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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Legarda Promotes PH Satellites, Underscores Value of Space Science and Technology in Building Disaster and Climate Resilience
MADRID 06 December 2019 – Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda promoted the development and deployment of Filipino-designed and assembled satellites into space and emphasized the value of utilizing space science and technologies in enhancing the country and the world’s resilience to disasters and climate change. Legarda made the statement in her keynote address at the “Ocean and Climate—Contribution of the Space Technology,” organized by the Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (OPRI-SPF) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), 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. Legarda, who is recognized as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum and a UNEP Laureate and is currently UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, and Member to the Governing Board of the Green Climate Fund, is Head of the Philippine Delegation to COP25 from December 6 to 12, 2019. “We see the value of harnessing space science and technology, and its application in improving localized data needed for climate and disaster risk management,” Legarda said, adding that, “With our very own satellites, we are now able to capture satellite data and target a particular location in our country, allowing us further to understand our vulnerabilities as a nation, especially in light of the intensifying effects of climate change.” Legarda said that, in 2016, the Philippines made history with the country’s very first Filipino microsatellite, called Diwata-1, being launched into space. In 2018, another microsatellite, called Diwata-2, and a nanosatellite, called Maya-1, were also deployed into space. Legarda mentioned that Diwata-1 is built to undertake scientific earth observation missions related to weather observation, environmental monitoring, and disaster risk management, while Diwata-2 also captures satellite images to support the determination of extent of damages from disasters, monitoring of changes in vegetation, monitoring of natural and cultural heritage sites, and observation of cloud patterns and weather disturbances. She added that Maya-1 functions as a low-cost observation satellite, but is also able to capture images and collect sensor data in various remote areas. Legarda noted that the development of these satellites was made possible through the Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Microsatellite Program (PHL-MICROSAT), which is a collaboration among the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the University of the Philippines, and partners from the Hokkaido and Tohoku Universities, with the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) as the monitoring agency. Maya-1 was further developed under the Kyushu Institute of Technology’s (Kyutech) 2nd Joint Global Multination Birds Project (Birds-2), which assists non-space-faring countries in building their own miniature satellites. Legarda also highlighted that, with the enactment of the Philippine Space Act, a law she co-authored in the Senate, which mandates the creation the Philippine Space Agency and establishment of the Philippine Space Development and Utilization Policy, we are showing our commitment to enhance our natural hazard and risk assessment to inform our climate change adaptation and resilient investment planning. “Our Diwatas and Maya in space provided the impetus for the enactment of the Philippine Space Act this year to ensure the continuous development of space science and technology in the country. With this commitment, not only will our country be a responsible global space actor, but also be one of the contributors in the region in using space technology for adaptation and disaster risk reduction,” Legarda said. Legarda, however, noted that the Philippine Space Agency is still in its infancy stage and would require support from established space agencies and institutions in order to support country initiatives that harness and utilize space science and technologies.  Legarda mentioned the Satellite-Based Monitoring and Assessment of Rehabilitation in Typhoon Affected Regions (SMARTER-VISAYAS) Initiative, a rapid damage assessment that acquired high-resolution multispectral satellite imagery through dedicated tasking services (DTS) months after the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013; and the Geospatial Information Management and Analysis Project for Hazards and Risk Assessment (GeoRiskPH), which aims to be the country’s central source of information for accurate and efficient hazards and risk assessment by providing protocols and platforms to share hazards, exposure, and risk information to authorities and citizens. “As we look for innovative solutions, we must utilize the most recent advances in the use of space applications and information. We must strengthen international cooperation in this area, helping ensure that we bring the benefits of space technology to our most climate-vulnerable communities,” Legarda said. “For a developing country, venturing into space science may be considered by some as the least of our priorities. It is not yet well ingrained in our educational system for our younger children to even begin to understand that this is not science fiction. But we want to change this. We want our youth to also dream and aspire to be space scientists someday,” Legarda concluded.                                                                                                                    --- 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 06, 2019 Friday
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Legarda, Fellow Jurors to Announce Winners of GCF Green Champions Awards
