Senator Loren Legarda said that the Paris Agreement on climate change will be mere ink on paper without a roadmap of what government agencies and the private sector must do to help achieve the goals of the treaty.
Speaking at the Tripartite Conference on the Philippine Roadmap for the Paris Accord at the Manila Hotel, Legarda said the Philippines’ accession to the Paris Agreement is a testament of the country’s strong commitment to work with the rest of the world in ensuring the survival of this generation and the generations to come, and the ability of the Earth to sustain life.
“But even as the Paris Agreement has been hailed by many as a landmark agreement, its aspirations will not happen on its own. Effective enforcement emanates from everyone’s understanding and appreciation of responsibility and accountability,” Legarda stressed.
“Now that we are officially a Party to the Paris Agreement, we need to ensure that we are able to determine our path towards sustainable, low carbon development through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) that are transformational and ambitious,” the veteran legislator added.
The seasoned lawmaker, Chair of the Senate Committees on Climate Change and Finance, said that the government must create sectoral roadmaps especially in the energy, transport and agriculture sectors.
The budget of government agencies should support the NDC goals and all government projects, including those foreign funded, must be aligned with the Agreement as well as with other international frameworks for development such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Local government units should carry out climate resilience initiatives and access the People’s Survival Fund.
Moreover, the Climate Change Commission should promote an energy efficiency rating system for residences and business establishments, and carbon offsetting, and initiate capacity development in strengthening understanding of climate change and disaster risk for resilient and sustainable development planning.
“It is also important that the Philippines continues to champion climate justice for the climate vulnerable. We must monitor the implementation of the Paris Agreement especially in operationalizing financing for mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, technology transfer and capacity building,” said the lady senator.
“We are called upon to pursue a development path consistent with the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal to protect our people and the environment. We are challenged to do more, to do better, and to be more innovative. We cannot be forever vulnerable. Let us not just live with the risks; let us deal with it,” she concluded.
The Tripartite Conference on the Philippine Roadmap for the Paris Accord was organized by civil society conveners group led by former Senators Heherson Alvarez and Joey Lina in partnership with the government and the international community. Legarda was the forum’s Keynote Speaker.