Issue of November 4, 2018

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Solon stresses climate action plan can accelerate adaptation
by Press release

Advocacy must be translated into local climate action, Sen. Loren Legarda said as she stressed the need to capacitate local governments and communities to accelerate adaptation to climate change impacts.

At the launch of the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA) – jointly headed by former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Bill Gates, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva – Legarda, who is one of the commissioners along with more than 20 other leaders from around the globe, said that while national policies, financing, and convergence across all sectors are needed to address climate change impacts, these should all translate to actual local action.

“Everything that we discuss at the global level would mean nothing if not translated into local action that will be felt by the communities and the people themselves who are affected by the impacts of climate change,” said Legarda.

She added that the GCA should guide nations into realizing that it makes good socio-economic sense to mainstream adaptation and resilience in national budgeting processes, but it should also be implemented by local governments.

At the stakeholder’s dialogue, Legarda also shared how the Commission could be effective in accelerating adaptation.

“First is to balance advocacy and action. Once this is achieved and there is sufficient financing, we can scale up and speed up the pace of global climate action. Second is to harmonize fragmented efforts. This Commission will be exceptional if it strives for harmony amid the disarray and fragmentation of global adaptation efforts. Third is to enhance local resilience. The Commission must endeavor to unlock the full potential of countries by enabling them to become adaptation experts. The development of a local climate change action plan is an example of how policies need to find fruition on the ground to build resilience in our communities,” she said.

Legarda said that in the Philippines, the national government continuously capacitates local government units and communities to contribute to mitigation and adaptation efforts through National Adaptation grants.

This year, four municipalities received close to $4 million for multi-year programs on climate-resilient agriculture, ridge to reef disaster risk reduction systems, ecological farming, and a climate field school for farmers and fisherfolk.

At the first meeting of the GCA commissioners, Legarda also explained the importance of doing a national risk assessment, which is critical to the preparation of climate-resilient investment plans.

“From risk assessment, the proper technology can come in, and the right amount of financing—not just in donations but in investments,” she said.

She also highlighted strong points raised by the heads of GCA.

Gates said that in committing to adaptation, we must also do the right things, including “investments to accelerate innovation across the sectors for adaptation.”

As Ban stressed the need for urgent adaptation because global warming will continue to manifest and intensify even if countries meet the Paris Agreement goal to keep temperature rise well below two degrees Celsius, Georgieva said that adaptation is a development imperative.

She also said that “adaptation is fairness” especially to poor communities who did not cause climate change but are the ones greatly affected by its impacts.

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