December 5, 2023

The Climate Change Commission (CCC) said the national government ensures its climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts are based on human rights.

CCC Vice Chair and Executive Director Robert Borje said climate change and human rights are two different issues but are connected as emphasized in the Climate Change Act, the People Survival Fund, and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Plan.

“When we talk about climate change, the human rights we’re protecting are very fundamental and that’s the fundamental right to live and live free from fear,” he said in a briefing.

The actions, policies, and projects created by the commission are focused on protecting Filipino lives and their livelihood, he added.

United Nations Special Rapporteur Ian Fry is in the country to see the impacts of climate change on human rights and the protection of environmental defenders.

The Philippines, a country that contributes only 0.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, is at most risk for the impacts of climate change.

Borje said Fry would also look into the issue of loss and damage or the impact of climate change on the country’s development, displacement in the context of climate change, intergenerational justice, litigation and legislation, and programs on gender.

He said Fry has observed the government is providing programs and avenues where the next generation could participate in policy-making and actions related to climate change.

“Climate change is a global, historic and systemic issue and problem, so we must all work on this, and not just now, at the present global ecosystem or structure, but also in the next generation,” he added.

Fry is expected to submit a report of his trip to the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2024.

The CCC is working with legislators to ensure the accounting of national resources so that they may be given appropriate value.

It is also working on the strengthening of the local government units’ adaptive capacity to climate change challenges and impacts.

According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, implementation of the government’s efforts must include climate finance, technology development and transfer and capacity building from developed countries and carbon majors going to the Philippines.

To date, the Philippines has a National Climate Change Action Plan, Local Climate Change Action Plan, and National Framework Strategy for Climate Change.

Under the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., Borje said there would be a National Adaptation Plan and a Nationally Determined Contribution Implementation Plan which aims to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent.

“We have completed the greenhouse gas inventory for the years 2015 and 2020 which is pending for a long time. We’re finalizing the guidelines for the certification of green jobs for the private sector to have incentives to transition towards a low carbon economy,” he said. – PNA