Humanity’s survival hinges on 1.5°C target

Senator Loren Legarda has called on global leaders to immediately ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change, even as she stressed the need to target the more ambitious but safer 1.5-degree Celsius warming limit.

“In the Agreement, our commitment is to keep global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and that 1.5 degrees is an aspiration. But the 1.5 degrees Celsius warming limit should not just be an aspiration; we must do everything not to go beyond that, because the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal is a matter of survival. We have already breached the 1 degree Celsius mark and look at what has happened to vulnerable nations like the Philippines,” she said during a press conference with Ministers of the High Ambition Coalition (HAC), following the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change, at the UN Headquarters in New York, on April 22.

“One of the most climate-vulnerable countries, the Philippine has been affected by extreme weather events caused by the warming climate such as typhoon Ketsana in 2009 and the November 2013 super typhoon Haiyan,” added Legarda, who is the global champion for Resilience of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

Moreover, at present, farmers and farming communities have been suffering from the drought caused by the extended El Niño affecting the Philippines.

Legarda also explained the importance of urgent climate action in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and added that the mobilization of the US$100 billion fund is necessary to support vulnerable nations most of which are low-emitting, developing economies.

“The US$100 billion fund is just a fraction of actual resources needed to deliver current and more ambitious programs consistent with the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal,” she said, stressing that additional funding in the form of independent official development assistance (ODA) commitments is also vital.

Legarda added that it is important to maintain a balance in adaptation and mitigation in climate finance.

“A 50:50 balance in international climate finance between adaptation and mitigation needs to be achieved by 2020 as a humanitarian priority. We must all do our share to ensure that our governments keep the promises they delivered in Paris,” Legarda concluded.

 

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