Thank you, Madame Chair.
In the run-up to COP21 in Paris, and amidst the negotiations for the post-2015 development agenda and the Financing for Development Conference, we thank the President of the General Assembly for organizing this debate to ensure that climate change remains central in these agendas.
The Philippines ranks 3rd worldwide in the list of countries that are most vulnerable to climate change. This means that we are not only more exposed by virtue of our geographical setting and environmental situation, we are also less able to cope with the extreme events and natural calamities brought about by climate change.
To address this at the national level, our Budget Priorities Framework (BPF) for FY 2015 identifies implementing climate change adaptation measures and disaster risk reduction and management measures as a priority program for funding.
To fully mobilize political momentum however, we believe in the necessity of going beyond national programs and into active partnerships between developed and developing countries and importantly, between and among developing countries.
Last February, during the visit of French President Francois Hollande to Manila, the Philippines and France issued the “Manila Call to Action on Climate Change,” which affirms that while the developing countries have contributed least to climate change, they are the ones that suffer the most from climate change impacts. While all countries face similar threats and shared vulnerabilities, not all have the same strengths and capacities to address these. The Joint Statement thus calls on developed countries, and developing countries in a position and willing to do so, to provide the poorest and most vulnerable countries with adequate means of implementation, to help them achieve their transition to resilient territories and low-carbon economies. This can be achieved through better access to finance and technology, better support for technology development, increased South-South cooperation, and enhanced support for institutional, private sector and knowledge capacities.
The Manila Call to Action also invites all States to present their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), which is crucial in determining whether the world can meet the objective of limiting the increase in global average temperature below 2° C.
We note that the review by the UNFCCC show that the 2° C goal needs to be strengthened to 1.5° C. This has been the advocacy of the the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), of which the Philippines is currently President. As a group of 20 largely least developing countries, small island developing states and middle income economies, the CVF is a shining example of South-South cooperation in addressing climate change. We are pleased that the CVF has been able to contribute to the UNFCCC review through the submission of a series of important reports into the dangers of a 2° C world for human rights, workplace health and productivity, and migration and displacement.
Climate change is not just a question of environmental policy, or economic policy, nor simply a political issue. It is our defining concern. We have an incredible opportunity in Paris this December to conclude a universal, equitable and ambitious climate deal. Let this be our gift to future generations.
 INDCs represent the amount of carbon dioxide emissions each country will aim to cut from its economy.
Editor’s Note: iCSC has been engaged with the Climate Vulnerable Forum agenda since the climate talks in Lima, Peru last December, focused, among other pieces of work, on ensuring reviews are conducted regarding the adequacy of the climate convention’s average temperature rise targets. As the statement re-posted below demonstrates, Philippine government agencies leading the country’s climate negotiations agenda remain consistent in delivering the message, whether from Lima, Bonn, Geneva or New York: global climate targets need to be strengthened.