Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel on Tuesday called the Senate’s ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change “a significant step forward in our country’s efforts to address climate change and bequeath a livable world to our children and their children.”
Voting 22-0, the Senate voted to ratify the Paris Agreement after President Rodrigo Duterte transmitted the treaty to the Upper Chamber for ratification.
According to Pimentel, climate change should be categorized as a “clear and present danger” to the country as it is a phenomenon that affects the lives of the nation’s 100 million citizens.
“Over the last decade, the country has experienced severe weather events that have resulted in the tragic loss of life and billions of pesos in damages. Supertyphoons Ondoy, Pepeng, Sendong, Pablo, and Yolanda combined have claimed the lives of 10,000 people and caused economic losses amounting to close to 900 billion pesos,” the solon said.
“These typhoons have even hit Mindanao, which in the past was spared from powerful storms. Scientists all agree that these disturbing developments are all a result of climate change,” explained the Cagayan De Oro native.
Pimentel said that by pushing to limit the rise in global temperatures to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the Paris Agreement is a valuable instrument that can aid global efforts to rein in global warming and reduce its impact on the Philippines and help the country achieve its sustainable development goals.
“Our efforts to lift our people out of poverty, to ensure food security, and to spur economic development will all be humstrung if we do not treat climate change with the sense of urgency it deserves.”
The Senate President said that President Rodrigo Duterte, the members of the Senate, the Climate Change Commission, the Department of Foreign Affairs, NGOs, and environment advocates “all deserve credit for the ratification of this treaty.”
“But our efforts must not end here. We must continue to work on ensuring that our government implements climate change adaptation and mitigation programs, as we have to be prepared for the challenges and threats posed by climate change.”