MANILA-- Reacting to today's Senate approval on the third and final reading of its concurrence on the Philippines' accession to the Paris Agreement on climate change, Renato Redentor Constantino, Executive Director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, said:
"Today, members of the Senate did what they announced they would do, which is to act in the country's interests and ratify the Paris Agreement. The country deserves to know its champions - Senator Loren Legarda, as well as Climate Change Commissioner Emmanuel de Guzman and President Rodrigo Duterte, must be lauded for shepherding our accession to this historic global pact.
Senator Legarda's unflinching stance on the climate crisis paved the way to getting President Duterte's signature and the Senate nod on the Paris deal. We will need more of the tireless leadership she has displayed if we are to survive and thrive in the face of worsening climate change.
"The baton has been passed back to the executive branch to implement the Paris deal. It is time for officials in dormant offices such as the Climate Change Commission to wake up and act on the sense of urgency conveyed by President Duterte and Senator Legarda.
"The Commission has been on hibernation when it comes to the energy policy review. The Review is a critical first step to updating the country's Nationally Determined Contribution to global climate action, yet it has remained in limbo since July 2016.
"Ambition likewise enables the country to raise more funds for adaptation and the transition to a more sustainably-powered economy, yet it seems the same office has been in a slumber since the beginning of the year.
"We urge the Duterte administration to sustain its leadership and partnership with the 48-member Climate Vulnerable Forum, which Senator Legarda helped create. Together, vulnerable countries will learn faster but also exert a far stronger voice calling on high-emitting countries to do their fair share of climate action."
The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities is a policy group in the Philippines promoting low-carbon development strategies, sustainable energy solutions and fair climate policy in vulnerable countries.
Source: Philippines Information Agency