. They emphasized the importance of fostering synergies across sectors, promoting knowledge sharing, and creating more opportunities for women and girls in climate action. “The impacts of climate change are disproportionate, resulting in unequal impacts. So it is important for women to have access to knowledge and skills to reduce vulnerability and empower themselves to make decisions that increase their resilience. Embracing diversity and inclusivity allows for a comprehensive and diverse approach in government actions,” Dr. Faye Abigail Cruz noted. “Many factors contribute to women's vulnerability. However, women are not just victims anymore; we are also agents of change. Women constitute not just half of the population but also half of the solutions to the climate crisis. In addition to all the roles we play and everything else we do, women contribute significantly to addressing these challenges,” said Desiree Llanos Dee. "The role of women in decision-making is crucial. We are strong advocates and strong leaders. I would also love to advocate for women in science, because it will lead our country towards development. Communication materials, such as stories that are not necessarily too scientific but touch on science, are perfect to show that science and creativity are also forms of communication," said Danica Marie Supnet. The forum aimed to inspire women and girls to get involved in climate action, emphasizing that diverse voices are critical for effective climate strategies. “The PCW recognizes and appreciates the efforts made towards gender equality in climate action. Women's participation and leadership are crucial to the success of our collective efforts in mainstreaming gender equality in climate change. Through women's unique abilities and capabilities, we believe that the country can enhance resilience and address environmental challenges more effectively,” said Dr. Macario T. Jusayan, Chief GAD Specialist of the Sectoral Coordination Division from the Philippine Commission on Women. “In the face of adversity, women leaders have proven to be relentless and nurturing leaders, just like our Filipina changemakers. We aim to put a spotlight on them and their work to drive powerful change in this era of the climate crisis,” said CCC Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera, in her welcome remarks. Aligned with this year’s International Mother Earth Day celebration, the forum Filipina Changemakers: Champions for Climate Resilience exhibited the country’s commitment to a whole-of-society approach for a climate-resilient and climate-smart Philippines. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl.
May 08, 2024 Wednesday
Civil society organizations provide comments and inputs to the Biennial Update Report, a national report to be submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change MANILA, 7 May 2024 – The Climate Change Commission (CCC) is further strengthening its collaboration with civil society organizations (CSOs) to enhance the accuracy and effectiveness of the Biennial Update Report (BUR) in combating climate change. The BUR serves as a vital instrument, providing updated insights every two years on the Philippines' climate-related challenges and progress. This comprehensive report outlines our nation's strategies for reducing emissions and mitigating climate impacts, and highlights the support needed from the government to drive climate initiatives forward. Once finalized, the BUR is submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to rally support for developing nations like the Philippines in implementing effective climate measures. The CCC underscored the crucial role and participation of civil CSOs  in the report-building process. “The Biennial Update Report (BUR) is a crucial tool in our national efforts to combat climate change. By engaging stakeholders in its development, we ensure that the report accurately reflects the on-the-ground realities and incorporates a wide range of perspectives. We are grateful for the active participation of our CSO partners in this process," said CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje. “In making your voices heard whether through feedback or concurrence, you play a vital part in representing your respective sectors, advocacies, or enterprises in our global communications,” Aimee Evangelista, Officer-In-Charge of the Implementation Oversight Division of the CCC, stated. During the stakeholders consultation, CSOs were briefed on the BUR's background, context, purpose, and the submission timeline for the year. A workshop ensued, allowing participants to provide valuable inputs to further enhance the BUR's effectiveness. The CCC expressed gratitude to all participants for their contributions to the development of international reports, emphasizing that partnerships with civil society entities ensure that the collective output accurately reflects the Philippines' needs and circumstances in addressing climate change. For more information about the Philippine BUR, visit the websites of the CCC at https://climate.gov.ph and https://niccdies.climate.gov.ph/.
