PH to mark Earth Day as Paris deal takes effect
MANILA, Philippines – The Paris Agreement on Climate Change will enter into force for the Philippines on Earth Day, April 22, or 30 days after the country submitted its "Instrument of Accession" to the United Nations (UN) Treaty Section.
This was announced by Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, on Friday, April 21, at the Climate Reality Leadership Awards held in the Senate.
“Earth Day will once again be historic for the Philippines as it will mark the commencement of the Paris Agreement’s legal force and effect in our country. It will also mark a great start to our journey towards a resilient and sustainable future,” said Legarda, who received the Luntiang Kapawa award for being intrumental in sheperding the ratification of the Paris deal.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier signed the agreement despite his misgivings.
The Philippine Mission to the UN submitted the document, which signifies the country's ratification of the historic climate change agreement, on March 23, after the Senate gave its concurrence on March 14.
The Senate concurrence was the final step before the Philippines became an official signatory to the historic international agreement.
What entering into force means
When the deal takes effect, it means the country will not just be an observer in the meetings of the Parties to the Paris Agreement, but one of its members that can negotiate.
“The important thing for the country is that we have a voice in these negotiations, and in this historic agreement among nations to finally limit global warming,” according to Climate Change Commission vice chairperson Vernice Victorio.
"This is very significant to the Philippine considering that we are a vulnerable country," added Victorio. According to state weather bureau Pagasa, the Philippines is visited by at least 20 tropical cyclones every year.
“It is important that we actively participate in the (meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement) 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,” said Legarda.
Since the Paris Agreement allows the Philippines 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 developmentand 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,” said Legarda.
Legarda said that the creation of local climate change action plans (LCCAP) of all cities, municipalities, and provinces in the country must be fast. These LCCAPs can be the tools to access grant-based funding from international climate funds.
“The Paris Agreement is a testament of solidarity and a call for global climate action. It shows that developing nations and developed countries could pursue climate action and uphold climate justice." – Rappler.com