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Duterte inks Paris climate pact

'NATURE IS REJOICING NOW'
By: - Day Desk Chief / @umichaelNQ
/ 10:01 PM February 28, 2017
Legarda

Senator Loren Legarda, Chair, Senate Committee on Climate Change and Finance delivered her message during the Climate Vulnerable Forum. Ministers from countries forming the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and global thought leaders addressed the Philippine Senate today as they presented new research indicating development by emerging economies would be optimized if global teperature increase was below 1.5C degrees celsius. Photo: Joseph Vidal/Prib

President Duterte signed earlier today (Tuesday) the landmark Paris Agreement that will compel highly-industrialized nations to cap greenhouse gas emissions and pursue the massive development of renewable energy.

“The Paris Agreement has been ratified by the President. The ratification will be transmitted by the Office of the President to the Office of Senator Loren Legarda for the Senate to concur in its ratification,” a highly-placed source told the Inquirer.

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The signed document-called the Instrument of Ratification-will be submitted to the Senate tomorrow (Wednesday) at 2 p.m. Legarda will receive it as chair of the Senate climate change committee.

“The Office of the President has informed Senator Legarda about this wonderful news,” the source said, adding: “Nature is rejoicing now.”

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Ratification process

The process of ratification started with the agencies of government submitting their certificates of concurrence (COC) to the Office of the President.

Legarda, the United Nations Global Champion for Resilience, had quietly worked behind the scenes to ensure the climate pact’s ratification, personally calling up heads of agencies of government to submit their COCs and even talking with members of the President’s economic team.

Duterte had earlier threatened not to honor the Paris accord because he believed it would only stymie the country’s economic growth and it was not clear how small countries could access the Green Climate Fund. However, he later agreed to it after his Cabinet members unanimously voted for its ratification.

Climate Change Commission

Last January 31, Duterte himself convened the Climate Change Commission (CCC), a body created by Climate Change Act of 2009.

During the meeting, the President announced that Legarda would serve as the de facto chair of the CCC for being the principal author of the law that created it, a climate expert, and champion of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.

So far, 133 countries of the 197 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change have ratified the Paris Agreement. The threshold for entry into force was achieved as early as Oct. 5, 2016 and it became an international law on Nov. 4, 2016.

The climate deal requires nations to limit temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, a warming threshold that could significantly reduce the dangerous consequences of climate change.

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The Philippines ranked sixth in Asia with a share of only 0.31 percent of the world’s total emissions of greenhouse gases, said the Senate Economic Planning Office.

By ratifying the Paris Agreement, the Philippines can access the US$100 billion climate financing pledged to be put up by developed countries annually by 2020 for climate mitigation and adaptation.

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TAGS: Climate Change, Paris agreement, Philippine news updates, President Duterte
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