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House solon wants CCC to outline climate action plans
CAMARINES Sur Rep. LRay Villafuerte on Friday said he wants the Climate Change Commission (CCC) to explain to the public how it intends from hereon to move forward on its climate action plans, after President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has assured environmentalists that among the top priorities of the national agenda is building the country’s resiliency against planet warming by upgrading its mitigation and adaptation measures amid the worsening global climate crisis.
“We welcome President Marcos’ avowed commitment to give top priority to mitigation and adaptation measures for climate change in our country that is among the developing economies most vulnerable to the backlash from global warming,” said Villafuerte, who is president of the National Unity Party (NUP) that is the second biggest power bloc in the House of Representatives.
Villafuerte said the government’s climate action agenda had acquired “greater urgency” in the face of a report that the Philippines has become the most disaster-prone country in the world because of its high risk, exposure, and vulnerability to natural calamities and disasters.
In the World Risk Report 2022 on the disaster risks of 193 countries, the Germany-based Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft and the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict at Ruhr University Bochum (IFHV) have bared that the Philippines rose in rank from no. 3 in 2018 to the current no. 1 spot, with a risk index score of 46.82.
India was No. 2 with an index score of 42.31; followed by Indonesia, 41.46; Colombia, 38.37; and Mexico, 37.55.
The same report also listed the Philippines as among the “Top 10” countries with the highest exposure to disasters, landing at no. 4 with 39.99 exposure, after China, Japan, and Mexico.
“I believe it is now up to the CCC to spell out for our people, especially to those living in low-lying or coastal villages that are of highest risk to human-induced climate change, what mitigation and adaptation step it intends to carry out from hereon to prepare for and respond to perilous situations related to planet heating, even as the government aims to increase our domestic economic output,” Villafuerte said.
“We want to know if the current CCC leadership is moving ahead on or is tweaking the lofty—and brave—goal of the previous Administration to reduce the country’s carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 despite the continued failure of wealthy nations to deliver on their pledge way back in 2009 to provide a combined $100 billion in annual financial aid by 2020 to countries like the Philippines that are the most vulnerable to climate change,” he said.
Villafuerte, who is the majority leader of the Commission on Appointments (CA), also wants the CCC to explain to the public how the government plans to accelerate the country’s transition from coal to clean energy.
This transition plan involves upgrading the national power mix by weaning away the country from its traditional dependence on fossil fuel in favor of “green” or clean sources of renewable energy (RE).
Last year, Villafuerte commended the Philippine delegation for “punching above its weight class” in announcing at the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland – its “Sustainable Financing Roadmap” for climate action.
As its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Climate Accords of 2015 (Paris Agreement), the then-Duterte government said at COP 26 that the Philippines has committed to a projected greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction and avoidance of 75% over the 2020-2030 period for the agriculture, wastes, industry, transport and energy sectors.
Villafuerte said the present CCC leadership should “tell us now whether it is sticking to this brave goal of cutting carbon emissions by 75% over the 2020-2030 period despite anemic financial assistance from the world’s heaviest polluters that have for years reneged on their formal pledge of financing and technology transfer for reducing the carbon footprint in high-risk countries like the Philippines.”
He pointed out that, “Filipinos are certainly interested to know how the government, through the CCC, intends to proceed on its bold and ambitious agenda on climate action, now that President Marcos has assured the public anew that building the country’s resiliency and improving mitigation and adaptation measures top the agenda of his administration.”