CALOOCAN CITY, Nov. 27 (PIA) -- Senate President Vicente Sotto III, House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco, Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, and House Committee on Climate Change Chair and Bohol 1st District Representative Edgar Chatto called for the creation of a Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Parliamentary League as a dedicated cooperation platform to advance a common legislative agenda for integrating climate change adaptation and mitigation and disaster risk reduction in all facets of sustainable development pursuits.
This, during the Inaugural Global Parliamentarians Meeting of the CVF held on Thursday, Nov. 26, high-level representation from the Philippine Senate and House of Representatives were united in the call for stronger engagement among lawmakers of 48 climate-vulnerable countries in light of the climate crisis.
"Enabling our people to survive and prosper in this era of climate change and the pandemic is a moral imperative. We may be vulnerable. Our nations may be at most risk. But together, we can be a powerful force that could drive the global transformation we seek for a safer, healthier, and more sustainable future." said Senate President Sotto in his remarks.
"The Philippine Nationally Determined Contributions we have set shows the world our resolve to pursue low-carbon development, as well as the support we need from developed countries in terms of climate finance, capacity-building, and technology transfer in the context of climate justice and in accordance with the Paris Agreement," said House Speaker Velasco, for his part.
"We must organize our efforts regionally. It will be our platform for exchanging experiences and good practices on climate action, developing a common stand on critical climate legislation, and strengthening our cooperation in championing the 1.5 Paris goal," said Legarda, for her part.
As CVF Ambassador for Parliaments, Legarda also serves as UNDRR Global Champion for Resilience and Board Member in the Global Center on Adaptation, which co-organized the webinar.
"We must influence more, and we must do what we can, because we must, and because solidarity and hope are what will in the end prevail. Through our shared leadership and with far greater urgency, we can hasten the transition of our countries to decarbonized development and ensure a safer, more equitable, and more resilient future for our people," she added.
The deputy speaker cited massive damages from typhoons that continue to hit the Philippines, the most recent one being typhoon Vamco in November alone, which affected almost four million Filipinos and caused damages to agriculture worth 87 million US dollars and to infrastructure worth 181 million US dollars.
Legarda said that hard-fought development gains and productivity will continue to be undermined, or worse, reversed, if the 1.5 global warming threshold of the Paris Agreement will be breached.
"In light of these intensifying impacts of the climate crisis, we are required to do much more. If countries historically responsible for the climate crisis won't act with urgency, we in the developing world must act in concert to compel them to take action-to take the lead in deep and drastic cuts in carbon emissions," she said.
Legarda expressed that vulnerable country parliaments play a crucial role in enhancing countries' Nationally Determined Contributions and in demonstrating climate leadership.
"Using our oversight, legislative, and representation functions, we must take a far more active role in helping steer our peoples away from the dire threats of the climate emergency. I am certain we have all been equal to the task before and I am even more sure now we will be equal to the rough tests ahead of us," she added.
Coinciding with the meeting was the plenary adoption of House Resolution No. 1377, Resolution Calling for a Climate and Environmental Emergency, sponsored by House Special Committee on Climate Change Chair and Bohol 1st District Representative Edgar Chatto.
The Climate Vulnerable Forum is an international partnership of 48 countries highly vulnerable to a warming planet and serving as a South-South cooperation platform of nations for global climate action. The online meeting was convened in cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Global Center on Adaptation.
Other CVF Ambassadors are H.E. Mohamed Nasheed, Speaker of the People's Majlis and former President of the Maldives; and MP Saber Chowdhury, Honorary President of the IPU and Chair of the Parliamentary Standing Committee in the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) of Bangladesh. (PIA NCR)