The Philippine Delegation to the 58th Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) lauded the approval of the Synthesis Report (SYR) that will serve as a resource for policymakers in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and adapt to human-caused climate change.

The all-women Philippine Delegation was led by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Undersecretary Analiza Rebuelta-Teh, with Manila Observatory Head of the Regional Climate Systems Laboratory Dr. Faye Abigail T. Cruz, and Climate Change Commission Commissioner Rachel Anne S. Herrera.

The report, approved by government representatives during a week-long session from March 13 to 19 in Interlaken, Switzerland, is an integrated and up-to-date analysis on climate change that includes an overview of the state of knowledge on the science of climate change based on the three Working Groups of the IPCC, and three Special Reports on the impacts of 1.5-degree Celsius global warming, and on climate change impacts to oceans, cryosphere, and land.

“The SYR serves as the fundamental basis for evidence-informed decisions and actions, and provides a clear and substantive analysis on climate science that would accelerate the pace of co-creating policies and designing and implementing programs for science-based actions,” Teh said.

During the sessions, the Philippine Delegation provided interventions on several sections of the SYR, highlighting the urgent need to pursue evidence-based adaptation planning especially among developing and most vulnerable countries.

This includes combining green-blue infrastructure which refers to infrastructure that use nature-based solutions to interconnect a network of natural areas, with gray infrastructure or human-engineered traditional approaches to address the risk of clouding in cities.

The delegation also underscored the value of emissions avoidance as a recognition of risk-based and outcomes-based approaches to curb GHG emissions with the use of best available non-GHG emitting technologies.

The Philippines also emphasized the need to address loss and damage that are expected to worsen due to the increasing global warming, for which financing will be crucial.

“The SYR, along with the Summary for Policymakers document, will provide the impetus for urgent climate action in the Philippine context. As knowledge gaps remain, these IPCC reports serve as critical reference points for our policymakers to heed the science on the gravity of climate change as a planetary health concern necessitating solutions in policy and programs at the global and domestic level,” Herrera added.

In closing, IPCC Chair Hoesung Lee said the report offers hope, as well as a warning that rapid and sustained emission reductions, and acceleration of adaptation actions are required in this decade to address climate change.

The IPCC, established in 1988, provides governments at all levels with scientific information they can use to develop climate policies. It is composed of climate scientists and experts from 195 member countries. #