15 March 2017

Philippines unanimously votes to ratify Paris Agreement

The Philippines Senate has voted unanimously to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change, four months earlier than previously expected.

The nation, which is one of the world’s most vulnerable nations to extreme weather, was previously expected to ratify the deal in July 2017.

The south-east Asian nation is vulnerable to storms, typhoons, earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, droughts and other natural hazards, and in recent years the nation has suffered from even more violent storms like Typhoon Haiyan.

At least 60 per cent of the total land area of the country is exposed to multiple hazards, leaving 74 percent of the population vulnerable.

On Tuesday 14 March, the 22 upper house members unanimously passed a resolution agreeing to enter into the accord, making the Philippines the 135th country to ratify the deal.

The Paris Agreement to limit global warming came into force globally on 4 November 2016. 

Under the agreement the Philippines has committed to cut carbon emissions by 70 per cent by 2030.

Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on the Paris Agreement, said joining the accord would be remembered as one of the government’s “shining achievements”.

She said: “The Paris Agreement is a testament of solidarity and a call for global climate action. It shows that developing nations and the developed countries could pursue climate action and uphold climate justice together”.

She went on to say: “This accord is a manifesto for climate justice. It also allows our country access to international climate finance mechanisms and to acquire support from developed countries for adaptation, mitigation, technology development and transfer, and capacity building.”

To date, 135 out of 197 signatories have ratified the Agreement. 

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