MADRID, 6 December 2019 – Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda, together with fellow jury members, will present and announce the winners of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Green Champions Awards in recognition of individuals and organizations who are driving transformations to combat climate change, as well as promoting exemplary initiatives on environmental, social and business-led commitments on climate action.   The Announcement Ceremony and Winners Presentation will take place at the GCF Pavilion from December 6 and 7, 2019, 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.   Legarda, who sits as Member of the GCF Board, is among the high-level members of the jury which also includes 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.   The awards are based on the following six categories:   Climate Youth Champion, for an individual, aged 25 years or below, who is making a difference in response to climate change; Climate Gender Champion, for an individual who has a track record in emphasizing the inclusiveness of women in climate action; Climate Community Champion, for an individual or organization that is central to a community’s engagement with climate action Transformational Country Champion, for an individual or organization in a developing country that has made notable progress in pursuing a GCF country programme, in using GCF readiness effectively, and in excelling in stakeholder consultation progress on GCF country programme, among others; Climate Entrepreneur, for an individual or organization that are making progress in bringing the private sector to invest in climate finance; and Climate Lifetime Achievement Champion, for an individual who is a recognized trailblazer in promoting climate action.   Nominations for individuals and organizations, starting from September until October 15, were coursed through the GCF Green Champions Awards website via: https://awards.greenchampions.online.   Legarda is a UNEP Laureate, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, and UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion. --- 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 05, 2019 Thursday
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Legarda to Champion Climate Justice in Madrid Climate Change Conference
MADRID, 04 December 2019 — Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda  is set to head the Philippine Delegation to the 25th Conference of Parties (COP25) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from December 6 to 12, 2019 in Madrid, Spain.  Legarda underscored that this year’s UN climate talks will be critical in the Philippines’ pursuit for climate justice by calling on heads of state, climate officials, public and private organizations, and world leaders to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, which was adopted in 2015 and entered into force in 2016. To date, 184 Parties to the UNFCCC have already ratified the Paris Agreement, including the Philippines, which acceded in 2017 after Legarda sponsored it in the Senate as Chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations.  “We come to this year’s UN climate talks to unite our voices with our fellow developing countries in the urgent call for climate justice. We maintain the resolve to urge developed nations to provide us sufficient climate finance, technologies, and means for capacity building to aid us as we face the intensifying impacts of climate change,” Legarda said.  “The Paris Agreement has set the year 2020 for countries to submit their own Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), which are essentially country commitments to limit global warming below two degrees and further to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as agreed upon in the climate deal. Achieving its 1.5 goal entails greater ambition, stronger resolve, and faster action from all countries,” Legarda explained. “Coming to this year’s COP, we are hopeful that the developed nations or those that have the historical accountability for climate change will do their fair share to combat this climate crisis,” Legarda added.   On behalf of the Government of the Philippines, Deputy Speaker Legarda will deliver the country’s National Statement at the High-Level Segment, where heads of state, heads of delegation, and world leaders will also deliver their national statements.  Legarda will also deliver a keynote speech and participate in the panel discussion at the Ocean and Climate Change—Contribution of Space Technology, organized by the Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (OPRI-SPF).  With fellow members of the jury for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Green Champions, she is set to present the winners in recognition of individuals and organizations who are driving climate transformation at the global and national level.  At the Parliamentary Breakfast of the Global Renewables Congress, Legarda will also deliver a statement on her insights and experiences as a legislator in closing the gap between ambition and action in implementing the Paris Agreement, especially in the aspect of renewable energy development. She will also convey the Philippines’ expectations, priorities, and challenges for next year’s COP, at the Panel Discussion on ASEAN Priorities for COP26, organized by the Government of the United Kingdom. As Commissioner of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), Deputy Speaker Legarda will speak at the High-Level Forum of GCA Convening Countries: Raising Ambition Ahead of the 2020 Climate Adaptation Summit, which will also mark the Commission’s Year of Action. She will also attend the ASEAN dinner hosted by Minister Masagos Zulkifli, Singapore Minister for the Environment and Water Resources. Legarda is also scheduled to meet with UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa; and Ms. Claire O’Neill, President-designate for COP26 to discuss the UK’s hosting for next year’s UN climate talks.  Legarda’s inspiring advocacy has earned her global recognition as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum and a UNEP Laureate. She is currently UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, and Alternate Member to the Governing Board of the Green Climate Fund. “The gathering of world leaders in this year’s COP must be responsive to the call of our youth and advocates in the global climate strikes and show that nations are committed to do what they should do in this state of climate emergency. Expect the Philippines together with other developing countries to champion climate justice—to demand what is right and fair for us highly vulnerable countries,” Legarda concluded.  -- 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 04, 2019 Wednesday
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Legarda, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa to Hold Bilateral in COP25
