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Panel says to consider stakeholders’ concerns, comments on climate commitments

Panel says to consider stakeholders' concerns, comments on climate commitments
A resident walks past uprooted banana trees washed up on a river bank after Typhoon Molave hit the town of Pola, Oriental Mindoro province, on October 26, 2020. 

MANILA, Philippines — The Climate Change Commission said it will consider the concerns and suggestions of civil society sectors as it finalizes the country’s commitments to deal with the impacts of climate crisis and ensure adaptation efforts.

The Philippines, one of the most vulnerable countries to the catastrophic impacts of climate change, failed to submit its Nationally Determined Contributions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change last December 31.

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Parties to the historic Paris Agreement are requested to submit the NDCs by 2020 and every five years thereafter.

Nationally Determined Contributions detail countries’ commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well as measures to adapt to climate change.

“Over the next few weeks, the NDC Technical Working Group, composed of the sectoral lead agencies, shall hold a series of virtual planning sessions to finalize the NDC,” the CCC said.

The commission said it will “consider the concerns and comments” raised during a consultation with government agencies and civil society organizations last December 23.

At the time, the CCC presented the draft text of the country’s first NDC, which states that the Philippines aims to reduce GHG emissions by 30% by 2040, with at least 2% of these reductions to be done unconditionally.

Climate and environmental groups criticized the climate pledge as “underwhelming,” “inadequate” and “shameful” as it was lower than the Intended NDC in 2015 of cutting carbon emission by 70% by 2030.

CCC said government agencies required more time to develop and enhance the sectoral policies and measures, and to determine the nation’s economy-wide target for emission reduction and avoidance.

Ambitious, quality climate pledge

Several environmental groups, including Greenpeace Philippines and Oxfam Philippines, expressed their disappointment at the country’s failure to submit its NDC.

They said that “2021 marks the beginning of the most critical decade for the future of people and the planet—it is our last chance to stop climate catastrophe. We have little time left to act… No amount of effort in the future will compensate for what we will fail to do in the next few years.”

The groups urged the CCC to improve the “dismal” content of the NDC in its current draft version and align the climate commitments with the ambition of the country.

They also called on the government to conduct genuine consultations with civil society organizations and climate justice movements and to set a clear and concrete timeline for the submission of the pledge this year.

“We in civil society stand ready to contribute towards a just, ambitious and quality NDC that the Philippines can proud of,” the organizations said.

The CCC said it is “exerting utmost efforts to finalize expeditiously” the NDC for submission.

Under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, global warming must be limited well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels while pursuing efforts for a tougher ceiling of 1.5°C.

Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com


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