House declares climate emergency

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
House declares climate emergency
This handout aerial photo taken and recieved on November 14, 2020 from the Philippine Coast Guard shows submerged houses in Cagayan province, north of Manila, on November 14, 2020, days after Typhoon Vamco hit parts of the country bringing heavy rain and flooding.
Handout / Philippine Coast Guard / AFP

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives on Wednesday declared a climate emergency, calling climate change a “clear and present threat to the country’s national security and its efforts to reduce poverty.”

“In declaring a climate emergency, a government admits that global warming exists and that measures taken up to this point are not enough to limit the changes brought by it,” read the resolution that the House adopted.

Resolutions express the sense or position of a chamber of Congress but are not binding.

The declaration urges local governments and government bodies to adopt policies to mitigate climate change, but does not legally compel them to act.

READ: Majority of Filipinos believe climate change will affect their lives — Harvard study

Among the actions being urged by the declaration is for local governments to also pass climate change declarations and for them to adopt a policy against coal-powered energy.

Local governments and local industries are also being urged to pursue renewable and sustainable energy sources.

The declaration is also calling on major carbon emitters here and abroad to “take responsibility” for climate change and reinvest in renewable and sustainable energy.

The House is also committing to look into the compliance of national government agencies and local governments to existing environmental, climate, disaster risk reduction and management and appropriation laws, and international agreements.

The lower chamber’s declaration of a climate emergency follows that of 41 economies which have also declared a climate emergency in their respective jurisdictions.

Malacañang has said President Rodrigo Duterte would look into the suggestion to declare a climate emergency, saying that tackling climate change is at the top of the president's agenda.

RELATED: Rising seas, sinking land hurt this Navotas City community. Coronavirus makes it worse

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