Change has come but climate change was first


RECOGNIZING THE reality of a climate crisis heading toward more disasters, Climate Reality Project Philippines hopes that newly installed President Duterte and his administration will push for the ratification of the Paris Agreement; act on the intended nationally determined contribution to reduce carbon emission by 70 percent by 2030; prioritize the development and use of renewable energy sources; and require all local government units to formulate and implement local climate change action plans and to maximize the People’s Survival Fund.
It may be noted that on the matter of reducing carbon emission, opportunities and assurances for finance and support are available. For this reason, the government should stop all ongoing construction work on coal-fired power plants and review all approved contracts on such projects.
We also appreciate President Duterte and his agriculture secretary’s recent pronouncements on climate adaptation, especially in the field of agriculture. We hope that in doing so, the new administration will pass policies on: the prohibition of genetically modified organisms; the promotion of indigenous knowledge, systems and practices; and sustainable, organic farming while integrating technologies which will not harm ecological balance.

Climate Reality Project Philippines is elated to know that in the first meeting of the Duterte Cabinet, among the most urgent concerns discussed, the President emphasized the issue of disaster risk reduction and management in relation to climate change. The mere recognition of the reality of climate change is a sign of hope that his administration will seriously work on mitigation and adaptation. Hoping that Resolution No. 2016-001 (on developing a clear policy on coal-fired power plants in pursuit of a low carbon development pathway for the Philippines) of the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and Executive Order No. 2016, s 2016 (adopting a policy to ensure sustainable renewable energy resource management and mandating the Department of Energy to lead in its implementation) be continuously implemented by the concerned agencies, encouraged by the President’s political will for genuine climate action.

We call on the DOE and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to work together with the CCC to once and for all address the issue of coal mining and power plants and lead the use of renewable energy in government offices and official residences.

Indeed, change has come, but climate change came here first.

Congratulations, President Duterte!

In 2006, Nobel Laureate and former US vice president Al Gore got the world talking about climate change with the Academy Award-winning film “An Inconvenient Truth.” It was just the beginning of a climate revolution; later that year, he founded The Climate Reality Project to move the conversation forward—from awareness to action.

Climate Reality Project Philippines is a diverse group of more than 500 passionate Filipino individuals who have come together to help solve the greatest challenge of our time. We are cultural leaders, marketers, organizers, scientists, storytellers and more, and we are committed to building a better future together.

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