In light of the results of the 2013 Global Climate Risk Index, which ranked the Philippines fourth among more than 190 countries greatly affected by climate change in the past 20 years, Senator Loren Legarda today called for heightened action from all communities across the Philippines.
“Despite increasing awareness about climate change over the past few years, the damage of irresponsible development models and large-scale environmental destruction has not yet been reversed. I urge all communities from all walks of life to contribute to the efforts in lessening our greenhouse gas emissions and decreasing our overall carbon footprint,” she remarked.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and UN Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in Asia Pacific, noted that all sectors can contribute to the fight against climate change.
“Government officials, especially at the local level, can increase preparedness by implementing our laws such as the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act and the Climate Change Act, and by using the People’s Survival Fund,” she said.
“Business communities should be encouraged to invest in clean new technologies, adopt energy efficiency measures and re-engineer corporate social responsibility to reflect the joint values of achieving business sustainability through building disaster-resilient local communities. Even we, in our own homes, can strive for sustainable means of living through recycling, composting, and lessening our use of non-renewable resources,” she detailed.
Legarda added that the media should underscore the message that it is time to recognize that disasters, turbocharged by a changing climate, can undo years of development gains, and that, unsound and short-sighted development practices play a significant role in worsening disaster risks.
She cited World Bank’s estimate that for every dollar invested in disaster reduction measures saves seven to ten dollars in losses from natural hazards.
“We will never tire of reiterating our call for heightened action on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation because we have to free ourselves from the exhausting and costly cycle of rebuilding our communities every single time a natural hazard occurs,” Legarda concluded.***