• By The Financial District


Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III vowed Wednesday to put the Climate Change Commission (CCC) at the forefront of the global movement to seek climate justice from the international community, with an eye to drastically cutting carbon emissions and escalating efforts to contain the changing climatic conditions.

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Dominguez said that with the Philippines’ National Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement, which sets an ambitious 75-percent greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction and avoidance by 2030, “we hope to challenge other countries to act with determination and cohesion to reverse this greatest challenge facing the Earth today.”

As chairman-designate of the CCC, Dominguez said he will also strive to make Filipinos aware that as individuals, each of them plays an indispensable role in helping win the battle against the climate crisis even through simple behavioral changes, such as giving up single-use plastics.

“We have only one planet. All of us must act decisively today in order to save it,” Dominguez said in his remarks at the opening of the Oceana Philippines Wavemakers Wednesday Online Forum.

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The forum aims to serve as a platform for civil society groups, the youth, and fisherfolk to dialogue with government officials and other stakeholders to push the ban on single-use plastics nationwide, as well as the full implementation of Republic Act (RA) 9003, or the law providing for an Ecological Solid Waste Management Program.

In November last year during the virtual 37th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, President Duterte renewed his call to his fellow Southeast Asian leaders to demand climate justice from developed economies most responsible for the climate crisis wracking the world today.

“I will also ensure that the Climate Change Commission will be at the forefront of the global movement seeking climate justice from the international community. President Rodrigo Duterte has already led the way. We, in government, must stand firmly behind the President in this fight,” said Dominguez during the online forum.

“As I have said on many occasions, I am determined to set the Philippines as an example for all nations in setting the standards for mitigating the impact of climate change. I want us to be a world leader in this area through our ambition,” Dominguez added.

Dominguez said to spur greater action among Filipinos in the fight against climate change, he is determined to lobby the passage of a law banning single-use plastics and ensure that the Philippines strictly adhere to its NDC commitments.

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“Through citizens’ groups and networks such as the Oceana Philippines, I hope to reach the greatest number of Filipinos with a clear message that climate change is a threat to our livelihoods and our economy. I am sure that this meeting will convey that message and will determine courses of action to translate these into actual mitigation,” he said.

The Philippines’ NDC goal of 75-percent greenhouse gas emission reduction and avoidance by 2030 is significantly higher than the 70-percent target it provisionally indicated in 2015, as part of the global effort to stabilize the Earth’s temperature.

Of the 75-percent target, 72.29 percent is “conditional” or contingent upon the support of climate finance, technologies, and capacity development, which shall be provided by developed countries, as prescribed by the Paris Agreement, he said. The remaining 2.71 percent is “unconditional,” he added.


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