MANILA Manila continues to take part in conferences tackling ways to address the growing threat of climate change as manifested in an event co-organized by the Philippines on the sidelines of the 41st Human Rights Council session in Geneva early this week.
On June 26, the Philippine government, together with civil society members, co-organized the panel discussion titled "Fighting Climate Change through International Solidarity".
Representing the Philippine delegation was Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Evan Garcia, who underscored that Manila continues to recognize the need for "climate action."
"As a country that is one of the most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, the Philippines has long recognized the dangers of inaction," Garcia said in his opening remarks during the event.
"Yet action without vision or a wide base of support is equally perilous: well-meaning response, if sporadic or isolated to a few sectors, creates a false sense of security and teases the rest into complacency," he said.
For climate action to be sustainable and effective, he called for the involvement of all segments of the population and sectors of society.
"It has to be deliberate, relentless, strategic, and inclusive. It has to be built on a foundation of solidarity," he said.
Garcia noted that the Philippine government has already forged partnerships with key stakeholders and established a network of contacts across sectors.
"To strengthen climate action in hospitals and the health care sector, for example, the Philippines tapped the expertise of the Philippine Medical Association, the Philippine Hospitals Association, and the Philippine College of Physicians," he said.
To integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation in banking and finance, he noted that the Philippines strengthened its cooperation between the Central Bank and the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific.
The country's Climate Change Commission has also signed 39 memoranda of agreement with higher education institutions, he added.
Among others, the government has sought to increase awareness about how climate change acts as a driver of migration and how the adverse impacts of the phenomenon impede the full enjoyment of human rights.
"The Philippines continues to actively engage bodies, such as the Climate Vulnerable Forum, the Migrants Forum in Asia, and the Human Rights Council, where we are now co-sponsoring a resolution that draws attention to the disproportionate effects of climate change on persons with disabilities," Garcia reported.
The 2018 Special Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report warned that global warming is likely to reach 1.50 degrees Celsius between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.
Garcia acknowledged that the task of fighting climate change is "certainly daunting" and although the Philippines continues to do its share, "it is not enough".
"Our President has recently called on industrialized nations to significantly reduce their carbon emissions and provide assistance to developing nations in terms of finance, capacity-building and technology transfer: 'Only by helping one another,' he said, could we 'win the fight against climate change,'" the envoy said.
"And, may I add, only by working in good faith and solidarity can we governments, members of the academe and the media, religious organizations, interest groups have a chance at securing the future of succeeding generations," he said.
One of the country's concrete moves on climate change efforts was the issuance of an order barring officials from attending climate change conferences that require air travel.
Aircraft greenhouse emissions are believed to take toll on the very phenomenon. According to a Climate Action Network report, the aviation sector is one of the top 10 global emitters whose emissions are expected to rise dramatically by mid-century.
Amid the order, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. earlier assured that the Philippine government will vote in the affirmative on all climate-change proposals. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency