MANILA—Sen. Loren Legarda on Friday received an award for her countless contributions in climate change including her major role in the ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in the Philippines.
Legarda, UN Global Champion for Resilience, was bestowed the Luntiang Kapawa award by the Climate Reality Project Philippines in the Senate.
The senator, who is also chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, led the Senate in concurring the ratification of the Paris treaty on March 14, two weeks after Pres. Rodrigo Duterte signed it last February 28.
To recall, Senate Resolution 320 which ratifies the treaty, was passed on third and final reading with 22 affirmative votes, no negative votes and no abstentions.
Legarda, in her speech, thanked the organization for recognizing her work noting even if the Paris Agreement on Climate Change set to enter into force this upcoming Earth Day (Saturday), there was still so much to do.
“We are all in this journey together and though we have already made this our lifelong commitment, we know we have to do more,” Legarda said.
She said that countries should pursue their commitment and immediately help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to help minimize climate and disaster risks, enable adaptation, and ensure sustainable development.
“Tomorrow, on Earth Day, we will officially become a Party to the Paris Agreement. The road towards our ratification of the Agreement was not easy, but the journey to ensuring its implementation is now the greater challenge,” she added.
She, meanwhile, encouraged citizens to “help save the planet not only during Earth Day but every day.”
“…It is not enough that we are the voice of the vulnerable in the global arena. Here at home, we must build capacities of local communities to adapt to climate change impacts and eventually contribute to mitigation,” Legarda said.
“Even if we are a nation vulnerable to climate change impacts, we can show the world that we are capable of action, that we will use our vulnerability as our motivation towards sustainability,” she added.
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change is a treaty that seeks to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
To recall, Pres. Rodrigo 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.