MADRID, 06 December 2019 — Deputy Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda is scheduled to have a bilateral meeting with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa on December 6, 2019, Friday, 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 will serve as Head of the Philippine Delegation. Deputy Speaker Legarda, who is also a UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion, is expected to discuss with Executive Secretary Espinosa matters relating to climate finance, especially on the replenishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the need for more readiness support facilities to access climate finance.  Other matters in the agenda include discussions on further collaboration between the Philippines and the UNFCCC Secretariat, which was sustained this year through the conduct of technical workshops and multi-stakeholder consultations on quality assurance of greenhouse gas inventory and climate finance needs assessment. As a Commissioner of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), Legarda is also expected to highlight the partnership between the GCA and the UNFCCC Secretariat. The GCA flagship report, “Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience,” which was launched in September 2019, cited findings that can contribute to ongoing climate talks, specifically on the need for scaled-up support for adaptation. The meeting between Legarda and Espinosa 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. Legarda is a UNEP Laureate, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience, and Member to 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 04, 2019 Wednesday
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PH Secures Approval of First Green Climate Fund Proposal
The Climate Change Commission (CCC) and Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda are very pleased to announce that the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board, presently convened for its 24th Meeting held in Songdo, Korea this week, has just approved our country’s first GCF project on the establishment of a multi-hazard impact-based forecasting and early warning system (MH-IBF-EWS). The GCF Board, which includes Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda as Alternate Member, approved the proposal for a USD10-million grant that aims to strengthen and ensure the delivery of actionable and timely early warning to communities and “last mile” end users at risk of impending natural hazards. “The Board’s decision to approve this project comes at a critical time as we commemorate this November the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines six years ago. The experiences and lessons we gained from Yolanda and other disasters necessitated the need for a project like this that can translate risk and hazard information into understandable and actionable early warnings, so our citizens remain safe and aware,” Legarda said. The project aims to translate hazard forecasts into warnings that can convey location- and sector-specific impacts, providing tailored climate risk information directly to the LGUs and communities on the ground. It will implement four outputs: i)      Generate science-based multi-hazard weather and risk information; ii)    Establish an MH-IBF-EWS supported by a knowledge and decision support system; iii)   Improve national and local capacities in implementing a people-centered MH-IBF-EWS and forecast-based early actions (FbA); and iv)   Mainstream climate risk information and MH-IBF-EWS in development policy and planning, investment programming and resilience planning at national and local levels and institutionalizing a people-centered MH-IBF-EWS in the Philippines. The GCF will channel the grant to Land Bank of the Philippines acting as the direct access entity of the project. The country’s national meteorological agency PAGASA will be the project’s lead executing entity, together with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), World Food Programme (WFP), and the local governments of Tuguegarao City; Legazpi City; Palo, Leyte; and New Bataan, Davao de Oro, which shall also be the project’s target sites. The DILG will be responsible for advocacy, outreach, and public awareness on MH-IBF-EWS, capacity building of local government units, and the updating of disaster preparedness and response protocols using impact-based early warning system. The DENR-MGB will be responsible for the generation of landslide hazard maps and establishing threshold values for landslide. The OCD, as the implementing arm of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), will be expected to facilitate inter-agency coordination, mobilize resources for disaster preparedness and response, and manage information at the national and regional levels. The WFP will lead in activities related to FbA and shock-responsive social protection, including the development of index-based triggers and SOPs aligned with impact-based forecasting and warning system. The target LGUs will be responsible for leading all activities in the project sites, such as building the exposure database with population and socio-economic variable; housing and building data and gathering data in the field; identifying forecast-based actions and financing mechanisms; adopting and implementing early action protocols (EAPs); identifying alternative resilient livelihood options; and integrating MH-IBF-EWS and FbA in their respective local resilience plans. A Project Board consisting of the CCC, Land Bank, DOST-PAGASA, OCD, DENR-MGB, and DILG will be set up at the national level to provide project oversight and implementation strategies. Climate Change Commissioner Rachel S. Herrera, who is also the National Focal Point to the GCF, said that accessing the GCF has been a priority of the CCC since day one, emphasizing that our strong advocacy for climate action and climate justice must be matched by an efficient system to access climate finance. “We are overjoyed with the approval of our very first GCF country proposal, which is the product of convergence among agencies, organizations, and stakeholders who contributed to the development and submission of this project. This is just the beginning. The CCC, as the National Designated Authority to the GCF, will remain determined to access more climate finance that can enable genuine and lasting resilience for our vulnerable communities,” Herrera said. “The Philippine Senate in the past years conducted workshops on climate finance and GCF processes when I chaired the Committee on Climate Change. This all bore fruit now. We will continue to build capacity in government agencies, LGUs, and private sector partners to build resilience for a whole of nation approach,” Legarda added.
