Press Release
November 19, 2009


Sen. Loren Legarda yesterday (Nov. 19) pushed for deeper international commitment in the fight against climate change and called for stronger efforts locally to reduce disaster risks. As chair of the Senate committee on climate change and UN champion for disaster risk reduction in Asia-Pacific, Loren issued the call following issuance by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of Proclamation 1667, ordering the observance of "Climate Change Consciousness Week" from November 19 to 25. Loren appealed to the United States and other advanced countries to commit deep and early cuts in greenhouse gas emissions at the United Nations Climate Change Conference that will be held in Copenhagen in December 7.

"Today, the United States and China together account for more than a third of fossil-fuel-related carbon dioxide emissions. Still, at 5.5 tons of carbon per person, U.S. emissions are almost five times greater than those in China, and almost 200 times greater than those in the poorest countries in the world," Loren declared.

"While the Philippine emission of 0.2% is small compared to the global average, we bear the brunt of the impact of climate change. The Philippines is among the most disaster-prone countries in the world and the most vulnerable to cyclones, storms and climatic events. A recently released Mortality Risk Index (MRI) by the United Nations ranked the Philippines 12th among the 200 countries most at risk from tropical cyclones, floods, earthquakes and landslides," Loren pointed out.

"It is now time to solicit the commitment of developed countries to the same causes based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and capabilities. Developed country leaders acknowledged that they must lead and to my mind, that means walking the talk. They can do so and more if there is an international agreement," she stressed.

On the local level, Loren, who is considered a foremost advocate for disaster risk reduction, urged the government to address the root causes of most disasters or what the UN called the "deadly trio" - poor urban governance, vulnerable rural livelihoods and ecosystems decline.

"What we should do is improve governance system with industrialization and progress", Loren explained. She also called for agricultural adjustments to climate change, such as changing rain patterns, to improve crop yields, and protect the ecosystem by stopping the degradation of forests, rivers and oceans.

"With the new Climate Change Act of 2009 finally signed into law, I am hoping for urgent, comprehensive and sustained action by the Philippine government in the face of this climate crisis," Loren declared.

News Latest News Feed