MANILA, 4 DECEMBER 2020 — The House of Representatives’ Committee on Climate Change convened an online hearing today with the Cabinet cluster on climate change to confirm the country’s submission of an enhanced national climate action target (known as Nationally Determined Contribution, or NDC) by the end of the year.
Committee chair Rep. Edgar Chatto, of the First District of Bohol, stressed that President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly invited other climate vulnerable countries to join the country in demanding climate justice and called on developed nations to cut their emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement, most recently during last September’s United Nations General Assembly and last month’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit.
All agencies have sent their sectoral NDC submissions to the Climate Change Commission (CCC), which is currently consolidating them for submission to the UN within the month, said CCC Commissioner Rachel Herrera.
Department of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Analiza Teh, the Department of Energy’s Energy Policy and Planning Bureau Director Jesus Tamang, and high level officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the National Economic and Development Authority also voiced their support for the delivery of the country’s NDC in 2020 and last month’s climate emergency declaration by the House.
“The President’s directive to act on climate change with the same urgency as the COVID-19 pandemic is clear. The real test of our urgency, of our commitment to climate justice, would be our submission of an ambitious NDC which will make our communities more climate resilient and spur our economic growth. The House’s recent declaration of a climate emergency includes our sense that the NDC must be delivered on or before midnight by 2020,” said Rep. Chatto, with committee vice chair Rep. Elisa Kho of Masbate’s Second District, concurring. Representative Chatto sponsored the said declaration under House Resolution No. 1377 with Rep. Kho and Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, among others.
The Philippines and other member nations of the Climate Vulnerable Forum call on all countries to deliver their enhanced NDCs to the UN climate convention before midnight on 31 December, the first deadline for all countries to increase ambition since the Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015.
“We certainly support the position of the House that the declaration of a climate emergency is two decades too late. We support as well the sense of the Chair that a climate emergency declaration makes sense only if it compels the Philippine government to further advance its work to make our economy more resilient as well as to accelerate the energy transition that is already well underway in the country,” said Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities.
Constantino also shared the recent assessment of the international Climate Action Tracker that “The Philippines is the first Southeast Asian country to declare a moratorium on new coal. With measures promoting more renewable energy, this could curb 2030 emissions by up to 35 percent. All eyes are now on the NDC update. We rate the conditional target ‘2˚C Compatible’ but government is not yet on track to meet it.”
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