The Philippines will join countries from around the world for the international climate change negotiations in Katowice, Poland from December 2-14, 2018 with an urgent call for global climate action and to fulfill pledges under the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.
Climate Change Commission Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman said the gathering of the world leaders at the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), commonly known as COP24, is an opportunity for the Philippines to show leadership and momentum on global climate action and ensuring the implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement that addresses the priorities, needs and attainment of sustainable development for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries.
“ In the climate talks, ours is a leadership voice on behalf of the climate vulnerable. The has Philippines championed climate justice and other fundamental principles in the climate talks and has succeeded,” de Guzman said.
Furthermore, De Guzman said that in the Paris Agreement, the Philippines succeeded in ensuring that adaptation and mitigation receive a balanced allocation of funds that takes into account country-driven strategies, and the priorities and needs of developing countries.
“ We succeeded in stipulating in the Paris Agreement that adaptation finance must solely be in the form of grants, and not loans or other means of access. We also succeeded in retaining the focus on loss and damage and on strengthening the international mechanisms and approaches for managing climate and disaster risk,” de Guzman said.
As among the most influential voices in the climate negotiations, de Guzman said the Philippines will be constant and persistent in our call for the provision of scaled-up, continuous, predictable, and adequate financial support of developed countries to developing countries.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Chairperson in the Climate Change Commission, has clearly stated that climate change is a top priority of his administration. The government has demonstrated its commitment to protect the country’s natural resources by ensuring that our national development policies and plans help build the capacity of our local communities to adapt to the changing climate and enjoy a clean and green environment.
In this administration, the government has operationalized its own climate finance mechanism for local adaptation projects and started working on an ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).
In his message at the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Virtual Leaders’ Summit held on November 22, President Duterte called for a sense of urgency in the fight against climate change at the telling world leaders that “climate action and ambition must be shared and demonstrated by all nations.”
“ Due to high exposure to natural hazards, the Philippines is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change, “ said President Duterte, who chairs the Climate Change Commission. “ For our people, climate change is a day-today problem and reality, which is why we pioneered our own climate finance mechanism for local adaptation projects and pursued other climate change resiliency initiatives.”
The Philippine delegation to the climate talks in Katowice, Poland will be crucial in safeguarding the continued success of the Paris Agreement.
The country will continue to champion the following concerns of developing countries: finance are delivered, including for technology development, transfer and diffusion, and capacity-building; developed countries have clear programmes for delivery; clarity and acceptability of the time frame of the programmes to enable developing countries like the Philippines to build their national capacities to avoid future generation of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and to survive the intensifying impacts of climate change through anticipatory adaptation.
Additionally, the Philippines will push for the establishment of a global accounting system that deals with both the causes and impacts of climate change, and monitors environmental integrity. This system will allow countries to monitor collective progress against the global temperature goal of the Paris Agreement.
“ The NDC of the Philippines conveys our country’s readiness to raise our ambition and pursue the low carbon transition of our sectors towards a climate resilient and green economy,” de Guzman explained. “ However, we would like to emphasize that defining the ambition and contributions of developing country Parties entails clarity on the delivery of the means of implementation. It is therefore critical that COP 24 delivers on the guidance on how to ensure scale, predictability and sustainability in the delivery of climate finance.”
As Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum in 2015, the country, on behalf of 48 developing countries, led the advocacy for the ambitious global warming threshold of 1.5C, now enshrined in the Paris Agreement as its long-term temperature goal (stated as: “limiting global average temperature to well below 2 °C and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C”).
“ The Philippine advocacy for a highly ambitious climate goal has upheld the fundamental principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and capacities as well as historical responsibilities, and climate justice. We continue to enjoin developed countries to improve their mitigation targets, mobilize climate finance, and accelerate its flow as well as the development and transfer of technology,” de Guzman said.
Moving forward, the Climate Change Commission will:
- sustain efforts to enhance awareness and understanding on climate change and associated risks;
- promote science- and risk-based policy and development planning at the national and local level;
- accelerate capacity-building for local government units;
- invest in social preparation for low carbon transition of all sectors towards a green economy; and
- facilitate efficient access to international climate finance.
At COP24, countries are expected to agree on how they will report on the implementation of their NDCs. The NDC is intended to reflect our needs for adaptation and progressive commitments for mitigation, as well as the commitments of developed country Parties to deliver on the means of implementation, i.e. finance, technology transfer, and capacity building.
Moreover, both developed and developing countries should agree on the modalities, procedures and guidelines, including a common set of clear, straightforward, and measurable indicators, for reporting. A common set of indicators can be tested initially in the current and contemplated reporting instruments, adjusted and adopted at the soonest time possible into a coherent reporting framework.
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