The Philippines will continue to assert its entitlement to support and assistance as a country vulnerable to climate change impacts during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) summit in Egypt.

This was according to Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo Loyzaga, who is the head of the Philippine delegation to the 27th session of the Conference of Parties (COP27) to the UNFCCC, which will take place in the Egyptian city of Sharm El-Sheikh from November 8 to 16.

Before departing for Egypt, Loyzaga issued a statement on behalf of the Philippine delegation consisting of representatives and negotiators from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Climate Change Commission, Department of Finance, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Agriculture and Department of Energy, as well as advisers from climate scientists, and climate and development experts.

“The Philippine delegation in the following days will continue to assert and safeguard the country’s interest in climate change negotiation, ensuring that we receive the appropriate support and assistance as a country vulnerable to climate change,” the statement read.

Loyzaga said the delegation will reiterate the country’s “call for bolder climate action and demand the delivery of what is due for the developing countries which hardly produce any greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, yet they suffer the most and continue to bear the brunt of the adverse impacts of climate change.”

“As developing countries need resources for climate adaptation, the Philippine delegation will continue calling on developed countries to step up to these obligations and deliver without delay on their commitments on climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building,” Loyzaga added.

Loyzaga noted that addressing the impacts of climate change is at the forefront of the priorities of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.

In his statement at the 77th U.N. General Assembly last September, Loyzaga said the President
rightly stated that “there is no other problem so global in nature that it requires a united effort.”

“The Philippines is prepared to be a part of that solution. Participation in COP27 is important as this is the biggest platform for nations and stakeholders to negotiate and address climate change and its adverse impacts,” Loyzaga pointed out.

COP27 comes a week after Severe Tropical Storm Paeng barreled across the Philippines, leaving over a hundred people dead, and causing landslides, massive floods and power outages that affected more than three million Filipinos.

Loyzaga said Paeng’s wrath was a reminder of the devastating impacts of climate change. “This force, in a matter of hours, swept away years of progress, destroyed homes and livelihoods and claimed precious lives,” she lamented.

According to the DENR chief, the increasing intensity and frequency of climate and weather-related hazards have been severely impacting the lives and livelihood of every Filipino and putting a strain on the government’s efforts toward poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth.

“Against this backdrop and guided by the current administration’s policies and priorities on climate change, the Philippine delegation stands ready to work with other nations and stakeholders and support Egypt’s efforts in galvanizing and revitalizing international consensus and political will in addressing the most urgent scourge that threatens the very existence of humanity as we know it,” she said.

Loyzaga said that Egypt, serving the COP27 Presidency, aims at making the COP27 an “implementation COP” by urging action across prior agreements through all areas of climate change with a focus on protecting people from the immediate impacts of climate change, ensuring no one is left behind.

She said that COP27 sets the stage to deliver transparent, accessible, predictable and efficient climate finance.

Building on the agreements from COP26 in Glasgow, Loyzaga said the Philippines intends to contribute most to the workstreams dealing with Article 6 (of the Paris Agreement), Adaptation, Climate Finance, and Loss and Damage.

“The Philippines will not only safeguard its positions but also continue what it started. The concept of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities remains relevant for the Philippines,” Loyzaga said.

In line with this, Loyzaga said the Philippines not only supports GHG reduction and removal, but also pushes for the inclusion of GHG emissions avoidance in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.

“Simultaneously, addressing Loss and Damage is crucial for Philippine climate action plans. As such, the Philippines agrees to the operationalization and funding of the Santiago Network on Loss and Damage (SNLD), which aims to provide developing countries with technical assistance,” she continued.

The Philippines is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise, increased frequency of extreme weather events, rising temperatures and extreme rainfall. It lies in the world’s most cyclone-prone region, averaging 19–20 cyclones each year, of which 7–9 make landfall. ###