May 07, 2024 Tuesday
MANILA, 3 May 2024 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) is launching the Month of the Ocean social media campaign “Dive Deep, Change the Tides” this May. Climate change greatly affects our oceans, leading to rising sea levels, coral reef degradation, and an increase in severe weather events. These changes have profound impacts, not just on our ecosystems and biodiversity, but also to our communities. In response to these challenges, the CCC is committed to promoting nature-based solutions, enhancing climate finance, and working towards resilience. Anchored in this year’s ocean month theme “Develop a sustainable and equitable blue economy,” the campaign aims to inform, educate, and inspire action among Filipinos and the global community to address ocean-related issues and to cultivate  a deep appreciation for the ocean's role in climate action. Using carousel posts, infographics, and reels, the campaign will highlight the ocean's contributions to climate regulation, oxygen production, carbon sequestration, biodiversity support, food security, and weather patterns. Additionally, it will address the challenges of pollution, acidification, habitat and biodiversity loss, and overfishing. Real-life accounts from fisherfolks will illustrate the tangible impacts of these issues, along with actionable tips for adopting ocean-friendly habits to promote sustainability. "Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet, and also our frontline against climate change. Our actions today will determine the health of our oceans tomorrow. We all have a role to play in ensuring their protection and sustainability," said CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje. Throughout the month, the CCC will engage audiences across multiple platforms, namely, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with a variety of informative content. This campaign aligns with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14, which focuses on conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development, as well as SDG 13, which urges to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Through Presidential Proclamation No. 57, s.1999, the month of May is designated as Month of the Ocean. This emphasizes the responsibility of the Philippine government and the Filipino people to promote sustainable ocean practices and raise public awareness about the importance of our oceans. Stay tuned to our social media accounts for the upcoming contents and to join the conversation about ocean preservation and climate action. For more information on the Month of the Ocean campaign, follow us on our social media: @cccphl.
May 03, 2024 Friday
CCC Secretary Robert E.A. Borje joins Mr. Kamrul Tarafder, President and CEO of ASA Philippines Foundation, Professor Ittichote Chuckpaiwong, PhD, Vice President for Environment and Sustainable Development of Mahidol University, Thailand, and Atty. Federico P. Tancongco, Senior Vice President of BDO Unibank, Inc. Philippines, in the Strategic Governance for Bridging the SDGs Gap in Public, Private, and Social Sectors panel discussion at the 3G Summit 2024. MANILA, 30 April 2024 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) emphasized the importance of solid and tangible working relationships with the public, private, and social sectors in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Global Good Governance (3G) Summit held recently. Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, the CCC’s Vice Chairperson and Executive Director, joined the summit as a panelist in the discussion on Strategic Governance for Bridging the SDGs Gap in Public, Private, and Social Sectors. He discussed several key points including the different frameworks, programs, and policies that institutionalize Philippine commitments to sustainable development. He also stressed the significance of involving and supporting both the local government units (LGUs) and the private sector in the climate and sustainability agenda, and government approaches to monitoring and evaluating governance in bridging SDGs gap. “The LGUs are one of the most important actors in achieving our targets for climate resiliency and smartness. After all, they are at the frontlines of climate change, which is why it’s critical that we provide them capacity and technical assistance through our different frameworks and programs,” said Borje. “Likewise, partnership with the private sector is essential if we want to successfully attain all the goals and plans that we have as part of our mission to bring sustainability and climate resiliency to the Philippines. We want to make sure that we set up the private sector to succeed in their sustainability and climate change formulation, and engagement with the government,” he added. Borje stressed the integration of all SDGs into the development plans and processes of the government in its framework documents, including the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), National Climate Change Adaptation Plan (NCCAP), draft National Adaptation Plan (NAP), and Nationally Determined Contribution Implementation Plan (NDCIP).  He also emphasized the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for the national plans and frameworks such as Measurement Reporting and Evaluation (MRV), Monitoring, Evaluation, Assessment, and Learning (MEAL), and Sustainability Reporting Guidelines and Sustainability Reporting for the private sector. Discussions at the event focused on the following: Inclusivity in decision-making at all levels of governance; Methodologies and metrics for assessing the impact of governance initiatives on sustainable development goals; How effective governance structures can contribute to crisis management, build resilience, and facilitate a swift recovery ni the face of unexpected challenges; The role of governance in mitigating climate change and promoting environmental Sustainability; The importance of international collaboration, diplomatic efforts, and global partnerships in achieving shared sustainable development goals; Empowering the youth in governance processes, fostering a new generation of leaders; and Strategies to promote gender equality in governance structures, ensuring representation and opportunities for women in decision-making processes. The Global Good Governance serves as a global hub for dialogue, deliberation, and engagement aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of key issues in governance, ethics, and sustainability.  It brought together policymakers, experts, decision-makers, practitioners, entrepreneurs, representatives from the government and non-government organizations, and academicians, to introduce new knowledge, advocate for world-class solutions, and hear a diverse range of voices on the theme “Aligning Good Governance with Sustainable Development Goals.” Organized by Cambridge IFA — a financial services intelligence house based in the UK,  and hosted by the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC),  this year’s 3G Summit aimed to explore the crucial intersection between effective governance and the achievement of SDGs. It also delved into multifaceted topics on transparency, accountability, ethical leadership, and innovative policy frameworks that can propel society toward the realization of SDGs while discussing the development of actionable strategies to foster alignment between governance practices and the broader goals of sustainable development. The CCC remains steadfast in its commitment to capacitating and involving all Filipinos across sectors in the national decision-making process and efforts toward climate change mitigation and adaptation. By pushing for inclusive and robust climate policies, initiatives, and programs, the CCC aims to bridge the gap in the SDGs in the context of cross-sectoral implementation. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl. 
