Philippines climate change agenda: high vulnerability! high ambition?

This paper is part of a series of briefing papers that examine the climate change policies of the countries key to a global agreement at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations in Paris in December last year, and its effective and ongoing implementation.

Executive Summary

The Philippine climate change agenda comprises two key features. First, it recognises that the country is highly vulnerable to climate change and disaster risks.  Second, in light of this and consistent with sustainable development, it pursues highly ambitious national climate polices and climate diplomacy.
This briefing paper examines food security and electricity generation in the Philippines. Our aim is to investigate the extent to which ‘vulnerability’ and ‘ambition’ aptly describe each area, respectively.  We will explore how consistent the country is to its avowed commitment to an integrated adaptation-mitigation approach to climate change.

Key findings:

  • The Philippines’ food security and production system, as well as its villages and rural areas, are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and natural hazards.
  • The Philippines needs to develop clear energy, and in particular electricity generation, policies consistent with its highly ambitious national climate change laws and international climate change commitments.
  • The international community can help the Philippines implement its national mitigation initiatives and development targets, as well as its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target, established through the Nationally Determined Contribution in the Paris Agreement,* of 70% below business as usual (BAU) levels by 2030, by providing public and private sector support in the form of adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources, and technology development and transfer.

*Originally, the commitments of the parties to the Paris Agreement were called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) but the Paris Agreement has settled on the phrase Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).  We use both acronyms in this paper.

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Dr Ben Parr

Dr Antonio La ViƱa

Professor Don Henry