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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

01 December 2020 03:59:32 PM

In the aftermath of the typhoons that devastated the country, House leaders stressed at the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Global Parliamentarians Meeting the necessity to unite legislative efforts to address and mitigate the worsening effects of climate change.

The CVF Global Parliamentarians Meeting, held November 25, 2020, was an international webinar organized by the CVF in collaboration with the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Global Center on Adaptation. The meeting explored practical steps that parliamentarians can engage in to combat climate change through more urgent and ambitious actions and international outreach.

House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco highlighted that parliamentarians must speed up efforts towards climate resilience amid the pandemic and the worsening impacts of climate change.

“The increasingly violent typhoons, hurricanes, and floods caused by climate change are becoming the new normal all over the world and the Philippines has been on the unfortunate receiving end of the worst of them. As parliamentarians of the world’s most vulnerable countries, we need to set enabling policies that will accelerate our transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic… The need for climate action is as urgent as the need for a vaccine against COVID-19,” Speaker Velasco said.

Speaker Velasco added that he looks forward to working together with the parliamentarians of the CVF in developing a common legislative agenda that will ensure a world united in pursuing sustainable practices.

“Together, let us deliver the much-needed policies that will usher a new era of economic development that is founded on sustainability, environmental protection, better risk governance, and climate justice,” he said.

As a keynote panelist at the event, Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda stressed that it falls on developing states—most especially those that are hardest hit by the climate crisis—to unite and push for large-scale reductions in carbon emissions.

“In light of these intensifying impacts of the climate crisis, we are required to do much much more. If countries historically responsible for the climate crisis will not act with urgency, we in the developing world must act in concert to take action, to take the lead in deep and drastic cuts in carbon emissions. There is no greater weapon to wield the righteousness of our cause than raising our own climate ambitions. Enhancing our nationally determined contributions is critical in demonstrating our climate leadership,” Deputy Speaker Legarda said.

Meanwhile, House Committee on Climate Change Chair Rep. Edgar Chatto (1st District, Bohol) noted that the House recently adopted House Resolution 1377, declaring a climate and environmental emergency, ensuring enhanced and coherent climate actions in the executive and legislative agenda of the government.

“The House Committee on Climate Change under my leadership is in full support of this promotion of sustainable and renewable energy. In fact, the House Resolution on environmental and climate emergency calling on all the major carbon emitters, global industries and local government units to pursue renewable and sustainable energy sources was adopted by the House of Representatives today at 7:02 PM. This is the first climate emergency declaration that is national in scope in the country,” Chatto said.

The CVF is the foremost international cooperation body for nations most threatened by the climate emergency. It has 48 member states from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific. Its meeting on November 25 tackled enhanced governmental ambition under the Paris Agreement in 2020, the launch of parliamentarians’ program of climate threatened nations, and ensuring climate resilience amid the coinciding challenges of the pandemic and climate-related disasters.