November 13, 2019 Wednesday
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CCC, Leyte Execs Commit to Establish Prov’l Climate Consortium
TACLOBAN, LEYTE November 12, 2019 – The Climate Change Commission (CCC), in partnership with the different sectors in the province of Leyte, pledged to strengthen the adaptive capacity and climate resiliency of the local government units of Leyte through the signing of the Pledge of Commitment to establish the Leyte Climate Change Consortium (LCCC). Among the signatories were CCC Assistant Secretary Romell Antonio Cuenca, together with An Waray Representative Florencio Noel, University of the Philippines Visayas, Tacloban City Officer-in-Charge and Dean Eulito Casas Jr.; Former Leyte Vice Governor Nestor Villasin; and Department of the Interior and Local Government Regional Director Artemio Caneja. Representatives from the Department of Science and Technology, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Agriculture, Palompon Institute of Technology, and Leyte Normal University also signed the pledge. Though not present, the Commission on Higher Education, Eastern Visayas State University, Waste 360, YLEAF, and the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners – Eastern Visayas Chapter also expressed their support to the LCCC. This will be the second consortium following the establishment of the same in Northern Panay last September. The endeavor promotes climate knowledge-sharing, support and advocate mainstreaming of climate-smart and resilient practices from different local government units with the help of the academe which can be references in crafting quality Local Climate Change Action Plans (LCCAPs). The event is also in commemoration of the 6th anniversary of the super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) which struck the Eastern Visayas in November 8, 2013. “Climate change knows no borders, no reigns and no man, and so it presents an existential challenge to all of us. … Let us focus our time and energy in the formulation of LCCAPs… and take action as soon as possible,” said Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla in his written speech read by former Vice Governor Villasin. The signatories committed to “build safe, resilient and sustainable future, raise the task of protecting lives homes, livelihood and development gains from the effects of climate change” and “solely support the establishment and operationalization of the Leyte Climate Change Consortium aimed at decreasing the vulnerability and enhancing the adaptive capacity of the communities of [the] province of Leyte.” “As we continue to remember those who perished and what was taken from us, we should now position our region to a level of mindfulness and preparedness. Climate change is here to stay and we can’t just hope and pray that Yolanda won’t happen again. And when it does, God forbid, we are now at least prepared and coordinated, benefiting from the technical know-how that is locally available. To mind, this is the best commemoration we can make,” said Rep. Noel.  
November 12, 2019 Tuesday
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PH Team Makes Final Preparations for GCF Board Deliberations
On November 11, a day before the 24th Meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board Meeting officially starts, the Informal Board Working Session was convened for GCF Board and Alternate Members and their advisers to discuss comments on the agenda items for Board discussion. It was facilitated by the co-Chairs from the developing and developed country constituencies. Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda participated in the session as an alternate member of the GCF Board, with support from Climate Change Commission. The country project team behind the first GCF proposal from the Philippines meanwhile met with the GCF’s Division on Mitigation and Adaptation (DMA) and participated in the Workshop Session with the Independent Technical Advisory Panel (ITAP), before taking questions at the Technical Session with GCF Board Advisers. Composed of Land Bank of the Philippines Assistant Vice President Prudencio Calado III; Land Bank Program Officer Pauline Angelica Roxas; PAGASA Assistant Weather Services Chief Thelma Cinco; and CCC Senior Technical Advisers Josie Ramos and Dr. Marqueza Reyes, the team seeks a grant of USD10 million on the establishment of multi-hazard impact-based forecasting and early warning systems and services (MH-IBF-EWS).  Land Bank serves as the accredited entity, with PAGASA as the lead executing entity, together with other agencies and target local government units, for the MH-IBF-EWS project that aims to strengthen and ensure the delivery of actionable and timely early warning to communities at risk of impending natural hazards, down to the last mile.   Mr. Joseph Intsiful and Mr. Nazeem Wasti of the Secretariat Division on Mitigation and Adaptation helped the country project team prepare for the process of the Board Meeting deliberation and approval. At the ITAP session, Land Bank of the Philippines and other accredited entities were informed on the technical evaluation of funding proposals, particularly on forest and land use change and sustainability for adaptation projects. At the Technical Session that serves as a precursor to the GCF Board Meeting, Land Bank was given the opportunity to address queries and concerns by GCF Board advisers on the MH-IBF-EWS project.  The country project team was also able to meet Deputy Speaker and Antique Congresswoman Loren Legarda, who sits as an alternate member in the GCF Board representing the Asia Pacific Group.  The consideration of the MH-IBF-EWS project and other funding proposals is on the second day, November 13, of the GCF Board Meeting agenda.
