MANILA, 8 October 2018 — Immediate and ambitious action to limit global warming is not only crucial for the Philippines to stave off the worst impacts of climate change, it is also key to unlocking economic growth, according to the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), citing the highlights of a major UN scientific report released today.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change today released the summary of a special report on the impacts of limiting global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius (°C) above pre-industrial levels, an upper limit which the Philippines and other vulnerable countries helped enshrine in the Paris climate agreement.

“The IPCC report is a call for governments to step up their act in avoiding the worst impacts of the climate crisis,” said Red Constantino, ICSC executive director. “What is stopping the world from holding warming to 1.5°C throughout the 21st century, while reaping considerable economic benefits, is political will.”

The highlights of the report, as well as its economic and political implications for the Philippines, were discussed in a press briefing held today by the Climate Change Commission with ICSC, a Manila-based international climate and energy policy group. Climate scientist and meteorologist Dr. Rosa Perez, the sole Filipina lead author of the IPCC special report, presented the summary of the report immediately after its global launch held in Incheon, Korea.

Dr. Toby Monsod, associate professor of the University of the Philippines School of Economics, said climate solutions should be interrelated and baked into major socio-economic and political policies.

“Anticipating the slow onset events of climate change also presents an opportunity to spur wider, sustainable and inclusive economic transformation. The opportunity is to rethink economies, consumption and production choices, urbanization and settlement patterns – and redirect these in favor of productive work, shared prosperity, and sustainable development,” she added.

Commissioner Rachel Herrera of the Climate Change Commission, which is under the Office of the President, committed to organize briefings with the cabinet and the House and Senate climate change committees in the coming weeks.