Climate Justice group calls for a People’s NDC – Equitable and Just but Ambitious
A 75% mitigation target to reduce the country’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) from the previous 70% had recently been advanced by the Climate Change Commission in the latest version of the NDC as part of the country’s contribution to global climate change efforts. While this increase in ambition is indeed a welcome change, the failure to deliver the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) on the December 31 deadline stymies the Philippine Government leadership in challenging other countries to be ambitious in their share towards fulfilling the global effort against the climate catastrophe.
The current NDC stirs more questions than provide the blueprint towards Philippine resiliency, sustainable and equitable growth, and the drive to rally rich countries including developing countries to be clear and ambitious in their targets. Submitted only on the 29th of January 2021, the overall targets lack backup from the targets of mitigation per sector. Forestry, for example, which is undoubtedly an integral element in any climate change mitigation strategy, was not included. Transport and the Energy Sector, the sectors that contribute the most in increasing the GHG emissions are equivocal in its targets while agriculture, which remains not to commit to mitigation targets continue to accommodate GHG emitting crop production for exports reneging on the priorities for food self-sufficiency and production for domestic consumption. The updated Policies and Measures (PAMS) list did not contain any significantly different changes raised during the December 29 consultation, in which this poses as a constant concern as National Government agencies continue to lack in engagement with civil society groups and vulnerable sectors–an action that must be fulfilled under the mandatory policies of RA 9729.
While the proposed increase in ambition, as presented in the January 29 document, signifies that National Government seems to be willing to commit a larger amount of effort towards ensuring the country’s global commitment to stabilize the climate, it is alarming that the country’s unconditional target had only modestly increased from a questionable 2% to 2.33%–which almost makes the change negligible. An unambitious unconditional target of any country, like the Philippines, with a known potential of domestic mitigation capacity will hamper the global realization of the Paris Agreement. These lack of scientific basis, miniscule changes to the country’s unconditional targets then bring up the question of the Philippines leadership in demanding climate justice to rich polluter countries and rally the international community to become ambitious of its targets. Can the Philippine government substantiate the basis of the unconditional commitment? Is this how the government values the importance of domestic mitigation targets in a country that is most vulnerable to climate change? How can the climate vulnerable sectors be sure that the National Government is committed to ensuring that the country will be relieved from both the current and future climate impacts
Finally, while the NDC is also an important negotiating instrument for technology, finance and ambitious targets, the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice Climate Justice calls on to the President Duterte Government, the Climate Change Commission, the Department of Finance to avoid the mistakes of a NDC submission that is hasty, ill prepared, and lacking the needed consultative process particularly with the CSOs and vulnerable sectors. An NDC that lacks the scientific basis will fail us in achieving climate justice and the much-needed reparation for the Philippines based on equity and fairness which is important in achieving just transition and a modern economy for the workers and the toiling people.
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