April 30, 2024 Tuesday
MANILA, 26 April 2024 — In the midst of the searing heat gripping the country, the evident impact of climate change on human well-being highlights their interconnectedness,  straining public health and emphasizing the urgent need to address this critical issue as temperatures continue to rise and extreme weather events become more frequent. From January 1 to April 18 2024, the Event-based Surveillance and Response System of the Department of Health recorded 34 cases of heat-related illnesses, tragically resulting in six deaths. In 2023, DOH noted that there were 513 heat-related illnesses reported throughout the entire year. These statistics emphasize the urgency of addressing the nexus between climate change and public health, which has never been more evident. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issued a red alert on the worsening effects of climate change.  According to its State of the Global Climate 2023 report, the average near-surface temperature has risen to 1.45 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — 0.5 degrees Celsius away from the 1.50 degrees Celsius ‘safe’ pre-industrial levels as set during the Paris Agreement. Last year’s 1.45 degrees Celsius marked the hottest average global temperatures since recording began 174 years ago, with ocean temperatures also reaching a 65-year high. Without any sign of decreasing, global temperatures this year are expected to exceed 2023’s heat records. The Philippines continues to experience some of its warmest days, with the heat index—a measure indicating the level of discomfort humans perceive due to the combination of high temperature and humidity — reaching 50 degrees Celsius. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has warned of heat indices reaching 'danger' levels, ranging between 42 and 51 degrees Celsius in many parts of the country. Extreme heat directly impacts individuals with broader socio-economic implications, particularly for vulnerable communities such as farmers and fisherfolk. These populations face increased heat exposure and associated health risks, impacting both physical health and economic livelihoods. Economically, it reduces productivity, damages crops, disrupts fisheries, and increases costs due to the need for additional cooling and irrigation infrastructure. Health-wise, heat exposure leads to heat-related illnesses, exacerbates respiratory issues due to air pollution, and promotes the spread of communicable diseases like malaria and dengue. The increased risk of non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular problems, adds to the health burden. Furthermore, extreme heat leads to forest fires, wreaking havoc on ecosystems, economic activities, and human health. In 2023, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) recorded 1,484 total number of forest and grass fires in the entire country. Early this year, in the hinterlands of the Cordillera region, 86 forest fires were reported from January to March. On April 17, Mount Arayat in Pampanga also experienced its second fire of the month, following a bush fire on April 2 that destroyed 12 hectares, including parts of the protected forest reservation. These fires result in immediate tree and vegetation loss and disrupt biodiversity, endangering species and upsetting the ecosystem balance. Additionally, the smoke and haze from the fires pose health risks to nearby communities, particularly those with respiratory conditions. Together, these impacts can lead to increased migration, displacement, and greater vulnerability, affecting rural communities and further worsening poverty. Anecdotal accounts from communities across the country underscore the personal toll of extreme heat on individuals and families. In Isabela Province, an elderly farmer took a break from upland farming activities due to his high blood pressure after  experiencing dizziness and loss of consciousness in extreme heat conditions. Similarly, in Romblon, a fisherman can no longer endure the heat on the open sea, affecting his ability to earn a living. The number of Filipinos potentially impacted by extreme heat (i.e., at heat indices greater than 42°C), is projected to reach up to 11 million by 2030 and may increase to 74 million by 2050, according to Boston Consulting Group’s analytics. Addressing the underlying causes of climate change is vital for preventing the escalation and exacerbation of extreme weather events in the future. Transitioning to clean energy, promoting sustainable transportation, and conserving natural habitats are crucial for both mitigating this global issue and ensuring human well-being. “In confronting the challenges posed by climate change, we must recognize that the health of our planet and the health of our people are intricately linked. Taking bold climate action is not just a choice; it is a necessity for safeguarding our collective future,” said Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, Vice Chairperson and Executive Director of the Climate Change Commission: At present, efforts to address the health impacts of climate change are being pursued at both the national and local levels, with initiatives focusing on climate-resilient health systems, climate-smart agriculture, and community-based adaptation. Strengthening public health infrastructure and integrating climate change adaptation measures into policies and programs are crucial steps toward protecting communities in the face of climate-related hazards. “As the mercury continues to rise, the imperative for action becomes increasingly urgent. Ambitious climate action is not just a matter of ecological stewardship. It is a prescription for public health, with far-reaching benefits for individuals and communities alike,” Borje emphasized. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl.
