PH Senate ratifies Paris Agreement

By: Oscar Omer Almenario
The Senate adopted a resolution today concurring in the Accession to the Paris Agreement. The agreement seeks to limit the average global temperature to “well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”
Adopted was Senate Resolution 320. Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate Subcommittee on the Paris Agreement under the Committee on Foreign Relations, said the Philippines’ ratification of the agreement would send a strong signal of the country’s continuing commitment to work with the rest of the world in ensuring the survival of mankind.
“Our nation bears the brunt of climate change even if we are among those who contributed the least to the crisis,” Legarda said.
Under the agreement, developed countries have agreed to continue their obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to provide for financial assistance to developing countries with respect to both climate change mitigation and adaptation. According to the agreement, emissions reduction or programs for adaptation would be nationally-determined and voluntary.
“The Paris Agreement is a vehicle towards achieving climate justice as it compels developed nations that have polluted the world and caused this climate crisis to finance the Green Climate Fund and provide developing and vulnerable nations, like the Philippines, needed support on capacity building and technology transfer for adaptation and mitigation efforts. This means that our vulnerability presents opportunities for green, sustainable and resilient growth,” Legarda said.
“Pursuing a development path consistent with 1.5 degrees will not only protect our people and the environment, it will also spur economic growth. Ratifying the Paris Agreement is a vital step towards dealing with climate risks and delivering our commitments for sustainable growth,” she added.
A study conducted by Climate Central scientists and statisticians showed that climate change “is on track to be much warmer.”
According to the study, the average global temperature change for the first three months of 2016 was 1.48 degrees Celsius or almost the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold agreed upon by global leaders during a meeting last December.
February exceeded the 1.5 degrees Celsius target at 1.55 degrees Celsius, marking it as the first time the global average temperature had surpassed the agreed upon threshold in any month. March checked in at 1.5 degrees Celsius while January’s mark of 1.4 degrees Celsius put the global average temperature change from early industrial levels for the first three months of 2016 at 1.48 degrees Celsius, according to experts.
Scientists and statisticians made the calculations based on the average global temperature data reported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). — in Manila, Philippines.

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