PH's Legarda in Bonn climate talks: 'We cannot afford another Haiyan'
BONN, Germany – Philippine Senator Loren Legarda urged countries to step up climate ambition, or the Philippines will suffer the worst impacts of climate change that will make the country "uninhabitable."
"A one-degree global warming led to Haiyan, what would a four-degree global warming lead to?" she said on Monday, May 7 in an interview at the Bonn Climate Change Conference.
The senator was referring to Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) – one of the strongest typhoons in recent history which ravaged the Visayas in 2013.
Legarda, the country's lead climate negotiator, represented the Philippine delegation in the Talanoa Dialogue last Sunday, May 6.
She said the Talanoa Dialogue is a new platform which has "put a human face to climate change."
"The Talanoa Dialogue clearly reflects vulnerabilities we all face, whether industrialized or developing nations, and the kind of bold, aggressive action we must undertake," Legarda said.
Talanoa is a Fijian storytelling tradition first introduced in COP23, which was presided over by Fiji in 2017.
Instead of formal deliberations between negotiators, Sunday's Talanoa was an open and inclusive dialogue involving business leaders and civil society groups who shared solutions and ideas to scale up current climate ambitions over sips of kava, a Pacific Island tea.
Outcomes from the dialogue will feed into the revision of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which, at the moment, are not enough to deliver the Paris Agreement goal limiting global warming to 1.5ºCelsius.
Scientific reports show that even if current NDCs are implemented, the world will still be on a 3.4-degree temperature rise pathway.
While the Philippines is considered a non-emitter – contributing just 0.3% to global emissions – this does not excuse Filipinos from changing to more climate-friendly lifestyles.
"If you put the non-emitters and the small nations together, then we will be big emitters. We have to mind our own backyard," Legarda said.
The senator added that Filipinos can transition to low-carbon lifestyles by reducing the amount of plastic they use; walking, biking, or taking the public transport as often as possible despite this being difficult to do in the country; investing in energy efficient technologies like solar and LED lighting; and not polluting the environment.
"We have to follow existing environmental laws. Dito, ang ilog, sinasanto (Here, people revere the river)," , she said, referring to the Rhine River which is in the vicinity of the Bonn World Conference Center.
Ethiopia's Gebru Jember, chair of the negotiating group for Least Developed Countries (LDCs), said countries must take this dialogue seriously.
"No country in the world is immune to climate vulnerability," he said at a press briefing that recapped the Talanoa Dialogue organized by the World Resources Institute (WRI) yesterday.
Jember urged countries to make sure that the Talanoa Dialogue will not just be a talking shop, but a "way to find untapped possibilities to reduce emissions in a process where nobody gets left out." – Rappler.com
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