PH officially joins new High-Ambition Coalition | Inquirer News

PH officially joins new High-Ambition Coalition

/ 05:38 PM December 12, 2015


On Saturday, a day after the climate change negotiations were supposed to end, UN staff distribute postcards showing an empty plenary hall at the Le Bourget convention center. The talks, which seek a new climate treaty, have extended by at least one day.

PARIS—The Philippines has officially joined the so-called “High Ambition Coalition,” a loose alliance of parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that is pushing for a 1.5-degree limit on the rise of the global average temperature.

Negotiator Antonio La Viña, spokesperson for the Philippine delegation to the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21), confirmed the Philippines’ participation. “The press reports last night [Friday, December 11] were premature but today I can confirm that Sec. Manny de Guzman will be attending the next meeting of the coalition.”


The Climate Vulnerable Forum, a 43-party advocacy group chaired by the Philippines, has pushed the 1.5 goal over the last year and throughout the negotiations. In COP21 terms, the Philippines with the CVF was advocating a higher level of ambition; the alternative is a proposed cap on the rise of global temperature to 2 degrees and below from pre-industrial levels. To date, the CVF’s call for “1.5 to stay alive” has gained the support of 114 countries, including host France.


But another alliance of parties supporting the 1.5 goal, built around the negotiating bloc known as the Alliance of Small Island States, has also gained traction in the two-week talks. Its partnership with the United States, the world’s second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, has since raised the profile of the grouping. The first mention of a “High Ambition Coalition” was made by chief US negotiator Todd Stern, and earlier this week US Secretary of State John Kerry announced that his country was now formally part of the coalition.

La Viña expressed optimism that Philippine participation in the coalition will complement its efforts through the CVF to push the 1.5 ambition. “This combination of developed and developing countries could be a powerful voice in the last leg of this process.”

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