Noy going to Paris for climate summit
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - November 16, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino finally ended speculations about his attendance at the Climate Change Summit in Paris this month, saying he would go to the United Nations conference amid the recent Paris terror attacks that killed over 100 people.

Aquino revealed this in a dialogue with CNN International Asia-Pacific editor Andrew Stevens, who was the moderator during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)-CEO Summit held at the Shangri-la Hotel in Makati City yesterday.

“After APEC, we’re headed to Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) in Kuala Lumpur to say goodbye to my colleagues. After which, we will go to COP 21, which is four days or so,” Aquino said, adding that this is part of his itinerary before he steps down in 2016.

COP 21 stands for the 21st Conference of Parties.

Aquino earlier admitted that he was hesitant to go to Paris because of the threat of El Niño. Experts say the Philippines is expected to experience the severity of the weather phenomenon starting next month until mid-2016.

Last week, Climate Change Commission deputy executive director Jocelyn Goco said Aquino has yet to make up his mind whether or not he will attend the conference.

“We are still waiting for his final decision on whether he will be attending the leaders’ event on Nov. 30,” she said.

About 100 heads of state have confirmed their attendance to the gathering.

The COP 21 caucus in Paris will seek to come up with a binding and fair climate agreement to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels to head off the worsening impact of climate change.

Aquino and French President François Hollande launched the Manila Call to Action on Climate Change ahead of COP 21 during the latter’s state visit to Manila last February.

The Philippines also chaired the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and hosted a three-day gathering of senior officials from climate change vulnerable countries from Nov. 9 to 11.

Goco said many climate change advocates are pushing for an even lower target of 1.5 degrees Celsius, together with the pursuit of sustainable and inclusive development goals.

Matthew McKinnon of the CVF secretariat said it will become increasingly difficult for the Paris conference to take the option of 1.5 degrees Celsius off the table.

He said it is a moral concern and it is feasible.

McKinnon said the recent CVF meeting highlighted the question of just how ambitious an agreement would be and how much security it will offer billions of people in the world.

ACIRC ANDREW STEVENS AQUINO AQUINO AND FRENCH PRESIDENT FRAN ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS ATILDE CLIMATE CLIMATE CHANGE CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION CLIMATE CHANGE SUMMIT
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