MANILA - Damage brought about by natural disasters harm livelihood and economy, with billions in losses that could have been used to finance health and social welfare programs.
Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda said Tuesday that the Philippines is among the vulnerable nations that is entitled to financial support through the 2015 Paris Agreement on the effects of climate change.
The country is also a beneficiary under the global Green Climate Fund (GCF), created to serve the Paris Agreement and Kyoto Protocol that aims to provide funding for climate mitigation and adaptation of developing countries.
The Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997, operationalizes the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change by committing industrialized countries and economies in transition to limit and reduce greenhouse gases emissions.
While these grants benefit the Philippines, Legarda emphasized that a whole of nation approach is vital in addressing the dire global climate crisis.
"The loss and damage fund cannot bring back what we have lost in terms of lives, livelihoods, assets and opportunities, but just like post war reparations, these will help get us on an appropriate development track," she said in a news release.
Legarda pointed out that climate finance is needed to build defenses, safeguard every Filipino from climate impacts, and shift the economy and society "towards low-carbon development and growth that would mitigate global warming and the intensity of climate change."
In November last year, the Philippines joined the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People which aims to protect at least 30 percent of the world's land and ocean through increased public and private financing.
"Hindi lang tayo dapat umasa sa isang grant gaya ng (We shouldn't just rely on the) GCF. There should be a whole of government, whole of nation approach in addressing the climate crisis," she said. "These few grants will not change the scenario."
She said local governments must master early warning systems, evacuation and geohazard mapping, among others.
Legarda also urged her colleagues to recognize their critical roles in dealing with the global climate emergency.
"Let's not waste this opportunity to do good, to do what is right and in all our endeavors, imagine a different future past the twin crisis of climate and biodiversity collapse," Legarda said. (PNA)