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Pnoy still hopeful on climate talks

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com

ROME – President Benigno Aquino III is hopeful that there will be “substantial results” in the ongoing climate talks in Paris, saying that the Philippines call for more aggressive actions against global warming is gaining support.

Aquino noted that a lot of people have seen the impact of typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan), which he said was “a very dramatic picture of exactly what climate change is all about.”

The typhoon left more than 6,300 persons dead damaged about P90-billion worth of properties in 2013.

“Not too long ago, if everybody recalls, there was even debate as to whether or not there was climate change. Here, I think there was nobody that I heard who was denying that climate change is a problem,” the president said.

“It was really just a question of whether the two-degree goal or the 1.5-degree goal is the central topic. So the negotiations are still ongoing. We hope that there will be very, very substantial results differentiated from the 2009 Copenhagen efforts,” he added.

Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) are now meeting in Paris to discuss a binding agreement that will limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius below pre-industrial levels.

The Philippines, which is visited by about 20 typhoons per year, and some island countries, believe the target is not enough to address the effects of climate change.

The Philippines is a member of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a partnership of 20 countries facing high risks due to climate change. The group is lobbying for the lowering of the UNFCCC temperature goal to 1.5 degrees Celsius from two degrees, saying this would ensure the survival of island nations.

Other members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum are Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Maldives, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Ghana, Nepal, Timor-Leste, Barbados, Kenya, Tuvalu, Bhutan, Kiribati, Rwanda, Vanuatu, Costa Rica, Madagascar, Saint Lucia and Vietnam.

Aquino said Germany and France have added their voice to calls to set the target to 1.5 degrees. He said other countries like Chile also agree with the position of the Climate Vulnerable Forum.

“We have a common position that we managed to reach, first in Manila then ratified further during the conference in Paris, which we are sharing with the rest of the countries,” he said.  

The Paris climate talks will be held until December 11.

ACIRC

AQUINO

CLIMATE

CLIMATE CHANGE

CLIMATE VULNERABLE FORUM

COSTA RICA

GERMANY AND FRANCE

NBSP

PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO

SAINT LUCIA AND VIETNAM

UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION

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