DEPUTY Speaker and Lone District of Antique Representative Loren Legarda calls for bolder climate action amid disappointing outcome of the 25th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). COP 25 failed to conclude key matters and adopt critical decisions on financing for developing countries, loss and damage, and the rules on carbon markets.
“We are disappointed with the general outcome of COP25. Delaying actions on relevant issues on climate will drive higher risks to vulnerable countries like the Philippines. Based on the outcomes of the summit, it appears that most of the developed nations do not see the urgency of taking action now to keep to the 1.5 degrees target of the Paris Agreement,” said Deputy Speaker Legarda, Head of the Philippine Delegation to COP 25.
However, the Philippine Delegation sees a silver lining to the outcome having asserted the rights of developing countries to development in terms of emissions avoidance and access to long-term climate finance.
“Emissions avoidance is now a serious option for climate change mitigation strategy instead of just the constraining emissions reduction. As guaranteed under the Convention and the Paris Agreement, developing countries can pursue economic development and poverty eradication with whatever energy supply means at their disposal,” Legarda said. “Moreover, we were able to champion the continued consideration of the long-term finance needs of developing countries. Long-term finance deliberations must be given a new lease on life and should not stop until the urgent needs of developing countries like the Philippines in addressing climate change impacts are secured,” she added.
The Philippines, despite contributing only 0.3% – one-third of one percent – to the total global carbon emissions, has been a vocal champion for the most vulnerable countries and played an important role in the global climate arena.
It will be recalled that the Climate Vulnerable Forum under the Philippine chairmanship advocated strongly for the 1.5C climate ambition to define and drive the global climate action, a stand embodied in the Manila Paris Declaration adopted in November 2015, by more than 40 developing nations then, at the resumption of negotiations at the COP21 in December 2015 in Paris.
The Philippines was also able to successfully table overarching provisions that ensure climate justice and ecosystems integrity in addressing climate change including the recognition of loss and damage as a separate area of global priority from adaptation, scaled-up financial resources aiming for a balance between adaptation and mitigation, and advocated for adaptation finance to solely be in the form of grants, and not loans.
“The Philippines has done so much. It is only expected for the developed world to take decisive and bold actions in cutting emissions, delivering on climate finance, and upholding climate justice”, Legarda said.
With greater hope, the Philippines will continue to strengthen its stand and policy advocacy on the pursuit of the 1.5C threshold, and will work with the COP26 presidency and the CVF member Parties to address the unresolved issues of COP25.