April 26, 2024 Friday
MANILA, 25 April 2024 — Throughout modern history, a silent yet pressing crisis continues to unfold: the pervasive infiltration of plastic pollution on the Earth's ecosystems. As we observe Earth Month this year with the theme "Planet vs. Plastics," the urgent need to protect our only home from the perils of plastic waste calls for immediate action. "Plastic pollution poses a grave threat to our ecosystems, endangering the delicate balance of life on Earth," said Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, Vice Chairperson and Executive Director of the Climate Change Commission. Once teeming with pristine beauty and biodiversity, the Earth now bears the scars of human neglect and abuse. Plastic debris mars its landscapes from the depths of the oceans to the peaks of the mountains, a widespread pollution that threatens the intricate balance of life on our planet. Plastics were first developed in the early 1900s and have become integral to many aspects of modern life since the 1940s. According to the United Nations, over 400 million tons of plastics are produced globally every year, equivalent to the weight of 39,603 Eiffel Towers altogether. Around the globe, 1 million plastic bottles are bought every minute, totaling 1.44 billion in a day. In the Philippines, approximately 2.7 million tons of plastics are discarded annually, according to UN Development Programme and World Bank statistics. Data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) showed that of the estimated 61,000 metric tons of solid waste generated daily in the Philippines, up to 24 percent is plastic, composed mostly of consumer goods packaging, cutlery, and shopping bags. Less than 10 percent of the plastics we discard actually get recycled; the rest gets dumped, incinerated, or mismanaged. The ecological impacts of plastic pollution are significant and far-reaching, affecting everything from individual creatures to the overall health of our planet's ecosystems. Plastic debris poses a significant threat to habitats, natural processes, and biodiversity, endangering numerous species such as seabirds, fish, turtles, and others. Animals that become entangled or ingest plastic suffer injuries, starvation, and death, disrupting food chains and weakening ecosystems. Moreover, a considerable portion of the planet's marine species, including whales, dolphins, seals, sea turtles, and porpoises, have consumed plastic. This occurs because plastic debris can resemble seagrass, squid, or other prey, leading marine mammals, including herbivores like dugongs, to mistakenly ingest it. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) reported that 81 out of 123 marine mammal species have ingested or become entangled in plastic, resulting in the deaths of 100,000 marine mammals annually. Plastics also leach harmful chemicals into our ecosystems, contaminating water and soil, which can harm wildlife and potentially make their way into the food chain, affecting human health as well. The United Nations Environment Programme estimated that each person on the planet ingests around 50,000 microplastics, consisting of tiny plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in diameter, annually, often through our drinking water. Plastics are typically produced from raw materials such as petroleum, natural gas, and other chemicals derived from fossil fuels, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change. UN data revealed that annually, 17 million barrels of petroleum are utilized for plastic production, alongside 13 million tons of plastic leaking into the ocean. Plastic bottles, cellophane and other common types of plastic emit methane and ethylene upon exposure to ambient solar radiation, whether in wet or dry environments. These potent greenhouse gases contribute to the steadily rising global temperatures, exacerbating the impacts of climate change. Yet amid this ecological challenge, a glimmer of hope arises – the collective determination and commitment of communities to combat plastic pollution and restore our planet's health. From grassroots advocates to champions of sustainability, people are stepping forward, initiating change and inspiring others to join the quest for a cleaner, greener future. Dedicated individuals and organizations have taken up the mantle of ecological stewardship, embarking on conservation initiatives and grassroots movements to combat plastic pollution. Their endeavors underscore the transformative power of community engagement in nurturing a culture of ecological responsibility. In many coastal communities in the Philippines, local fishermen have partnered with non-governmental organizations and private companies to clean up plastic waste from their shores, safeguarding crucial marine habitats and securing the sustainability of their livelihoods. Meanwhile, in urban