Philippines adopts National Climate Change Action Plan

November 22, 2011 10:47 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 22 — President Benigno S. Aquino III convened the Climate Change Commission to adopt the National Climate Action Plan in compliance with the country’s international commitments especially to the United Nations Framework for Climate Change Convention.

President Aquino chairs the Climate Change Commission, an independent and autonomous body that has the similar status of a national government agency.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, who met President Aquino at the Palace Tuesday, said the plan is about adaptation to climate change and mitigating its impact particularly on the economy.

The action plan will also become the basis of any assistance that will come from industrialized countries in Europe and the US, which are being blamed for global warming because of massive use of fossil fuels in their industries.

“It’s a critical balance, but I think in the case of the Philippines, it is biased towards adaptation. Adaptation being that you fight the impact of climate change. Mitigation, because you fight climate change itself,” Salceda said in a media briefing in Malacanang on Tuesday prior to his meeting with the President.

Asked by reporters how prepared is the Philippines about changing weather patterns, Salceda said the country is one of the most well-prepared countries in the world putting in place legislations and guidelines that address climate change.

“Isa tayo sa pinakahanda. Pero hanggang kailan tayo tatagal, iyon na lang po ang diperensya. Kasi kung tataun-taunin ka ba naman na 3 percent ang tatanggalin sa ekonomiya mo, iyong pinag-ipunan mo laging nawawaldas sa wala. You keep rebuilding, you need to earn the same amount of gross value added in the economy, you have to keep investing on your gross domestic capital formation,” he said.

On the average, Salceda said, the country is losing to climate change about 0.31 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP). It may look insignificant but some provinces like Albay is hurt by the impact, he added.

The national action plan will be presented to the climate change conference to be held in Durban, South Africa, and it will be the basis of compensatory measures that rich countries have committed to pay.

“Ang national climate action plan is a requirement so that the EU and Japan, Australia will know just where—kung saan sila papasok para iyong kanilang kino-commit para po sa climate change ay puwedeng gamitin ng Pilipinas,” he said.

Included in the national plan are the guidelines and framework on how the country can use the assistance once it is approved in Durban.

The Philippines will join other countries in pushing for financial assistance to fight climate change as the country’s negotiators leave late this month for Durban.

Last December, negotiators agreed to create a green climate fund that could be accessed by vulnerable countries like the Philippines. They are expected to tackle in the Durban meeting the way to get the money once the fund is approved. (PNA)



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