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Philippines in climate change talks

THE Philippines continues to engage the world on climate change when it co-organized a panel discussion on climate change in Geneva.

On the sidelines of the 41st Human Rights Council session in Geneva early this week, the Philippine government, represented by Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Ambassador Evan Garcia and the civil society members co-organized the panel discussion titled “Fighting Climate Change through International Solidarity”.

Garcia underscored that Manila continues to recognize the need for “climate action.”

“As a country that is one of the most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, the Philippines has long recognized the dangers of inaction,” Garcia said in his opening remarks during the event.

“Yet action without vision or a wide base of support is equally perilous: well-meaning response, if sporadic or isolated to a few sectors, creates a false sense of security and teases the rest into complacency.”

He called for the involvement of all segments of the population and sectors of society so that the actions that will be taken will be effective.

“It has to be deliberate, relentless, strategic, and inclusive. It has to be built on a foundation of solidarity,” he said.

Garcia noted that the Philippine government has already forged partnerships with key stakeholders and established a network of contacts across sectors.

“To strengthen climate action in hospitals and the health care sector, for example, the Philippines tapped the expertise of the Philippine Medical Association, the Philippine Hospitals Association, and the Philippine College of Physicians,” he said.

He also cited that the country’s Climate Change Commission has signed 39 memoranda of agreement with higher education institutions.

The 2018 Special Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report warned that global warming is likely to reach 1.50 degrees Celsius between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.

Garcia acknowledged that the task of fighting climate change is “certainly daunting” and although the Philippines continues to do its share, “it is not enough”.

“Our President has recently called on industrialized nations to significantly reduce their carbon emissions and provide assistance to developing nations in terms of finance, capacity-building and technology transfer: ‘Only by helping one another,’ he said, could we ‘win the fight against climate change,’” the envoy said.

“And, may I add, only by working in good faith and solidarity can we — governments, members of the academe and the media, religious organizations, interest groups — have a chance at securing the future of succeeding generations,” he said.