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Time to ‘walk the talk’ on climate pact–CCC Chief

By Janvic Mateo, Philippine Star

Following the signing of the historic Paris deal on climate change on Friday, Climate Change Commission Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman said it is now time for the signatories to “walk the talk” and work toward the goals of the agreement.

“We cannot afford any more delays in carrying out concerted action to combat climate change and its impacts,” he said in a statement after 175 countries signed the agreement.

“The 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature cap is not simply a number or goal. It is a matter of survival for billions of people; it is a matter of survival for highly vulnerable nations like the Philippines,” he added.

The climate deal was the first legally binding global agreement on climate change.

The signing paved way for the country-signatories to ratify the deal in their respective countries and integrate environment and climate change programs in their specific national development policies in order to deliver commitments.

“To limit global temperature rise to stay below 1.5 degrees Celsius is crucial to reducing disaster risk and achieving our sustainable development goals,” he said.

“Our country will face greater difficulty to address poverty incidence, hunger and food security, health issues, security issues, among many other societal and economic concerns, if we go business as usual about dealing with climate change. Everyone must participate and work together because all of us are in danger, all of us will be affected,” he added.

De Guzman and Environment Secretary Ramon Paje led the Philippine delegation to the signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

De Guzman earlier urged Filipinos to help the government in its efforts to deal with climate change and its impact.

“Climate change affects people, natural resources, livelihood and lives. We are all part of the ecosystem. Everything and everybody in its path is affected. Ecosystems, infrastructure, economies and cities are all in danger,” he said.

The CCC earlier rolled out the Communities for Resilience initiative, which involves partnerships with grassroots communities within the 18 major river basins in the country.

Through the project, the CCC said it intends to promote deeper understanding of climate and disaster risk especially in communities identified to be more vulnerable to disasters caused by climate change.

It also seeks to strengthen the technical knowledge and capacity of local government units in developing the Local Climate Change Action Plan through a series of convergence consultations and training.

Editor’s Note: This article is re-posted from Yahoo News, published on April 26, 2016.

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