February 28, 2024

A senator has reiterated 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 a 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 timely implementation of the Nationally Determined Contribution should be ensured, 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, 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,” Legarda said, adding environmental laws should also be revisited.

She said convergence between agencies and stakeholders 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 progressive, livable, and sustainable communities can only be achieved by taking responsible action to mitigate and adapt to climate change,” Legarda said.

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 1993 or the Blue Economy Act, a priority legislation of Pres. Marcos which seeks to support efforts to achieve a vibrant and sustainable economy by prioritizing the country’s marine resources. – PNA