KATOWICE, POLAND–The Philippines joins 196 countries for a two-week climate change conference in Katowice, Poland, to adopt the implementation guidelines of the 2015 Paris Agreement that bound participating governments to help climate-vulnerable nations adapt to climate change impacts and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
At the climate talks, known as the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Katowice, the Philippines reaffirms its leadership on climate action and highlights its initiative on climate justice to help vulnerable communities adapt to climate change.
The 2015 Global Climate Risk index put the Philippines on top of the list of 186 countries most affected by climate change.
“In the climate talks, ours is a leadership voice on behalf of the climate vulnerable. The Philippines has succeeded in championing climate justice and other fundamental principles in the talks,” Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman, vice chairperson of the Climate Change Commission, said.
“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,” said De Guzman, also head of the Philippine delegation to the Katowice talks.
The climate talks, he said, is an opportunity for the Philippines to show leadership and momentum on global climate action and to ensure the completion of the implementation guidelines of the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change that addressed the priorities, needs and attainment of sustainable development for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries.
The Philippines is highly regarded in the negotiation process at the climate talks as a leader of developing countries. As Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum in 2015, the Philippines, 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”).
“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 its call for the provision of scaled-up, continuous, predictable, and adequate financial support of developed countries to developing countries.
He said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, chairperson of the Climate Change Commission, had made clear that climate change is among the top priorities 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,” De Guzman said.
Following the recent release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on 1.5 degrees Celsius, the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Virtual Leaders’ Summit held on November 22, featured interactive debates and live statements from leaders around the world to raise the ambition of their climate targets by 2020 in order to save vulnerable nations threatened by warming beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius target of the Paris Agreement.
In his message at the summit, President Duterte aired a sense of urgency in the fight against climate change, telling world leaders that “climate action and ambition must be shared and demonstrated by all nations.”
“ I call on industrialized nations to significantly reduce their carbon emissions and provide assistance to developing nations in terms of finance, capacity building and technology transfers, as urged by the Paris Agreement,” the President said. “It is only by helping one another that we can win the fight against climate change,” President Duterte said.
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.
source: Climate Change Commission
cover photo: UNFCCC