Philippines Statement at Bonn


Climate Vulnerable Forum: Press Conference

UN Climate Change Conference, Bonn, Germany, 17 May 2017

Download the Statement (English, PDF)

H.E. Emmanuel M. De Guzman, Commissioner, Climate Change Commission, Office of the
President, Republic of the Philippines:

The Philippines is pleased to join our fellow vulnerable countries here today. Having concluded last year our presidency of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, we are a Troika member, along with Costa Rica and incumbent chair Ethiopia, and the future chair, the Marshall Islands, and will remain so for a couple of years to come.

We congratulate Ethiopia for having led and taken forward the work of the Forum since its assumption as chair last August.

We fought hard for the Paris Agreement and for the 1.5 degrees threshold, which for us is our threshold for chance and hope; the chance to survive and the hope to thrive.

We really believe that, right now, without increased climate action, no country can ever be great again. In any trying times, by which measure do you gauge greatness — greatness of a leader, a nation or people? Isn’t it with that strength of heart and will, and with those deeds that usher change for the common good and ensure a future that is safer and more secure for all?

In this era of climate change, greatness is most manifest in climate action and its ability to transform a world fraught with danger into a world that lets humanity survive and thrive.

Science and the prevailing development policies and practices tell us that we have a huge deficit in climate action. This is the greatest challenge today: To enhance and accelerate climate action at all levels to achieve the goal of Paris. The Paris Agreement must succeed in upholding climate justice!

This is why we continue to advance the call for world leaders to keep to the 1.5 goal, and to recalibrate climate finance contributions that allow vulnerable countries to rapidly upgrade everything to keep to this Paris goal: Infrastructure, supply chains, urban services, logistics, food supply, modern sustainable energy systems, etc. This means we can generate more jobs and help not only pump prime our economy but also let the global economy grow.

As long as there is a chance to stop global warming at a level that lets humanity survive and thrive, we should seize it. As long as there is hope to save our corals from extinction we should hold on to it. 1.5 is that threshold of chance and hope. If we breach it, we lose so much lives and render so much suffering to those who will live. Failure therefore is not an option.

1.5 can only be achieved with an unchanging collective resolve for immediate and drastic action at global and local levels as called for by the Paris Agreement.

I join my fellow panel members in expressing our support for Fiji and Morocco, distinguished fellow members of the CVF.

We all have a duty to design the way forward this year, further enhancing confidence. With this session we are now well on our way to sustain the momentum built by Morocco and to extend unequivocal support to the leadership of Fiji.

Thank you very much.

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