MANILA, May 18, 2023 – Southeast Asian groups, backed by the Climate Change Commission of the Philippines, called for urgent and significant delivery of Paris climate commitments to help communities, especially the most vulnerable, survive and thrive amid the climate crisis.

“As a climate vulnerable region, adaptation remains our response anchor, with mitigation as a co-benefit. We must act on climate change for our long-term resilience and development. We need powerful regional voices in the Global Stocktake (GST), and we hope to achieve that through this collaboration,” said Angelo Kairos dela Cruz, Executive Director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), during the launch of the Southeast Asia (SEA) Hub of the Independent Global Stocktake (iGST) on Tuesday. 

The GST was established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to assess the world’s collective progress towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement, which was adopted in 2015. The Philippines is among the 196 countries which committed to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Led by ICSC and Japan-based think tank Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) with support from ClimateWorks Foundation, the iGST SEA Hub aims to champion a purposive GST that empowers non-state actors (NSAs), including scientists, campaigners, and other civil society representatives, to actively participate in measuring the progress of countries’ climate efforts.

Representatives from the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Timor-Leste, and Laos gathered in Manila from May 16-18 to establish the Hub and lay down their action plans for Southeast Asia. The Hub gathering comes as the UN World Meteorological Organization warns that the world can briefly breach the 1.5°C warming threshold in the next five years, and as the World Weather Attribution group states that climate change made Asia heat waves 30 times more likely to occur.

“The Climate Change Commission supports the iGST SEA Hub to ensure that most, if not all, perspectives are captured in the stocktaking process. The Philippines hopes that Southeast Asian countries can further strengthen their convergence and synergies on climate actions towards attainment of our shared vision of a sustainable and climate-resilient future,” said Secretary Robert Borje, Vice Chairperson and Executive Director of the Commission.

Each Global Stocktake is a two-year process, and is conducted every five years. This year marks a critical juncture for global climate negotiations, as the first GST will conclude in the upcoming UN climate conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in November. UNFCCC Associate Programme Officer Tamaki Takao also emphasized the importance of the third technical dialogue in June this year, which will serve as the venue to contribute final inputs before the culmination of the first GST.

Countries are expected to update their climate pledges and increase international cooperation based on GST outcomes, to ultimately deliver stronger, more ambitious climate action across the globe.

The Independent Global Stocktake (iGST) is a consortium of civil society actors working together to support the Global Stocktake (GST) process. iGST aims to enhance the transparency and accountability in the GST by incorporating independent scientific and technical knowledge from non-state actors, generating momentum for ambitious climate action. Apart from Southeast Asia, iGST also has regional hubs in West Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The iGST SEA Hub was officially launched in May 16, which was followed by a series of workshops from May 16-18, 2023 among members to lay down the framework for the Hub. For more information, visit

The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) is a Manila-based climate and energy policy group advancing climate resilience and low carbon development.

The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) is a Japan-based think tank that specializes in environmental policy and sustainable development. IGES works towards promoting sustainable societies by conducting policy-oriented research, providing recommendations, and facilitating dialogue among various stakeholders.

Ira Guerrero, ICSC:, +63 917 149 5649, +63 995 991 2230
Yuri Katsuike, IGES: