Solon reiterates call to integrate climate science in governance

By Wilnard Bacelonia

August 8, 2023, 7:31 pm Updated on August 10, 2023, 5:33 pm

<p>Senator Loren Legarda <em>(PNA file photo by Avito Dalan)</em></p>

Senator Loren Legarda (PNA file photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – A senator resounded on Tuesday her appeal for the government to move forward and consider climate science as a tool in every decision that it makes in the future.

In her privilege speech, Senate Pro Tempore Loren Legarda suggested various approaches in pursuing development with responsible action to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Legarda said a transformative mindset in governance, mainstream science, and cascade opportunities to local government units should be adopted.

She said the country's decarbonization efforts should also be accelerated and ensure timely implementation of the Nationally Determined Contribution, without being restricted by the 2.71 percent unconditional share in emissions reduction and avoidance.

"Let us aim for higher ambition by embracing the Net Zero scenario, and its imperatives to combat further warming while ensuring access to more advanced, climate-benign technologies," Legarda noted saying environmental laws should also be revisited.

"Especially the Clean Air Act, which no longer meets the World Health Organization 2005 and 2021 guidelines on air quality, and push for other key legislation, such as circular economy, blue economy, ecosystems regeneration, and forest management," she added.

Convergence between agencies and stakeholders, Legarda said, should also be optimized, as well as working with a whole-of-government, whole-of-society, and whole-of-world approach to maximize resources and impact for every Filipino.

She also included the proposed national budget that should be scrutinized and see if it is in accordance to the vision of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

"The recent State of the Nation Address underscored the importance of disaster resilience and climate action and has made this a clear priority of his Administration, stating that progressive, livable, and sustainable communities can only be achieved by taking responsible action to mitigate and adapt to climate change," Legarda recalled.

Considering the future generations, the lawmaker cited the Philippine Development Plan, Sustainable Development Goals, National Climate Change Action Plan, and Nationally Determined Contribution that should lay out crucial strategies and solutions to climate change for the government to act upon.

Legarda principally authored Senate Bill No. 1993 or the Blue Economy Act, a priority legislation of President Marcos which seeks to support efforts to achieve a vibrant and sustainable economy by prioritizing the country's marine resources.

As the lead policy-making body of the government on climate change, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) echoed Legarda’s call for a robust and ambitious climate agenda to further enhance the resilience of Filipino communities against the impacts of climate change.

“We laud Senator Loren Legarda for her tireless efforts in championing climate action, and we look forward to continue working closely with her, other lawmakers, and all government agencies in advancing transformative climate policies and strategies that will benefit all Filipinos,” CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje said.

He said enabling a development pathway towards a more sustainable and resilient Philippines requires urgent action and political will.

“We look up to the leadership of Senator Legarda and our lawmakers in Congress to support this transformation that ensure that we thrive amid the climate crisis,” he added. (PNA)