PH climate commissioner wants lower global warming target

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A woman washes clothes amidst rubble and debris on November 20, 2013 in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, which ripped through the Philippines on November 9, has been described as one of the most powerful typhoons ever to hit land, leaving thousands dead and hundreds of thousands homeless.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Philippines called for a lower temperature limit, less than the two degrees Celsius global warming target, a few days before the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris.

In a media briefing on Wednesday (November 25), Climate Change Commissioner Emmanuel de Guzman said that the global warming target is insufficient and should be even less than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

He added that only by reaching the desired target can we ensure a successful participation in the upcoming climate change conference.

Related: Philippines among world's most disaster-prone countries

President Benigno Aquino III will head the Philippine delegation in the COP21.

Over a hundred world leaders will participate in the conference to develop a new international climate change agreement that will cover all countries.

The Philippine delegation is composed of over 50 veteran negotiators from different government agencies such as the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), among others.

Climate change consultants and youth delegates will also be present.

"We are hopeful that there will be an agreement on climate change actions... The topics to be discussed include adaptation, loss and damage, mitigation, finance, technology, development and transfer, capacity building, transparency, and other legal issues," De Guzman said.

He described the upcoming conference as a defining moment in history.

"This agreement will essentially define the faith of humanity and our planet. Are we allowing our planet to be very warm and many islands going underwater?" he asked.

French President François Hollande and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will lead the opening ceremony during the leaders' event on November 30. It will be followed by a luncheon, and a series of statements from the heads of delegations.

Aquino will be the 13th speaker, and may deliver his speech at 9:30 p.m., PH time. Prior to the conference in Paris, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) has led a climate summit in Manila with hundreds of participants from local and national government units, as well as the youth.

Participants shared their approaches and experiences in implementing climate change measures.

The commission also launched the #NowPH — a youth-led campaign which aims to gather support in the call for a positive outcome from the COP21.