Paris Agreement effective in PH on Earth Day 2017

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 20) — The Paris Agreement on climate change officially takes effect on the Philippines on April 22, Earth Day.

The enforcement comes more than a month after the Senate unanimously voted to ratify the Paris Agreement, which requires participating parties to reduce carbon emissions that contribute to global warming and climate change.

"We had to shepherd it through the whole process of ratification," Sen. Loren Legarda told CNN Philippines' The Source.

Legarda is the Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and the sponsor of the measure.

Its passage through the Senate makes the Philippines the 138th to ratify the treaty since they first signed onto it under former President Benigno Aquino III's administration in April 2016.

Related: Senate ratifies climate change bill

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change says that 143 of the 197 committed countries have ratified the convention.

Among the requirements under the Paris Agreement is a review of carbon emissions to be submitted every five years.

It also seeks to keep global temperature "well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels" and pursue efforts to "limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels."

Legarda explained that a 1.5 to 2.5°C rise in global temperature would put "one-third of our biodiversity, of our flora and fauna... at the risk of extinction."

Articles 9 to 11 of the agreement entitles developing countries to assistance from developed countries through the forms of finance, technology, and capacity-building.

Legarda says that given the vulnerability of the Philippines, such provisions are a part of climate justice.

"We have very, very small, almost nil, emissions," said Legarda. "But we bear the brunt of the adverse effects of extreme weather events and climate change, [so] we have the right to demand assistance, to demand compensation, and that's where the issue of climate justice [comes] in."

"So that's all part of the agreement: mitigation, action, adaptation, loss and damage, the provision of technical and financial assistance to countries that are developing, that need all the assistance," she added.

The agreement also lays down guidelines for reducing loss and damage, as well as for global goals on adaptation.

Acts for the earth

Legarda also encouraged the public to do their part in protecting the environment.

She advised the public to turn off switches and unplug gadgets and appliances, and "transition to renewable energy when possible."

Legarda advised people to install a mechanism in their houses that would catch rain water for this to be recycled for other purposes, such as washing the car or watering plants.

"If it's not possible in your building, in your home, there's no space — at least ask your barangay to build a simple catchment so that if there's rain, it catches water and you can use that recycled water for whichever use," she said.

Legarda also told viewers to plant trees and keep two or three bins at home and the office where it would be possible to segregate waste.

Finally, she encouraged people to simply join the discussion on climate change and the environment.

"Have more TV shows. Go online, do a blog," she said. "Did I talk about it? Did I write poetry about it? Did I paint about it? Did I tweet about it? Every day, do something to save mother earth."