Philippines hands over CVF chairmanship, but challenges remain

By Denise Fontanilla Top officials from the 43-member-strong Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) met in Manila over the weekend to strengthen their joint fight against climate change on front lines across the world. The Philippines, which will soon host the first South-South center of excellence on climate information and services, also hosted a seminar which aimed to chart the course of the CVF in the aftermath of the Paris climate negotiations last December. Under the Philippine presidency, the Forum successfully led a campaign with other governments and civil society groups for the Paris Agreement to aim at limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius below pre-industrial levels. “While the Olympians are in the business of breaking records, we are instead in the business of making certain that the 1.5°C record that CVF has set is not broken,” said Emmanuel De Guzman, Philippine Climate Change commissioner. De Guzman will officially turn over the Philippines’ chairmanship to Ethiopia in a policy forum tomorrow at the Philippine Senate. “The Philippines has set the bar very, very high. This forum has achieved a huge momentum and the Paris Agreement session, the COP 21, has been exemplary to demonstrate what the Philippines and the CVF have achieved,” said Dr. Shiferawu Teklemariam, Ethiopia’s Environment, Forest and Climate Change minister. 14001744_10154459715694048_1426954164_o Teklemariam congratulated the Philippines not just for leading their 1.5°C advocacy agenda but for recruiting more member-countries to the CVF—which now come from across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific. He also shared that under Eithiopia’s leadership, the CVF will continue to play a key role in the next climate conference, which will happen in Marrakech, Morocco this November. “In Marrakech, what would definitely take place is (we) will clarify how actions can be achieved and make sure commitments are translated into action,” Teklemariam said. “Nations would have to do their own share, the global community would have to do their own share, and above all, the citizens, the taxpayers, they need to make sure their governments are accountable,” he added.