The Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction (CCAM-DRR), chaired by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), has committed to strengthening the country's response to climate change, following the release of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report.
The United Nations-led IPCC report provides the most compelling and comprehensive information on the state of the world’s climate today.
Citing the pronouncement of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, CCAM-DRR Cluster chairperson and DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the report findings are considered a "code red for humanity" and that "the need to act collectively and decisively has never been more urgent."
"With the urgent call set forth by the latest IPCC report, we will continue to prioritize actions and investments that will reduce the long-term impacts, and increase our resilience and adaptive capacity to both the coronavirus pandemic and climate change," Cimatu said.
The IPCC report highlighted the irrefutable evidence that human influence caused the unprecedented warming of the planet and has exposed more regions to the increasing and intensifying impacts of climate change.
Cimatu assured that the national government is carrying out wide-ranging reforms in fostering improved environmental governance, sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy, and knowledge management on climate and disaster solutions.
"The CCAM-DRR Cabinet Cluster adopted the Risk Resiliency Program (RRP) as its convergence program to truly help protect our communities, especially in climate-vulnerable provinces and major urban centers, from climate-induced disasters and spare future generations from the worst impacts that climate change could bring about," he said.
Serving as the convergence program of the Cluster, the RRP aims to increase the adaptive capacities of vulnerable communities; ensure the adequate supply of clean air, water, and other natural resources; increase the resilience of critical infrastructures; and enhance knowledge, access to information and institutional capacities of communities.
"Given limited fiscal space for the CCAM-DRR sector, we will put focus on water security and water resilience as our policy thrust and direction in order to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, adapt to climate change, and enable economic growth by enabling the conditions for a healthy and prosperous population through a healthy environment," he added.
The Cluster’s priority programs are on the management of watersheds, protected areas and wetlands, coastal and marine ecosystems, groundwater resources, water quality, and water conservation.
The DENR has an approved budget ceiling in the amount of Php 25.295 billion for 2022.
Cimatu said the Philippines has committed, in its Nationally Determined Contribution to a projected greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the reduction, and avoidance of 75 percent from 2020 to 2030.
Of this figure, 2.71 percent is unconditional, and 72.29 percent is conditional, representing the country’s ambition for GHG mitigation between 2020 and 2030 for the sectors of agriculture, wastes, industry, transport, and energy.
The country’s climate change mitigation actions also include strengthening the resilience and adaptive capacity of the country, including through enhanced access to climate finance, technology development and transfer, and capacity building, especially on the implementation of the policies and measures on, and the uptake of circular economy and sustainable consumption and production practices.
Cimatu also said that the Task Force Build Back Better--an inter-agency body which he co-chairs with Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar--is steadfast in its efforts to improve adaptive capacities of ecosystems and communities in Cagayan, Marikina, and Bicol River Basins, which bore the brunt of typhoons Rolly and Ulysses in November 2020.
Cimatu stressed the opportunity to use green recovery from the COVID-19 to push for investments and reforms addressing underlying vulnerabilities and strengthening resilience.
"The COVID-19 pandemic provides us the opportunity to take a step back, and re-evaluate our programs and projects for the environment and economy. We need to identify recovery interventions that will also drive us towards a low-carbon, resilient, and green development," Cimatu said. #