At COP26, the Conference of the Parties in Decision 1/CP.26, also known as the Glasgow Climate Pact, affirmed and acknowledged “that climate change is a common concern of humankind, [and that] Parties should, when taking action to address climate change, respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, the right to health, the rights of indigenous peoples, local communities, migrants, children, persons with disabilities and people in vulnerable situations and the right to development, as well as gender equality, empowerment of women and intergenerational equity.” The COP further noted “the importance of ensuring the integrity of all ecosystems, including in forests, the ocean and the cryosphere, and the protection of biodiversity, recognized by some cultures as Mother Earth, and also [noted] the importance for some of the concept of ‘climate justice’, when taking action to address climate change.”
These provisions from the Glasgow Climate Pact highlight the importance of a holistic approach to addressing the climate crisis, which integrates the circumstances and concerns of various communities and sectors, especially the most vulnerable. They also underscore the need for a systemic and historical understanding of the impacts of climate change and climate action, to achieve long-lasting outcomes that benefit present and future generations.
Within these broad considerations, Aksyon Klima Pilipinas has formulated a set of key asks for the upcoming Conference of the Parties, the result of a consultative and participatory process with its members representing a diversity of issues related to the climate crisis and the pursuit of national sustainable development, including on adaptation, mitigation, climate finance, loss and damage, and cross-cutting concerns.
As part of our efforts to ensure and protect the full and equitable participation of Philippine civil society in global and national climate-related decision-making processes, Aksyon Klima Pilipinas respectfully makes the following submission for the consideration of the Philippine delegation as it crafts the country’s positions to the agenda items for COP27.
On adaptation and the Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh work programme on the global goal on adaptation referred to in decision 7/CMA.3
- Parties must make meaningful progress on the operationalization of the global goal on adaptation (GGA). It is imperative that the institutional arrangements, modalities, and activities under said work programme are oriented towards defining a GGA that is nationally and/or locally-driven. In the context of the GGA’s methodologies, indicators, data and metrics, monitoring and evaluation, we call on the Philippine delegation to decisively call for the following:
- Accounting for the most vulnerable, including indigenous peoples and women and capturing vulnerabilities and its root causes that disable them from adapting to and/or enhance their risks to climate change;
- Adaptation support must be calibrated according to accounted climate change risks that already impacts developing and least developed countries and must be adequate to ensure not only incremental adaptation but also transformational adaptation and sustainable development;
- Provide direct access funding and support mechanisms for local adaptation; and
- Deliberations must be evidence-based and inclusive, taking stock of the progress accomplished under the Glasgow-Sharm El Sheikh work programme on GGA to drive and scale up global adaptation actions. In recognition of climate change impacts varying between and within nations.
- Developed countries must deliver on their promise to double adaptation finance (par. 18, Decision 1/CP.26). This must be done as part of overarching efforts to ensure a more equitable allocation of finance between adaptation and mitigation owing to climate risks of countries who will be most impacted, as well as establish equitable, consistent financial flows directly and readily accessible to the most vulnerable nations and communities, such that they do not place additional burden on them and limit their capacity to pursue sustainable development and/or violate their human rights.
- All nations, especially the highest-emitting countries, must urgently enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions with targets and timelines for reductions of emissions of all greenhouse gases, including short-lived climate pollutants, consistent with pathways aligned with the target of keeping the temperature increase below 1.5°C (par. 29, Decision 1/CP.26). These enhanced commitments must include concrete pledges to provide means of implementation (e.g., finance, technology development and transfer, capacity-building) to vulnerable nations like the Philippines that enable an enhanced implementation of their adaptation and mitigation solutions.
- Parties, especially the highest-emitting nations, must establish well-defined implementation plans and strategies for the phaseout of coal-fired and other fossil fuel power plants and hastening a just transition towards renewable energy resources. These plans and strategies must be aligned with the goals of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030, achieving net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050, and deep reductions in other greenhouse gases, as recognized under the Glasgow Climate Pact (par. 22, Decision 1/CP.26). All Parties must also decisively spur a just energy transition push for the phaseout of all fossil fuel power plants and subsidies that enable fossil fuel use and expansion, especially on coal and natural gas, in a manner that does not violate human rights.
On the financial mechanism and long-term climate finance
- Developed countries need to deliver on their collective pledge to mobilize a floor of USD100 billion per year for developing nations on or before 2025 (par. 46, Decision 1/CP.26). This would not only indicate the willingness of developed countries to follow through with their finance commitments, but also help in laying the foundation with developing nations in setting and defining a far more ambitious new collective quantified goal on climate finance by 2025 that truly meets the needs and demands of the most vulnerable.
- Higher ambition and accessibility is paramount in the crafting of the new collective quantified goal (NCQG) on climate finance that is cognizant of the urgent needs of the countries who are most vulnerable and at risk to climate change. Following the establishment of “an ad hoc work programme for 2022–2024 under the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement” in Decision 9/CMA.3, deliberations and decisions on the NCQG on climate finance must be informed and driven by the challenges faced by the most vulnerable and most-at-risk developing and least developed countries.
