Legarda urges nations to forge ‘holistic solution’ to climate changeDecember 6, 2015
With world leaders in the thick of talks to produce a binding global agreement on mitigating the effects of climate change, Senator Loren Legarda urged the international community to commit to implementing a “holistic solution” to the problem.
In a video message for environmental group Greenpeace’s side event at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris last Friday, Legarda also called on countries to seek climate justice because it is a human right.
“For the sake of the vulnerable, we seek climate justice now to restore the dignity of those suffering and to strengthen the resilience of the poor and recovering. For the sake of future generations, we seek a commitment to act now and to implement a holistic solution,” she said.
A paper published by the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) in 2009 defines climate justice as “an agenda that seeks to redress global warming by reducing disparities in development and power that drive climate change and continued injustice.”
Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on climate change, said nations with the capacity and resources must commit their support to aid countries that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
She said the COP21 that would be forged during the Paris conference “should define with clarity how to operationalize financing for mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage, technology, transfer and capacity building.”
“The world cannot afford further delays, more so the vulnerable people who end up as climate refugees in their own communities, they who suffer again and again from tragedies brought about by a climate crisis not of their own doing. These vulnerable sectors include indigenous peoples, farmers, fisherfolks, persons with disabilities, women, children and the elderly,” the senator said.
Legarda backed the call of climate-vulnerable countries, including the Philippines, to come up with a climate deal of 1.5 degrees Celsius limit to temperature increase, instead of the 2° C goal.
“We need to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to be able to survive,” she said.
Quoting scientists, Legarda warned that failure to implement drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions could lead to a rise of 0.3 to 4.8 degrees Celsius in global temperature by the end of the century.
In addition to rallying the international community to act urgently on climate change, the senator expressed hope that the Commission on Human Rights would accept the challenge of the Climate Change and Human Rights petition, spearheaded by vulnerable sectors, calamity survivors, Greenpeace, and other groups, to take action against the world’s biggest polluters, including the largest fossil fuel companies.