Last April 15, Thursday, the Philippines submitted its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This initiative was welcomed by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) but with a reminder to the government that they need to “act swiftly, with higher ambition and with a great sense of urgency. 

“While we appreciate the commitments made by the Philippine government, we also note with disappointment that only 2.71% of the 75% emission reduction target remains unconditional, while the remaining 72.29% is conditional. This gives much space for the possibility that the NDC targets will not be met in full,” said Angela Ibay, the head of the Climate Change and Energy Programme for WWF-Philippines. 

Ibay stresses that climate actions must be among our top priorities since the lives of millions of Filipinos will continue to be affected otherwise. She adds that this ambition wasn’t entirely reflected in the way that the Philippine NDC has been structured as it needs more details and clarity to better articulate how its targets can be achieved. 

“We can hardcode emissions reduction into our national plans, so long as we have the political will to meet our commitments. With the NDC submitted, the government must set in motion the actions, policies, and measures needed to attain the commitments made therein,” she said. 

But the government isn’t the only sector that the WWF is calling upon to strengthen the efforts of the NDC. Ibay is also calling on all the stakeholders to work together to take the commitments even further and to act upon them. 

“We look forward to continued constructive engagement with the government, the various agencies, and other stakeholders on the key aspects of the Philippine NDC and look towards its enhancement and the attainment of goals set therein,” she said. 

As the battle against climate change intensifies the Philippines has to change its course on how to address this environmental issue with a strong ambition and strive.