THE Paris Agreement on Climate Change will enter into force for the Philippines today—coinciding with this year’s Earth Day celebration, according to Sen. Loren Legarda.
This year’s Earth Day will be historic for the Philippines as it will mark the Paris Agreement’s legal force and effect in the country, she said.
“It will also mark a great start to our journey towards a resilient and sustainable future,” said Legarda, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Climate Change.
The Philippine Mission to the United Nations deposited the country’s Instrument of Accession to the UN Treaty Section on March 23, 2017. It will enter into force for the Philippines after 30 days or on April 22.
Legarda said that one of the immediate effects of the Agreement’s entry into force is that the Philippines will “no longer be just an observer in the next meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.”
“It is important that we actively participate so that we continue to advance our country’s interests. We need to exercise governance, oversight, leadership and decision-making in the implementation of the Agreement,” she said.
Since the Paris Agreement allows the country access to international climate finance mechanisms, Legarda said that it is important for the government to immediately identify programs that can be funded.
“We can acquire support from developed countries for adaptation, mitigation, technology development and transfer, and capacity building. These could help finance the development and roll out of our early warning systems, comprehensive risk assessment and management tools, and other capacity-building projects and programs that would make our communities more resilient to climate change,” she said.
Legarda has pressed for the immediate creation of local climate change action plans (LCCAP) of all cities, municipalities, and provinces. “These LCCAPs can be the tools to access grant-based funding from international climate funds.”
“We must build capacities of local communities to adapt to climate change impacts and eventually contribute to mitigation. The Paris Agreement is a testament of solidarity and a call for global climate action,” she said.
“It shows that developing nations and developed countries could pursue climate action and uphold climate justice together. For our part, we must ensure that our own people are climate-engaged and our communities are gearing towards the sustainable path,” she added.