Civil society organizations have expressed their discontent on the country’s unambitious proposed commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to address climate change.

They were citing the Climate Change Commission’s (CCC) presentation of the country’s three-page draft Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) text on Dec. 23.

In the latest version, the Philippines aims to reduce its GHG emissions by 30 percent by 2040 from its business-as-usual scenario (2020-2040), with at least two percent of these reductions to be done unconditionally. 

The groups highlighted that the reduction of 30 percent of GHG by 2040 is much lower than what it has committed to reduce in its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution or INDC in 2015. The Philippines then had committed to reduce by 70 percent its carbon emissions by 2030 to achieve a below two degrees Celsius increase in global temperatures.

The draft NDC also presented aspirational targets of emissions peaking by 2030 and at least 15,000 megawatts of additional renewable energy capacity by 2030. 

“We express our extreme concern, disappointment, and collective scorn with the latest draft NDC text, as it does not indicate sufficiently high ambition for the Philippines’ 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,” said Aksyon KIima Pilipinas convenor Rodne Galicha.

“After hearing the presentations during the NDC consultation, we realized that there are many aspects of the NDC that we need to understand with our members. Hence, we are requesting a copy of the full NDC and we ask to be given more time to study it more thoroughly,” said Dr. Angelina Galang, president of Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy Environment and Sustainable Economy.

Meanwhile, Global Catholic Climate Movement-Pilipinas (GCCM-Pilipinas) reminded the Philippine government of its moral duty to the Filipino people in inclusively engaging the marginalized and vulnerable sectors in the finalization process of the NDC.

“Collective action is indeed necessary but it is on a higher moral ground to genuinely consult and hear the voices of grassroots communities and peoples organizations who were and will be affected by the climate crisis,” said Bro. John Din, national coordinator of GCCM-Pilipinas.

Aksyon Klima, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), Youth Strike 4 Climate Philippines (YS4CPh), Green Convergence, Green Thumb Coalition (GTC), and Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) outlined calls to a meaningful and highly ambitious commitment.

“Not to compromise quality, we demand that the final version of the NDC be made public before submission after undergoing an inclusive and transparent process with stakeholders in the remaining time for finalization with a peaking year for the Philippines’s GHG emissions to be set way before 2030,” Galicha said.

The groups also called for setting “target limits to the production and consumption of fossil fuels by 2030 and 2050, with a peaking year for coal being set much earlier than other fossil fuels.”

Furthermore, they called “for the integration of the interlinkages between climate change mitigation options and cross-cutting issues with implications on enhancing adaptation, such as poverty alleviation, gender, health, education, biodiversity loss, pandemic, and youth development into the finalized first NDC.”

When the Philippines ratified the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change, the Philippine government set forth a country-defined timeline to submit the first NDC before 2020. 

Pursuant to the mandates under the Climate Change Act, as amended, and the General Appropriations Act, the CCC is leading and coordinating the development and finalization process of the country’s NDC. 

NDCs are actions that parties to the Paris Agreement plan to undertake to address climate change, most importantly to limit global temperature rise to well below two degrees and even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Source: Manila Bulletin (