PH seeks ‘bolder’ climate commitment from developed nations
The Philippines will assert its call for “bolder” climate action from developed nations and also urge them to make good on their commitment to climate finance and assistance during the annual United Nations climate negotiations being held in Egypt from Sunday until Nov. 18.
The 27th session of the annual Conference of Parties (COP27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change comes a week after Tropical Storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae) barreled through the Philippines and caused landslides and massive flooding that left 154 people dead.
Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, the head of the country’s delegation to COP27, pointed out that Paeng’s wrath was a “reminder of the devastating impacts of climate change.”
The Philippine delegation to COP27 is composed of representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Finance, Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, and the Climate Change Commission, including climate scientists and climate and development experts.
Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s minister of foreign affairs and president-designate of COP27, said this year’s summit in Sharm El Sheikh would provide an opportunity to address climate change as more than 100 heads of state and government would “come together, mend multilateralism, rebuild trust and unite at the highest political levels.”
“COP represents an opportunity that humanity cannot afford to miss. With this in mind, it was only logical that COP27 unofficially be labeled ‘the Implementation COP,’” Shoukry said, adding that it would be an avenue to ensure the full implementation of the Paris Agreement’s provisions.
The Paris Agreement is a landmark international treaty on climate change adopted by 196 Parties at COP21 on Dec. 12, 2015. It aims to “limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.”
Loss and damage
Loyzaga said developing countries “hardly” contribute to greenhouse gas emissions but continue to suffer the most and bear the brunt of climate change.
The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions said the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases were China, the United States, as well as members of the European Union.
“As developing countries need resources for climate adaptation, the Philippine delegation will continue calling on developed countries to step up to these obligations and deliver without delay on their commitments on climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building,” Loyzaga said.
The country aims to build on the agreements from COP26 in Glasgow last year, particularly in the working group focused on Article 6 of the Paris Agreement that deals with climate finance and loss and damage.
Fourth most affected
“Simultaneously, addressing loss and damage is crucial for Philippine climate action plans. As such, the Philippines agrees to the operationalization and funding of the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage, which aims to provide developing countries with technical assistance,” Loyzaga said.
Based on the Global Climate Risk Index report by environmental policy think tank Germanwatch, the Philippines ranked fourth out of 180 countries most affected by extreme weather from 2000 to 2019, next to Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti.
A total of 317 extreme weather events in the country were recorded during the 20-year period of the study while climate-related hazards resulted in P506.1 billion worth of losses and damage over the past decade, the Department of Finance reported last year.
Civil society organizations, meanwhile, urged the Philippine delegation to put agroecology—an academic discipline that explores the relationship between agricultural crops and the environment—on the summit’s agenda.
“We forward the framework of agroecology as a viable, feasible, and an alternative climate change adaptation and mitigation strategy ….[It] must be recognized as a global warming solution and a rights-based approach in the COP27 processes and decisions, to ensure the delivery of urgent and concrete climate actions,” they said in an open letter on Sunday. INQ
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