centers such as Metro Manila and Davao City, innovative entrepreneurs are leading the way in recycling and developing biodegradable alternatives to single-use plastics, providing sustainable solutions to the prevalent issue of plastic pollution. “However, the battle against plastic pollution extends far beyond the realm of advocacy; it requires a paradigm shift in our societal norms and consumer behaviors. As we strive to transcend the Planet vs. Plastics narrative, we must embrace sustainable practices that minimize our reliance on plastic materials while maximizing the preservation of our natural resources, “ Borje  emphasized. “From recycling and responsible consumption to the development of biodegradable alternatives, every action, no matter how small, contributes to the collective effort to protect our planet's future," he added. Borje said that while governments play a pivotal role in enacting policies that promote ecological sustainability, “it is the collective responsibility of individuals to embrace these principles in their daily lives. By integrating sustainable practices into our daily routines, we empower ourselves to become stewards of the planet.” "As we reflect on Earth Month's significance, let us recommit to ecological conservation and climate resilience, forging a path to a healthier planet. Together, let us unite to safeguard our lives, livelihoods, and future amid climate change challenges," he urged. "The fate of our planet is in our hands. Let us rise to the challenge and embark on this journey to a sustainable future, guided by unwavering resolve to preserve it for ourselves and future generations," Borje concluded. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl.
April 25, 2024 Thursday
MANILA, 18 April 2024 — The Climate Change Commission (CCC) urged for enhanced collaboration and partnership between the government and the private sector to unlock investment potential and accelerate collective progress on climate action. Addressing the private sector attendees of the CarbonPH Education Series, CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje underscored the country's vulnerability to climate change and its impacts to the economy, highlighting the urgent need for transformative climate actions. “Addressing climate change requires a holistic approach that considers its interconnectedness with broader economic development goals and sustainability objectives,” VCED Borje said. Borje called for strengthened partnerships and collective efforts with the private sector to take proactive leadership in climate action, leveraging innovative financing mechanisms and policy incentives to drive transformation. He emphasized investments in critical areas including nature-based solutions, renewable energy, sustainable mobility, among others. According to a 2019 Global Commission on Adaptation report, investing USD 1.8 trillion (or PHP 39.3 trillion) in just five areas - early warning systems, climate-resilient infrastructure, improved dryland agriculture crop production, global mangrove protection, and water security - could result in USD 7.1 trillion (or PHP 311.1 trillion) in total net benefits. “The cost of adaptation is much smaller than the cost of recovery. And so we pivot from our business-as-usual strategies to ‘science and evidence-based,’ ‘investment-led’ and ‘transformative.’ With this strategy, we can better achieve our desired level of resilience, for our communities, our nation, and the planet,” Borje said. The CCC invites the private sector to continue fostering a dynamic and collaborative partnership with the government in crafting policies and mechanisms that will unlock climate investments. He also urged the private sector to be more actively involved in processes, including the formulation of the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) and Nationally Determined Contribution Implementation Plan (NDCIP). “We have already laid down the path. Let us ensure that everyone progresses together, in unison, moving forward with the same scale, speed, and momentum.  This is to ensure that the country’s economic prosperity and sustainability are not just mutually exclusive, but rather, dual engines propelling us toward a thriving and resilient future,” Borje affirmed. The CarbonPH Initiative/Coalition, comprising 17 private sector corporations, presents private sector convergence to support the country’s transitional aspirations for a low carbon economy through investments in nature-based solutions, capacity building, and inputs for policy development. The CarbonPH Education Series, led by Aboitiz Equity Ventures and SM Investments Corporation, brings together diverse stakeholders to generate momentum for collective action towards a more sustainable and resilient future for the Philippines. For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl.
