The recent UN General Assembly (UNGA) address of President Bongbong Marcos where he mentioned about the effects of climate change is very alarming. He said: “Those who are least responsible suffer the most. The Philippines, for example, is a net carbon sink, we absorb carbon dioxide than we emit. And yet, we are the 4th most vulnerable country to climate change.”
Coincidentally, super typhoon Karding (Noru) made landfall over the Polillo islands of Quezon province last Sunday and causing floods in Central Luzon, specifically in Bulacan province.
I’m happy that the president included the issue of ‘Climate Change’ in his speech. At the start of the campaign period for the national election, I called the attention of the candidates for president, vice president and senator on their stand on the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I also highlighted that the term of the next administration, 2022 to 2028, will be critical to the achievement of the goals by 2030, the year the UNGA has targeted when it launched the SDGs in 2015.
Actually, the Philippines through the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), has integrated the SDGs into the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), 2017-2022. The attainment of the SDGs supposedly in 2030 should pave the way for the achievement of AmBisyon Natin 2040 as per NEDA. Calling the new NEDA head, Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, to update us, please.
The most popular Goal is No. 13 on Climate Change. In fact, US President Joe Biden created a position for ex-Secretary of State John Kerry as Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, who also sits in the National Security Council. Perhaps President Marcos should also appoint a Climate Change Ambassador. An ambassador is technically described as a representative or promoter of a specified activity.
Goal 13 states that “climate change is now affecting every country on every continent. It is disrupting national economies and affecting lives, costing people, communities, and countries dearly today and even more tomorrow.”
On April 25, 2016, the Philippines, along with 174 countries, signed the Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on December 12, 2015 and entered into force on November 4, 2016. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5, degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.
On February 15, 2019, NEDA posted on its SDG website about the project by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Atmospheric and Geophysical, Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-PAGASA) to develop an enhanced flood early warning system (FEWS), and to boost the capacity of mandated agencies to monitor and manage the worsening problem of flooding in Metro Manila. NEDA said the project would contribute in strengthening the resilience and adaptive capacity of communities and ecosystems to climate-related hazards and natural disasters by providing timely and accurate disaster and climate information that will support risk-informed planning, particularly at the local level. Can someone from NEDA update us on the status of this project?
“We call on industrialized countries to immediately fulfill their obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, provide climate financing and technology transfer for adaptation for the most vulnerable and developing countries to lead by example. We look forward to concrete outcomes at the Conference of Parties in Egypt later this year,” added President Marcos in his UNGA address.
We, too, dear readers of The Global Filipino Magazine can contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by taking the efficient public transport system of the UAE, specifically in Dubai. And rather than drive our own vehicles alone we can share rides or take the company-provided shuttles. There are a hundred more things we can do to protect our environment. One small act will be a giant leap to preserve Mother Earth.
Note: Art ‘Popoy’ Los Banos is a 21-year Dubai resident with his wife, broadcast journalist Rachel Salinel. He is in charge of Corporate Communications of the fully integrated energy logistics service provider Tristar Group, where he is the only Filipino in the senior management team. He was the former 2008 Philippine Independence Day (PID) organizing committee chairman in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Art ‘Popoy’ and Rachel were named as one of the Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf for four years by Illustrado Magazine. In December 2019, he received the Philippine Pride Awards in Public Relations from the Philippine Business Council-Abu Dhabi chapter for his ‘exemplary leadership and tireless efforts to continuously support, boost and campaign for excellence to uplift the Filipino image.’ Recently in June this year, Art ‘Popoy’ was named as one of the Philippines’ Top 30 Leaders on LinkedIn.