Press Release
August 11, 2012

Legarda renews call for climate justice

Senator Loren Legarda today renewed her call for strengthened efforts in building a disaster-resilient nation as part of the campaign for climate justice.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, stressed that it is clear injustice that the most vulnerable to climate change belong to the poorest groups who lack the resources and means to cope with the impacts of extreme weather events.

She explained that the Philippines is one of the countries seeking for commitment from industrialized nations, which are the greatest emitters of greenhouse gas, to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and provide support for climate change adaptation work in vulnerable countries.

"Beyond our shores, more and more countries are also suffering from disasters of unprecedented magnitude--last year Cambodia, Thailand, and Bangladesh went through devastating floods, which are among the worst in their history," Legarda added.

"Industrialized countries have a historical responsibility for climate change and are morally obliged to financially and technologically assist developing countries in their efforts to reduce their vulnerability and adapt to its consequences, while reducing their own greenhouse gas emissions," she stressed.

"While we await more decisive outcomes of climate change negotiations, we in our country must not allow ourselves to continuously suffer from floods, hunger, displacement and economic setbacks," Legarda said.

The Senator also pointed out that as the extreme weather events are now considered the 'new norm', the government should even work harder in reducing the risks of communities to disasters so as not to cause further rise to the so-called climate refugees, noting that over half a million Filipinos were displaced by the monsoon rains and 3,995 families affected by Typhoon Sendong are still residing in temporary shelters.

"Our laws, the Climate Change Act and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, which have been cited as "the best laws in the world" by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Ms. Margareta Wahlstrom, must be complemented by effective implementation from the executive.

"Climate change is clearly not only about floods. It is about food, water, settlement, jobs and livelihood. It is about human welfare and security, poverty reduction and sustainable development. As we remind world leaders of their responsibilities to lead our people out of the crises and uncertainties brought about by climate change, we in our country must resolve to quickly move policy into action," Legarda concluded.

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