Senate OKs Paris climate change accord

Sen. Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate subcommittee on the Paris Agreement under the committee on foreign relations, yesterday said this would be beneficial to a vulnerable developing nation like the Philippines. Philstar.com/File photo

MANILA, Philippines - The Senate has approved on second reading the resolution concurring in the accession to the Paris Agreement. If passed on third reading next week, it would signal complete concurrence with Malacañang’s ratification of the agreement.

Sen. Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate subcommittee on the Paris Agreement under the committee on foreign relations, yesterday said this would be beneficial to a vulnerable developing nation like the Philippines.

“As Party to the Agreement, we can influence the decisions on how the accord will be implemented and we maintain our leadership role in the international climate talks and advocacy,” Legarda said. 

There was no debate on the resolution but some senators indicated they would make their manifestation on the agreement next week after they have read the pact over the weekend.  

“The Paris Agreement is a vehicle toward achieving climate justice as it compels developed nations that have contributed most to cause global warming to finance the Green Climate Fund and provide support to developing and vulnerable nations through capacity building and technology transfer,” Legarda pointed out.

She added that the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) and the Loss and Damage Mechanism would give member-countries some flexibility in the implementation of its obligations. 

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This is allegedly aside from the process to determine the approaches and arrangements needed to best address the needs of countries like the Philippines who have contributed least but are impacted most by climate change.

“The principle of CBDR has long been the foundation of the Philippines’ negotiating stance. Equity is the foundation of CBDR. It implies that different capacities must trigger different responsibilities so that the required actions should differ among countries, based on their national circumstances,” Legarda explained.

The Philippines, as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum during the Paris climate talks in December 2015, was among the most influential in the crafting of the Paris Agreement as it led the call to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to be able to survive.

From the day the Paris Agreement was signed by more than a hundred countries on April 22, 2016 at the UN headquarters in New York, the senator has called on the Philippines and all nations to immediately ratify the pact. 

“Our ratification will send a strong signal of our continuing commitment to work with the rest of the world in ensuring the survival of this generation and the generations to come, and the ability of Earth to sustain life,” Legarda said.

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