Phl be­comes party to cli­mate deal to­day

The Philippine Star - - FRONT PAGE - By PAOLO ROMERO

The Philip­pines will mark Earth Day to­day with its for­mal com­mit­ment to com­ply with the Paris Agree­ment on Cli­mate Change, which seeks to re­duce green­house gases glob­ally by 2030.

The his­toric cli­mate pact, signed by 175 na­tions, puts a cap on green­house gas emis­sions, pur­sues the global de­vel­op­ment of re­new­able

en­ergy, and aids cli­mate vul­ner­a­ble coun­tries to mit­i­gate the harm­ful ef­fects of cli­mate change.

Last March 14, the Se­nate con­curred with the Philip­pines’ ac­ces­sion to the cli­mate pact.

The Philip­pine Mis­sion to the United Na­tions de­posited the coun­try’s In­stru­ment of Ac­ces­sion to the UN Treaty Sec­tion on March 23. It will en­ter into force for the Philip­pines after 30 days, or to­day.

“Earth Day will once again be his­toric for the Philip­pines as it will mark the com­mence­ment of the Paris Agree­ment’s le­gal force and ef­fect in our coun­try. It will also mark a great start to our jour­ney to­ward a re­silient and sus­tain­able fu­ture,” Sen. Loren Le­garda, chair of the Se­nate com­mit­tee on cli­mate change, said yes­ter­day.

She said one of the im­me­di­ate ef­fects of the agree­ment’s en­try into force is that the Philip­pines will no longer be just an observer in the next meet­ing of the Par­ties to the Paris Agree­ment or the CMA.

“It is im­por­tant that we ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in the CMA so that we con­tinue to ad­vance our coun­try’s in­ter­ests. We need to ex­er­cise gov­er­nance, over­sight, lead­er­ship and de­ci­sion-mak­ing in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the agree­ment,” she added.

Le­garda noted that since the Paris Agree­ment al­lows the coun­try’s ac­cess to in­ter­na­tional cli­mate fi­nance mech­a­nisms, it is im­por­tant for the govern­ment to im­me­di­ately iden­tify pro­grams that can be funded.

The Philip­pines can se­cure support from de­vel­oped coun­tries for adap­ta­tion, mit­i­ga­tion, tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ment and trans­fer, and ca­pac­ity build­ing projects.

Such projects could help fi­nance the de­vel­op­ment and roll out of the coun­try’s early warn­ing systems, com­pre­hen­sive risk as­sess­ment and man­age­ment tools, and other ca­pac­ity-build­ing projects and pro­grams that would make Philip­pine com­mu­ni­ties more re­silient to cli­mate change, Le­garda ex­plained.

Yes­ter­day, Cli­mate Re­al­ity Project-Philip­pines handed out its lead­er­ship awards for 2017 to var­i­ous groups and in­di­vid­u­als, in­clud­ing Le­garda, for their work in fight­ing cli­mate change.

The Cli­mate Re­al­ity Project is a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion founded by No­bel laureate and for­mer US vice pres­i­dent Al Gore.

Catholics to gather in Rizal Park for Earth Day

Thou­sands of Catholics will also gather in Rizal Park to­day to pro­mote en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness and stew­ard­ship as part of the Earth Day com­mem­o­ra­tion.

The Arch­dio­cese of Manila yes­ter­day said they in­tend to turn the area around the Lapu-Lapu mon­u­ment in Rizal Park into an “Earth Day Laudato Si Vil­lage.”

“Laudato Si (praise be to you) refers to the thought­pro­vok­ing en­cycli­cal let­ter is­sued by Pope Fran­cis in 2015 ex­hort­ing ‘ev­ery per­son liv­ing on this planet’ to ‘care for our com­mon home,’” the Arch­dio­cese said in a state­ment.

The gath­er­ing will also be an in­te­gral part of the #Mer­cy2Earth cam­paign ini­ti­ated by the Global Catholic Cli­mate Move­ment to en­cour­age re­flec­tion and action on the pa­pal message, “Show Mercy to Our Com­mon Home.”

“Our cel­e­bra­tion of the Earth Day and the Di­vine Mercy Sun­day this week­end of­fers a well-timed op­por­tu­nity for all of us to gather to­gether and man­i­fest our unity to pro­tect God’s cre­ation from acts of ap­a­thy, heart­less­ness and greed that con­trib­ute to cli­mate change and harm hu­man life and dig­nity,” Manila Arch­bishop Luis An­to­nio Cardinal Ta­gle said.

“In­ci­den­tally, our gath­er­ing falls on the day when the Paris Agree­ment on Cli­mate Change, which aims to limit global warm­ing to 1.5 degrees Cel­sius, will en­ter into force for the Philip­pines. This makes our cel­e­bra­tion even more his­toric and timely,” he added.

The gath­er­ing will com­mence with a walk from four dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions go­ing to the Lapu-Lapu mon­u­ment. An in­ter-faith and in­dige­nous “Prayer for the Cre­ation” will fol­low after the “Break­fast Agape.”

A short shar­ing on Pope Fran­cis’ call to acts of mercy for our com­mon home will be led by Fr. Ri­cardo Va­len­cia Jr., min­is­ter of the Arch­dioce­san Min­istry on Ecol­ogy/En­vi­ron­ment and Dis­as­ter Re­sponse.

Sec­re­tary Frances Veron­ica Vic­to­rio of the Cli­mate Change Com­mis­sion will talk about the Paris Agree­ment and the coun­try’s obli­ga­tions un­der the treaty.

The mu­ral on the Philip­pine Com­mit­ment to Cli­mate Agree­ment will then be un­veiled.

There will also be si­mul­ta­ne­ous work­shops and ex­hibits show­cas­ing var­i­ous solutions to the cli­mate cri­sis, in­clud­ing prac­ti­cal mea­sures to pre­vent and re­duce wastes and emis­sions that pol­lute the en­vi­ron­ment and warm the cli­mate.

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