- Current financing for nature-based solutions (NBS) must not take away or diminish support for co-beneficial, ecosystem-based approaches that address both human and ecosystem vulnerabilities and uphold the intergenerational and essential rights to food, livelihoods, shelter, and safety. In the recent Forum on Finance for Nature-Based Solutions organized by the UNFCCC Standing Committee of Finance, there was a call to triple the financing for NBS. While this may sound as a welcome development, the mechanisms by which financing for NBS are operationalized must not sacrifice the rights of the most vulnerable and the integrity of ecosystems. Nevertheless, we remain strongly critical of the current NBS framework, as it may provide opportunities for the proliferation of greenwashing and false solutions that put local communities, indigenous peoples, ecosystems, and biodiversity at high climate and ecological risk.
- Climate finance must be defined to account for all streams of financing for climate action and on which ethical and good governance considerations can be applied. In Decision 5/CP.26, it was recognized that, up to this date, there is no common understanding on climate finance. Parties have to agree on a common definition by which ethical considerations and principles of justice, equity, transparency, and accountability can be applied in the operationalization of climate finance and in the crafting and implementation of the NCQG.
On the funding arrangements for addressing loss and damage
- The establishment of a loss and damage financing facility must be included in the COP27 agenda, with its funding becoming a mandatory component under the NCQG on climate finance. The resulting modes for funding and support for the most vulnerable peoples must be readily accessible and grounded on climate justice, with financial flows focusing on restitution for those impacted the most. It should build on the progress made during the Glasgow Dialogue, which is established specifically to discuss arrangements for the funding of activities to address loss and damage (par. 73, Decision 1/CP.26).
On Inclusion in Climate Action
- On gender and climate change, Parties must encourage the sharpening of gender analysis in the integration of gender in global, regional, national climate action. Following the report on the implementation of gender-responsive climate policies, plans, strategies and action as reported by Parties in regular reports and communications under the UNFCCC stated in FCCC/CP/2022/6, a sharper gender analysis that factors in intergenerational and intersectional dimensions using systems thinking on matters related to climate change must be clear in the report of Parties to on gender-responsive climate action.
- The UNFCCC and the Standing Committee on Finance must ensure that the context and views of non-state actors, including indigenous peoples, must be considered in defining climate finance. Parties must ensure disaggregation of national climate reporting and data generation that include indigenous peoples, their contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and respective vulnerabilities. We reiterate the call for direct access to climate finance to implement climate solutions according to their priorities and the right to self-determination, to support the maintenance, restoration, protection of their lands and waters, and to enhance their resiliency based on their priorities, systems of governance, and knowledge.
- Parties must push for the creation of a constituency for persons with disabilities under the UNFCCC. Among vulnerable groups most acutely affected by climate change as mentioned in the preamble of the 2015 Paris Agreement includes persons with disabilities. With this platform, we look forward to an improved efforts at creating disability-inclusive learning spaces, climate-related education & trainings, public participation and public awareness raising programs, and international cooperation (Matters related to Action for Climate Empowerment Review of the Doha work programme on Article 6 of the Convention-UNFCCC COP-26 in Glasgow); as well as disability-inclusive and informed decisions towards the integration of disability rights language, where appropriate throughout decisions adopted by the UNFCCC COP.
- Parties must enhance current mechanisms for meaningful youth participation and engagements in climate policymaking at the global level. Building on the momentous gains on youth empowerment from COP26 (par. 64-65, Decision 1/CP.26), all Parties and UNFCCC bodies must implement mechanisms to address issues preventing their active participation, including prioritizing provision of support to youth delegates from the most vulnerable countries, effective integration of inputs through virtual modes of engagement, and allotting guaranteed youth slots in all negotiating events with strong implications on youth well-being. Concrete steps must be taken to finalize the establishment of an annual youth-led climate forum for dialogue between Parties and youth delegates and distinguish its goals, objectives, and operationalization with the existing annual youth-oriented climate events already taking place such as the “Youth4Climate” program and the Conference of Youth.
On cross-cutting issues
- On the Global Stocktake (GST), Parties must advance the technical assessment of collective progress towards the goals of the Paris Agreement. Among details that should be tackled include the utilization of more innovative spaces and methodologies for knowledge exchange and how to enhance the inclusion and meaningful participation and national disaggregation of data that includes the most vulnerable peoples (i.e., women, youth, indigenous peoples) in these processes, with the ultimate objective of producing a politically-relevant outcome by 2023 that would drive global action moving forward. The GST must especially take into account how global issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the UN Sustainable Development Goals impact global climate actions.
- A funding mechanism must be created for the operationalization of the Glasgow work programme on Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE). This would enable governments and other stakeholders to more urgently scale up programs, projects, and activities on climate and environmental education, training, and capacity-building, with lenses based on gender and human rights (par. 91, Decision 1/CP.26) with appropriate monitoring schemes. It would also strengthen multi-sectoral partnerships enabling progress on ACE and encourage more active youth engagements within UNFCCC processes in the long-term.
UNFCCC COP27 has been touted as “The Sharm El-Sheikh Climate Implementation Summit,” as the Egyptian COP Presidency has emphasized achieving outcomes that move protracted discussions on key agenda items into action. They have also highlighted the importance of providing space and opportunities for all stakeholders to meaningfully participate in COP processes, setting up Thematic Days where “the role of youth, civil society, and different stakeholders shall be taken into consideration to ensure their full and effective engagement.”
Aksyon Klima Pilipinas, and the communities and sectors it represents, urge the Philippine government, in considering and addressing the above positions, to act in the spirit of implementation and participation envisioned at COP27. As always, the network and its members are ready to provide support to the Philippine delegation in terms of technical and policy expertise, and look forward to continued collaboration in the lead-up to and during the Conference.