H. E. Lord Allan Velasco – CVF Global Parliamentarians Meeting
H. E. Lord Allan Velasco – CVF Global Parliamentarians Meeting, Committee Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change of the Philippines
CVF Global Parliamentarians Meeting
“Parliamentarians of Climate Threatened Nations Championing Planetary Prosperity”
November 25, 2020
The parliamentarians of the Climate Vulnerable Forum,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Goni, the world’s strongest storm this year, killed at least 22 people in the Philippines, while forcing about a million more to evacuate.
Goni came a few days after typhoon Molave, which left at least 16 dead and caused a minimum of 2.66 billion pesos, or 54 mio. US dollars, of damage to crops. On November 13, a few days after Goni, typhoon Vamco hit our country – the 21st typhoon to hit the Philippines this year.
Typhoon Vamco caused massive flooding in the Northern parts of the country, displacing hundreds of thousands of people and causing about 3.84 billion pesos, or 79 million US dollars, damage to agriculture. Previously, the record for the world’s strongest landfalling tropical cyclone in history was held by super typhoons Meranti and Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in 2016 and 2013 respectively. In the midst of a global pandemic, these typhoons and floods have forced our people to stay in crammed evacuation centers where there is higher risk of transmission of the virus. In the midst of this pandemic, our people are going wet, cold and hungry.
Excellencies, we are your people. Our local emergencies are your global emergencies. The increasingly violent typhoons, hurricanes and floods caused by climate change are becoming the new normal all over the world, and the Philippines has been at the unfortunate receiving end of the worst of them.
As parliamentarians of the world’s most climate vulnerable countries, we need to set enabling policies that will accelerate our transition to low-carbon and climate resilient economies, notwithstanding the covid-19 pandemic.
In the Philippines, the House of Representatives, with the help of the House Committee on Climate change, maintains close coordination with the Office of the President and the Climate Change Commission to address gaps in climate action and the implementation of our climate change laws and policies.
When the Philippines ratified the Paris Agreement, the government set forth a country-defined timeline to submit the first Nationally Determined Contribution before 2020. The instrument of accession signed by President Duterte was accompanied by a declaration of state that the accession to, and implementation of, the Paris Agreement by the Republic of the Philippines is for the purpose of supporting the country’s national development objectives and priorities, which include sustainable industrial development; eradication of poverty and provision of basic needs; securing social and climate justice; and energy security.
The Philippines Nationally Determined Contribution 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.
Excellencies, the need for climate action is as urgent as the need for a vaccine for covid-19. To this end, I look forward to working with the parliamentarians of the Climate Vulnerable Forum in developing a common legislative agenda that will ensure a world united in pursuing sustainable practices which would significantly abate the effects of climate change, particularly in vulnerable areas in the world.
Together, let us deliver the much needed policies that will usher a new era of economic development that is founded on sustainability, environmental protection, better risk governance and climate justice.
It is a great pleasure to see you all in person, ready to collaborate, coordinate and make a difference for our nations and the most vulnerable. We would like to thank Germany and Egypt for hosting this crucial global meeting in the run-up to COP27.