THE Philippines chairmanship of the Climate Vulnerable Forum gave an opportunity for the country to cement its position as one of the leaders in the global fight against climate change and in championing climate justice, human rights and ecosystems integrity.
MANILA–The Philippines turned over the chairmanship of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) to Ethiopia on Monday during a high-level meeting of officials and experts from member-countries of the organization at the Philippine Senate.
Secretary Emmanuel M. De Guzman, vice chair and executive director of the Climate Change Commission (CCC), expressed the country’s gratitude to CVF for the opportunity to lead the nations, which are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, in pushing for greater global action to stop global warming.
At the same time, he gave assurances that the Philippines, which chaired the CVF for 19 months since January 2015, will continue to lead the coalition as it joins the CVF Leadership Troika together with Ethiopia and former chair Costa Rica.
“The country’s chairmanship of the CVF may be over, but the Philippines will continue to push for a stronger international response to limit global warming and press developed nations to provide adequate financial and technical support to developing countries, especially for adaptation,” De Guzman said.
The official turnover follows the seminar of CVF delegates on climate diplomacy, leadership and negotiation held in Tagaytay City.
CVF is an advocacy leadership group of developing countries highly vulnerable to climate change, which represents over one billion people from 43 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Pacific.
According to De Guzman, the country’s chairmanship of the CVF gave an opportunity for the Philippines to cement its position as one of the leaders in the global fight against climate change and in championing climate justice, human rights and ecosystems integrity.
“Philippines is committed to advocate for climate justice and recognizes that development must be pursued conscious of our responsibility to safeguard our people and environment and to secure a bright and resilient future for all,” De Guzman said.
He said the Philippines, ranked 4th among countries worldwide most affected by climate change, believes in “common but differentiated responsibilities” among nations in dealing with the global phenomenon.
“This means that developed countries must lead and bear a bigger burden than developing countries in controlling climate change,” he pointed out.
The Philippine chairmanship saw the adoption by the CVF of its Manila-Paris Declaration on climate action in Manila in November last year. The declaration called for the 1.5 degrees Celsius as the global warming threshold rather than the 2 degrees Celsius limit preferred by developed nations at the Paris conference held last December.
The CVF believes that 2ºC of warming above pre-industrial levels is catastrophic and violates human rights. Gunning for below 1.5ºC as long-term temperature goal is desirable for developing countries to survive and thrive.
One of the highlights of the Climate Policy Forum at the Senate is the presentation of the Key Findings of the CVF Low-Carbon Monitor, a global research on the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement adopted in Le Bourget, France last year. The study highlights the mitigation actions needed to help developing countries pursue low-carbon development.
Conceptualized in 2011 at the CVF’s Dhaka Ministerial Declaration in Bangladesh, the Low-Carbon Monitor complements the CVF Climate Vulnerability Monitor, which details the impact of climate change and the needs for adaptation among CVF member-states.
The Climate Policy Forum also includes the inaugural lectures of the CVF South-South Center of Excellence for Climate Information and Services, an international training facility at the planned Philippine Climate Change Institute that will rise in Quezon City.
Climate policy leaders and experts who are expected to give the lectures include Dr. James L. Fletcher, Senior Climate Diplomacy Advisor to Climate Analytics and former Minister of Public Service, Information, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology of Saint Lucia; Dr. Mannava V.K. Sivakumar, former Acting Secretary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change;
Dr. Saleemul Huq, Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development of Bangladesh and chair of the CVF Expert Advisory Group; and Wael Hmaidan, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) International and member of the CVF Expert Advisory Group.
In October this year, the Philippines will also hand over the chairmanship of the “Vulnerable Twenty” or V20 Group to Ethiopia.
The Philippines is the first chair of the V20 Group comprised of finance ministers of the CVF member countries.
The CVF established the V20 Group as the counterpart to the G20, an international forum for governments and central bank governors from 20 major economies and other global economic governance structures. The V20 strives to increase the availability of financial resources for climate action by the CVF nations.