April 18, 2024 Thursday
MANILA, 17 April 2024 — The Climate Change Commission has launched the #PledgeForPlanetEarth social media campaign this April in commemoration of Earth Month. #PledgeForPlanetEarth calls upon individuals to pledge to take action, committing to tangible changes in their daily lives to protect the Earth from the threats of plastic pollution and climate change. As this year's Earth Day theme focuses on "Planet vs. Plastics," the campaign aims to raise awareness, drive action, and foster community engagement around these critical issues. “The #PledgeForPlanetEarth is a call to action, a commitment to our shared responsibility towards our planet. Let's continue to protect and preserve our planet from climate change and plastic pollution,” said CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje. According to the United Nations, over 400 million tonnes of plastic are produced globally every year, with 17 million barrels of petroleum used for plastic production. Around 13 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean annually, killing up to 1 million seabirds, 100,000 sea mammals, marine turtles and countless fish each year. In the Philippines,  approximately 2.7 million tonnes of plastics are produced annually, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and World Bank Statistics. In response to this crisis, the #PledgeforPlanetEarth campaign encourages the public to share their actions aligned with their pledges through post sharing and story/my day highlights. The CCC is dedicated to lead initiatives and campaigns that advocate for the reduction of single-use plastics and the promotion of a circular economy, as aligned with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Climate Action and SDG 14: Life Below Water. Recently, the CCC partnered with the World Wide Fund to participate in Earth Hour with the theme "Switch Off Plastic Pollution, Give an Hour for Earth," amplifying the call for climate action. For more information, follow us on our social media: @cccphl and join the conversation using #PledgeForPlanetEarth.
April 17, 2024 Wednesday
CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje, Ayala Corp. Chief Sustainability and Risk Officer Jaime Urquijo, CCC Deputy Executive Director Romell Antonio O. Cuenca, Globe Sustainability and Corporate Communications Officer Maria Yolanda C. Crisanto, Ayala Corp. Corporate Governance Group Head and Chief Legal Officer Maria Franchette M. Acosta, ACEN Corp. Chief Finance Officer and Chief Strategy Officer Jonathan Back, BPI Senior Vice President, Chief Finance Officer, Chief Sustainability Officer, and Head of Strategy and Finance Eric Roberto M. Luchangco, and Ayala Foundation President and CEO Tony Lambino sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to scale up climate action in the Philippines. Manila, 16 April 2024 - Recognizing the vital role of the private sector in attaining the country's climate adaptation and mitigation plans, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and Ayala Group formally forged a partnership with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).   The partnership paves the way for the CCC and Ayala, together with Ayala Land, BPI, Globe, ACEN and Ayala Foundation, to explore possible avenues of collaboration in promoting and achieving the country’s goals under the Philippine climate agenda. This includes establishing prospect programs that allow investment-led, accelerated, just, and equitable transitions towards low-carbon emissions and the increase of vulnerable communities’ climate resilience and adaptive capacity. “To have the private sector’s commitment to our climate goals is important. Climate change is a complex issue that requires a whole-of-a-government and a whole-of-the-society approach, and this includes the private sector. This partnership with Ayala marks the start of an era of climate resiliency where businesses and corporations thrive in a sustainable and green business landscape, ” said CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje.   To support the Government, Ayala continues to ramp up its renewable energy investments, with ACEN expanding its presence globally and increasing its renewable capacity. The group also scales up its climate action along the lines of energy efficiency, carbon emissions reduction, and sustainability-related financing products.   “Climate change can cause great anxiety or fear, but for us at Ayala, we see these tremendous challenges as a unique opportunity to work together with like-minded partners to help build a resilient and secure future,” said Jaime Urquijo, Chief Sustainability and Risk Officer of Ayala Corporation.   “We hope that this MOU signing will bring forth collaborative projects that will enhance our capacity to adapt to climate change; expand our understanding of the risks and opportunities that climate change has brought and be a platform to show the best Filipino ingenuity and resilience in the face of a tremendous global challenge,” he added. Under the directive of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., the CCC has set priorities to enhance climate change mitigation and adaptation commitments and action between and among stakeholders in the country. This was formalized and institutionalized as contact groups, one of which is Communicating Opportunities to Network, Navigate, and Explore Climate Transformation or CONNECT for the private sector.   “President Marcos underscored the great need of involving and tapping the private sector in order to make sure our development plans and aspirations turn into reality. Our partnership with Ayala offers an exemplary rubric for the CCC in partnering with the private sector towards our common goal of creating a sustainable and resilient Philippines,” said Borje.   The CCC, as the government's lead policy-making body on climate change, is tasked to coordinate, monitor, and evaluate programs and ensure integration into national, local, and sectoral development plans.   The Commission remains steadfast in actively seeking and building effective and robust partnerships with the private sector as part of its commitment to increase the country’s capacity to mitigate and adapt to the changing climate and to usher in an era of sustainable, low-carbon business economy in the Philippines.   For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl.
April 16, 2024 Tuesday