MANILA—Loren Legarda on Wednesday vowed to shepherd the immediate Senate concurrence of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change after it was signed by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.
“It is my commitment to actively shepherd the Senate’s immediate concurrence,” Legarda said noting that it was a “great day for Mother Earth” and “the entire nation.”
Pres. Duterte on Tuesday signed the document signifying the Philippines’ accession to the treaty. Malacañang transmitted it to the Senate Wednesday afternoon.
Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, hailed Pres. Duterte’s ratification of the treaty stressing that it is very important for the Philippines as a vulnerable nation to the impact of climate change.
The senator, who is also UN Global Champion for Resilience, received the Instrument of Ratification for the Paris Agreement from Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Meynard Guevarra.
She said that the ratification would allow the Philippines to access to the Green Climate Fund.
“This is what we have been waiting for—for developed countries that are the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG) to aid vulnerable, low-emitting nations like the Philippines,” Legarda said.
Legarda explained that once the treaty is fully ratified, the Philippines will become part of the succeeding meetings about the Paris Agreement.
She said that it is to the advantage of the Philippines to be in talks to converge with fellow vulnerable nations.
“Our ratification will send a strong signal of our continuing commitment to work with the rest of the world in ensuring the survival of this generation and the generations to come, and the ability of the Earth to sustain life,” she added.
Since the treaty was signed by more than a hundred countries on April 22, 2016 at the UN Headquarters in New York where Legarda was present, she has called on the Philippines and all nations to immediately ratify it.
On November 4, 2016, the treaty was entered into force. Since the Philippines has not yet ratified the treaty, it only sat as an observer in the ceremonial first meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement or the CMA during the 2016 climate negotiations in Marrakech, Morocco.
The Paris Agreement on climate change is a treaty that seeks to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
To recall, Pres. Duterte initially opposed the ratification of the agreement, saying it will prevent the Philippines from achieving economic and industrial growth target.
He changed his mind about the treaty after most of his Cabinet members voted in favor of what has been described as a landmark global deal to cut harmful carbon emissions that are causing climate change.
The Philippines was one of the 195 countries that agreed to the Paris Agreement during the 21st Conference of the Parties or COP21 in France last year.