PH climate change body calls for stronger 'global climate action'

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines' Climate Change Commission (CCC) has called for stronger "global climate action" and reiterated its appeal to countries, especially developed nations, to deliver on their commitments on climate change.

“All countries must exhibit leadership and deliver on commitments. Let us step up our global climate action toward securing a climate-safe future,” CCC Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman said in a statement on Friday, June 7.

De Guzman said all countries  must “ramp up climate action efforts and to deliver more ambitious commitments to mitigation with utmost urgency and equity.”

“Unfortunately, global action has been slow. The Philippines has been actively pursuing climate action, but largely on our own efforts and resources. We have no choice but to act, and sometimes we have bilateral partners to thank for when they give some help," he added.

De Guzman said that the Philippines, for its part, will continue pursuing climate action “in the context of climate justice.” 

He also said that the Philippines has been “highly regarded as a leader of the climate vulnerable developing countries” in the global community, as it has championed principles like climate justice and ecosystems integrity –  points tackled in the Paris Agreement. 

The Paris Agreement aims to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius over pre-Industrial Revolution levels, and to strive for a limit of 1.5ºC. To achieve this, countries who signed the pact promised to keep emissions below certain levels and provide assistance to countries vulnerable to climate effects.  

De Guzman issued the statement two days after Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr said that he would “reject all official participation in climate change conferences” that would require air travel, and that the Philippines would just "vote yes to radical proposals."

Prior to Locsin, President Rodrigo Duterte floated the possibility of the Philippines not attending the next climate conference to take place in Bonn, Germany from June 17 to 27.  – Rappler.com