Two months after the historic 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Paris, the Philippine Embassy in Berlin hosted a lecture by one of the members of the NGO Philippine delegation to the conference. Mr. Renato Redentor “Red” Constantino, Head of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC), talked about the significance of the Paris accord. In particular, he conveyed the agreement among 195 nations, which the Philippines helped push, to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. He also highlighted the challenges ahead for the country, including the need to embrace more renewable energy sources and move away from coal and other traditional fossil fuels.
Mr. Constantino also shared climate change-related initiatives in the country, including the groundbreaking literary anthology Agam: Filipino Narratives on Uncertainty and Climate Change, an e-Jeepney project, and the People’s Survival Fund (PSF), of which he is a board member.
The lecture was attended by the officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy, led by Ambassador Melita Sta. Maria-Thomeczek, and representatives from the Filipino community in Germany drawn from media, the academe, and organization leaders. A Q&A followed Mr. Constantino’s lecture, during which the audience asked questions that showed their keen interest in the issue and how to contribute to addressing climate change in a practical manner.
In her opening remarks, the Ambassador emphasized the importance of being aware of the nature of climate change and the challenges facing our country. She noted that the Philippines was committed to fulfilling the UN’s 2030 agenda for sustainable development. One of the seventeen (17) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact. “This lecture is timely in that it can awaken our consciousness on the importance of this quite technical issue. We can start thinking of what we can do to contribute to our goals..”, she said.
The lecture was Berlin PE’s first for the year ‘s continuing Education /Lecture Series for its staff and filcom. The lecture series hopes to gives updates on relevant issues affecting our people and country. This is done via invitation for Filipino officials visiting Berlin to talk of their expertise or other relevant topics to gatherings hosted by the Embassy. (End).
Editor’s Note: This article is re-posted from the Embassy of the Philippines- Berlin official website, February 12, 2016. Featured image: Red Constantino, Head of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, discussed with Filcom and Embassy staff what happened in Paris and, in general terms, the challenges ahead.