EDITORIAL - Commitments
(The Philippine Star) - December 13, 2015 - 9:00am

There’s often a wide gap between commitment and implementation. Considering the difficulty of making 195 nations commit to a climate protection agreement, however, the international community has made history in France.

After signing on to the climate change agreement at the end of a two-week gathering in Le Bourget outside Paris, nations can be monitored for progress on their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Even if non-binding, the signatories can be held to their commitments, with periodic reviews allowing for adjustments of goals at specific dates.

Rich nations, which committed to put together $100 billion a year by 2020 to assist developing countries in confronting global warming, must report every two years on the progress of their promise. Developing nations can continue using coal and other fossil fuels to power industries but must intensify efforts to shift to cleaner fuels.

The commitments aim to see greenhouse gas emissions worldwide peaking as soon as possible, to be followed by rapid reductions so that global warming can be kept manageable at two degrees Celsius lower than before the Industrial Revolution.

Being a developing country that is listed among those at highest risk from global warming, the Philippines has a strong interest in seeing the climate change deal carried out. The country is notorious for having too many laws but weak enforcement, and it must make sure that this situation does not manifest itself in its commitment to the climate change pact.

The nation has suffered grievously from extreme weather in recent years. Metro Manila was stunned by the torrential flooding unleashed by Ondoy. Large swaths of the Visayas and Mindanao are still struggling to recover from Typhoons Yolanda, Pablo, Sendong and other natural calamities. Disasters swell the ranks of the impoverished and unemployed. The Philippines must make sure its commitment to the climate change agreement will go beyond lip service.

 

AGREEMENT CHANGE CLIMATE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION LE BOURGET METRO MANILA NATIONS ONDOY SENDONG TYPHOONS YOLANDA VISAYAS AND MINDANAO
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