November 11, 2019 Monday
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First PH Climate Finance Proposal Up for GCF Board Approval
MANILA, PHILIPPINES 11 November 2019 – The Climate Change Commission (CCC) today announced that the country’s very first funding proposal to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) will be up for consideration at the 24th Meeting of the GCF Board, to be held in Songdo, South Korea on November 12 to 14, 2019.   The funding proposal seeks a grant of USD10 million on the establishment of multi-hazard impact-based forecasting and early warning systems and services (MH-IBF-EWS). The project aims to strengthen and ensure the delivery of actionable and timely early warning to communities at risk of impending natural hazards, down to the last mile.   The country’s national meteorological agency PAGASA shall serve as the project’s lead executing entity, together with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), DENR-Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), World Food Programme (WFP), and the local governments of Tuguegarao City; Legazpi City; Palo, Leyte; and New Bataan, Davao de Oro, which shall also be the project’s target sites. The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) serves as the accredited entity through which the GCF shall channel the funds if approved by the Board.   Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, who serves as an alternate member in the GCF Board, is confirmed to attend the meeting. The PAGASA Modernization Act which she principally authored in 2015 provided the foundation for the co-financing component from the Philippine government to ensure sustainability of the MH-IBF-EWS project.   “We are making significant progress in our pursuit to access climate finance with our very first country proposal to the GCF. I hope that my fellow GCF Board Members will also see the potential of this project to transform our traditional early warning systems and services towards a more proactive and inclusive climate risk management tool for saving lives and resources,” Legarda said.   “Lessons from Typhoon Haiyan, which, six years ago, battered central Philippines and my very own province of Antique, remind us that actionable information and warnings are key to saving lives and protecting property,” Legarda added.   In June, the CCC, as the National Designated Authority (NDA) to the GCF, issued a no-objection letter for the MH-IBF-EWS project, after a review process which included consultations with the GCF-Technical Working Group (comprised mainly of the Department of Finance, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Office of the Executive Secretary, Office of the Cabinet Secretary, and Philippine Commission on Women).   “One crucial consideration that the GCF looks into when reviewing project proposals is the country ownership aspect. As the NDA, the CCC has put in place a whole-of-nation approach, so we can be sure that agencies and stakeholders are onboard on these projects,” said Commissioner Rachel Herrera, who is also the National Focal Point to the GCF.   “The MH-IBF-EWS project is just the start, and we are hopeful that we can quickly move several other projects in the pipeline for submission to the GCF. We will continue to work with other government agencies and project proponents to bring in climate finance that will build genuine resilience for our people and environment,” Herrera concluded.     About the GCF and the Board   The Green Climate Fund is the largest climate finance mechanism in the world, specifically catered to developing countries. It was created by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to support low emission (mitigation) and climate resilience (adaptation) projects and programs. The GCF serves the Paris Agreement in supporting the goal of limiting global warming below two degrees Celsius and pursuing efforts to limit it further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.   The GCF Board governs the Fund and is composed of 24 members with equal representation from developed and developing countries. The Board receives guidance from the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC.   As of October 2019, the GCF has approved 111 projects amounting to USD5.2 billion (with co-financing, amounting to USD18.7 billion). An estimated 310 million people will benefit with increased resilience and 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent will be avoided through these projects.
November 10, 2019 Sunday
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Green Champion GCF Awards
October 15 is the deadline for nominations of individuals and organizations to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Green Champions Awards. The Green Champions GCF Awards will recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that are driving climate transformation, as well as promote initiatives that stand as examples of environmental, social, and business-led commitments to combat climate change. This includes activities that limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions and those that encourage adaptation to climate change impacts. The categories are as follows: 1. Climate Youth Champion - Individual, aged 25 years below, who is making a difference in responding to the climate challenge. 2. Climate Gender Champion - Individual who has a track record in emphasizing the inclusiveness of women in climate action. 3. Climate Community Champion - Individual or organization that is central to a community’s engagement with climate action. 4. Transformational Country Champion - Individual or organization in a developing country that has made notable progress in pursuing national interaction with the GCF. 5. Climate Entrepreneur - Individual or organization making successes in bringing the private sector into climate finance. 6. Climate Lifetime Achievement Champion - Individual who is a recognized trailblazer in promoting climate action. If you want to nominate outstanding Filipino individuals and/or organizations in any of the categories, please do so through the GCF Green Champions Awards website via: https://awards.greenchampions.online/ Let us support our deserving fellow Filipinos and organizations by making their efforts to drive climate ambition and action known by the global community!
October 11, 2019 Friday
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