What the Philippines can contribute to win against Climate Change

“We must not contribute to our own destruction.” I have written many times that the global climate emergency is upon us. We are already experiencing its impact and it will only get worse. But are we helpless against climate change? Are the worst scenarios inevitable? Should we just give up and do what we can …

World Environment Day and the ongoing virtual climate talks

“To defeat this threat, the world must come together and cooperate based on common interests and shared values.” In the next weeks, with colleagues from the Manila Observatory and the Ateneo de Manila University, I will be attending the historic, first-ever purely virtual negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Our team …

What must the Philippines do about climate change

Co-Authored with Dr. Manny Solis ‘Fortunately, there is still a window to examine and revisit the existing NDC prior to the global stocktake in 2023 to fill in the gaps, make it as clear and progressive as possible, and attract the international support being sought for implementation’ The following is Part 2 of a two-part …

What the world must do about climate change

Co-Authored with Dr. Manny Solis ‘The sustainable development mechanism needs to be designed properly, with the right safeguards so there is no greenwashing or shifting of responsibilities to developing countries’ The following is Part 1 of a two-part series. You can read Part 2 here. Combating climate change can be compared to a tug of war …

Climate on our Minds on Earth Day 2021

‘Poor people in all countries will also be hit early and harder than the rich. Indeed, climate injustice is not only between countries, but also within countries.’ Let’s be clear. There is no doubt that we are now on the cusp of a global climate emergency. According to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres: “2021 is a …

Policies and Measures to Combat Climate Change

The following is Part 2 in a two-part series. You can read Part 1 here. In June 2019, Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, issued an important report on how the climate emergency exacerbates economic inequity and social injustice. The report concluded that addressing climate change effectively required a fundamental …

Paris Agreement: Not perfect but good

Why did the thousands of people in Le Bourget, Paris erupt with joy and jubiliation when it was announced that the Paris Agreement had been adopted? Imagine putting hundreds of die-hard Binay, Poe, Roxas, Duterte, and Santiago supporters in one room and telling them they cannot leave unless they are able to agree on one …

A good day in Paris

Last Saturday, December 12, after extending the climate change negotiations for a day, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, president of the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, entered the La Seine plenary hall of the Le Bourget conference center and addressed the thousands of us who were …

After Midnight in Paris

I write this column with the news from Minister Laurent Fabius that the Paris climate change conference will be extended by one day, to Saturday, Dec. 12. There are still serious issues that have to be resolved. Indeed, two all-night negotiations, participated in by the Philippine delegation, have failed so far to overcome the differences …

State of Paris climate talks

We are now in the final stretch of the marathon climate change negotiations that was launched in Durban, South Africa in December 2011 just around the time Typhoon Sendong hit the Philippines and killed thousands in my hometown Cagayan de Oro. I remember hearing the news of that tragedy, including of relatives and friends dying …