MANILA – Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and French President Francois Hollande initiated a call for the international community, stakeholders and world leaders to immediately address climate change.
The two leaders made their appeal as they launched the Manila Call to Action Climate Change on Thursday night at the Malacanang Palace during the French leader’s two-day state visit in the Philippines.
”We, along with leading individuals from different countries, committed to climate action gathered in Manila today, wish to engage the international community, all stakeholders and world opinion, on the urgency of addressing climate change seriously, efficiency, and equitably,” the two leaders said.
The appeal of President Aquino and Hollande was in line with the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), which will be hosted by France in December this year.
”We call for climate action. We call upon the international community to conclude a universal, equitable and ambitious climate deal,” they said in a joint statement.
The two leaders agreed that while developing countries, like the Philippines, have contributed least to climate change, “they are the ones that suffer the most from climate change impacts.”
President Aquino cited super typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) that left over 6,000 people dead as it ravaged parts Eastern Visayas Region in November 2013.
Hollande, who will visit the Yolanda-ravaged areas on Friday, said France is also taking initiative for the creation of an international body that would generate US$ 100 billion for the next six years for the protection of vulnerable countries.
”May I just note also that, in terms of the issue of global climate change and the build-up of greenhouse gases, France is one of the lowest in terms of developed countries in terms of contributions to greenhouse gases, so we see that as a commitment to their efforts to alleviating this issue of climate change,” President Aquino said.
In the joint declaration on the enhanced partnership, leaders of Philippines and France also stressed the importance of strengthening the fight against climate change.
The joint declaration also contained the commitment of France to extend to the Philippines a loan of at least 50 million Euros for the implementation of prevention and reconstruction actions in response to natural disasters resulting from the effects of climate change.