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18 April 2018

Senator Loren Legarda is a featured speaker at the 2018 AirQualityAsia Second Annual High-Level Strategy Session (HLSS2) on Sustainable, Healthy Cities and Sustainable Energy held on 18 April 2018 in Washington, D.C. She is joined on the panel by US Representative Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii (right), and AirQualityAsia Treasurer and panel moderator Matthew J. Nolan (left).

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Loren Legarda underlined the importance of parliamentary leadership in formulating carbon-reduction policies, and implementing the Paris climate accord and Sustainable Development Goals on clean air, at the 2018 AirQualityAsia Second Annual High-Level Strategy Session (HLSS2) on Sustainable, Healthy Cities and Sustainable Energy that was held on 18 April 2018 in the US capital.

“As parliamentarians, we bear the responsibility of steering our country forward through fostering a policy environment where laws can unlock national potential and serve as the foundation for inclusive and sustainable development where our people could thrive and prosper,” Senator Legarda said.

The Senator noted the close connection between air quality and climate changeas she delved into key legislative measures that advance environmental protection and climate change adaptation and mitigation in the Philippines.

According to the Philippine Department of Health, about one in four deaths in the country are attributed to air pollution, which also relates to sources of high carbon dioxide emissions.

“We are therefore supporting both climate and health goals at once when we implement policies and measures that improve air quality,” Senator Legarda emphasized.

The Senator talked about the mechanisms prescribed by the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999 and the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 that work on improving air quality in the Philippines and forging a path for the country to transition into a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy.

The Philippines is pursuing this path even though its carbon emissions register at a negligible level compared to other countries.

“Our vulnerability and resilience as a nation has given us a voice to represent and lead other highly vulnerable countries in climate negotiations. When everyone else found it adequate to set the global warming limit at two degrees Celsius, we pushed it even further. We encouraged greater and more ambitious climate action by setting the limit to 1.5 degrees,” said Senator Legarda.

On the Paris Agreement, the Senator pledged to ensure that the Philippines’ Nationally Determined Contributions, which are being finalized and slated for submission this year, will adhere to the 1.5 degree Celsius-limit.

Senator Legarda concluded her remarks by stressing the crucial role of Congress in giving budgetary support to climate adaptation and mitigation projects and programs.

The Second Annual High-Level Strategy Session on Sustainable, Healthy Cities and Sustainable Energy is organized by AirQualityAsia in conjunction with the US-Asia Institute. Held on the sidelines of the World Bank-IMF Spring Meetings, HLSS2 brings legislators, air quality experts, green energy finance and renewable energy business together for clean air-focused environment and energy policies.

Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, Finance and Climate Change, is the Alternate Head of the Philippine Delegation to the 2018 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C., USA. ###