COP26 conference ‘nothing but an emission of hot air’

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
COP26 conference �nothing but an emission of hot air�
“Let us all be reminded again of what needs to be done for our home, our planet. Let us end the procrastination and apathy now,” House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda an environmentalist stressed.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — It was apparently all talk, with no concrete action.

Officials and members of the House of Representatives have expressed disappointment over the recently concluded 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Glasgow, Scotland which apparently ended with nothing but mere rhetoric.

“Let us all be reminded again of what needs to be done for our home, our planet. Let us end the procrastination and apathy now,” House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda an environmentalist stressed.

The Antique congresswoman earlier warned that Southeast Asia, and not just the Philippines, may soon suffer from a “looming food crisis” brought about by constant changing weather patterns as a result of climate change.

In a privilege speech last week, Legarda raised the specter of a massive decline in food production due to “extreme weather events” in developing countries in this part of the region.

“We have a looming food crisis. Food production around the world will suffer as global heating reaches 1.5 degrees Celsius. Already, the increased heat and humidity are harming crops and livestock, with droughts and floods wiping out harvests as well,” she cautioned.

The former senator made the remarks in relation to the eighth anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda and shortly after COP26.

For his part, Rep. LRay Villafuerte – another advocate for the environment – lamented that two-week COP26 “turned out to be another meeting full of rhetoric but sorely lacking in action.”

“It seems the meeting was just an elaborate talkfest that was nothing but an emission of hot air. The gathering just contributed to planet heating,” the Camarines Sur congressman observed.

COP26, which ran from Oct. 31 to Nov. 12, was expected to come up with concrete measures on how developed economies can fulfill the $100-billion financing per year they had pledged to developing countries for climate projects, and clear-cut commitments on how quickly each nation would reduce their carbon footprints over the next decade.

But no such firm actions and commitments resulted from the two weeks of negotiations during the conference.

Villafuerte said he hoped that COP26 would be devoid of empty talk and would at last lead to concrete action among countries to fight climate change.

“Commitments should be backed up by actions as these are crucial for developing countries like the Philippines, which bear the brunt of the consequences of climate change even if they account for just a tiny portion of the world’s emissions of greenhouse gases largely responsible for global warming,” he said.

“If we do not act fast and with determination, our country will suffer the worst effects of the climate crisis and our economy could be among its casualties,” the senior administration legislator explained, serving notice about its repercussions.

Villafuerte noted the Philippines is responsible for only 0.3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions but has been battered each year by more intensive and destructive typhoons and other natural calamities because of the rising global temperatures leading to the worsening climate crisis.

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