AKP demands more meaningful Philippine NDC

Manila, Philippines, 23rd December 2020 – ACCC member Aksyon Klima Pilipinas (AK) criticized the latest version of the Philippines’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), presented during a public multi-stakeholder consultation held in December.

After missing self-imposed deadlines, the Philippine government made a push to submit its climate pledge by 31 December 2020, termed as the “midnight survival” deadline. This was also aligned with the country’s stated intent within its Instrument of Accession to the Paris Agreement, submitted in 2017.

The global treaty aims to limit global warming to 1.5°C by 2030 and effectively address the climate crisis. All Parties to the agreement must submit the NDC, a self-determined commitment of mitigation and adaptation measures that also contribute to national development.  

In the presented three-page draft, the Philippine government pledged to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% by 2040, two percent of which is unconditional. It also expressed aspirational targets of a peaking year by 2030 and at least 15000 megawatts of additional renewable energy capacty by the same year.

In its Philippine_NDC_Joint_Statement, AK and other CSOs called the draft NDC “underwhelming, inadequate, and shameful”.

“It does not indicate sufficiently high ambition for the Philippines’s climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and undermines the “whole-of-government-and-society” approach that the Philippine government itself has been implementing in pursuit of sustainable development,” it said regarding the draft document.

AK, the Philippines’s largest civil society network for climate action, also stated that said commitments “will embarrass the country before the international community”.

As of this writing, the Philippines has yet to submit an official NDC. It remains one of the few Parties to the Paris Agreement to accomplish this, despite its key role for pushing for the 1.5°C target to be included in the global accord that was adopted five years ago.

Among the calls of AK is for “the Philippine government regarding its obligation to ensure that the submission of our first NDC must not compromise its quality”. Countries are allowed to submit their NDCs up to 9 months before the next session of the Conference of the Parties, which will be held in Glasgow, United Kingdom this November.

Other calls of the network include: a more inclusive and transparent NDC development process in the following weeks leading to the submission; a firm commitment for the peaking year to be on or before 2030; strict limits for production and consumption of fossil fuels, especially coal, by 2030 and 2050; and the integration of cross-cutting issues such as health, gender, and education into mitigation and adaptation measures.

Other signatory organizations to the statement include the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, Youth Strike for Climate Philippines, Green Convergence, Green Thumb Coalition, Alyansa Tigil Mina, and the Global Catholic Climate Movement-Pilipinas.#

Contributed by John Leo Algo, Program Manager, Climate Action for Sustainability Initiative (KASALI) and Program Manager, Living Laudato Si Philippines