WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The Cabinet’s climate change and disaster cluster gives updates ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address
WATCH LIVE: Pre-SONA 2020 Forum of Climate Change Cluster
Officials from the Climate Change Cluster answer questions from the media
Climate change Cabinet cluster aims for ‘low-carbon path to recovery’
Yet President Rodrigo Duterte, early on in his presidency, publicly thumbed down the country’s carbon emission reduction targets as laid out in the 2015 Paris climate change agreement.
He eventually relented, following a majority vote among Cabinet members in support of the targets.
Resilience, pandemic preparedness costs
The cluster reports that building resilience to climate impacts would cost the government $140-$300 billion annually by year 2030.
As for meeting the World Health Organization’s minimum standards for pandemic preparedness, the government would need to spend $3.4 billion per year.
Boracay, Manila Bay rehabilitation highlighted
The climate change adaptation and disaster response cluster features the Boracay shutdown and rehabilitation as a major accomplishment of the Duterte administration.
Cimatu personally led the task force in charge of this, along with tourism chief Bernadette Puyat and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año.
Cimatu also led another “rehabilitation” project of the government – the cleaning of Manila Bay.
P300 million People’s Survival Fund distributed
The PSF is a P1-billion fund supposed to be distributed as grants to local governments to fund climate change adaptation and disaster response projects. The government has a long way to go in maximizing the P1 billion fund.
Disasters in 2019
In the past year, the country experienced 11 tropical cyclones, 4 strong earthquakes, and an episode of El Niño, amounting to P26 billion worth of agriculture and infrastructure damages.
Climate change and a pandemic
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu begins his report on the climate change adaptation, mitigation and disaster risk reduction cluster by talking about global warming in the context of the pandemic.
He says addressing global warming has to continue because while the health crisis is the biggest crisis this century, “climate change is perhaps the greatest challenge we have ever faced post-Industrial Revolution.”