Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III will represent the Philippines at the global climate action talks and negotiations, also known as 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Glasgow, Scotland next week.

Delegates from almost 200 nations and territories are expected to gather in-person in Glasgow for COP26 beginning Oct. 31 to Nov. 12. The summit was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year’s COP is critical as the countries around the world must make an immediate response to prevent the average global temperature from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius compared with levels before the Industrial Revolution.

Dominguez, who is Climate Change Commission (CCC) chairman-designate, will talk at COP26 about climate action for climate-vulnerable countries such as the Philippines, and present the country’s recently submitted Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) targets.

Since 1995, the annual climate change conference has brought together delegates around the world to forge a global response to keep the temperature rise below dangerous levels and prevent the climate crisis from causing irreversible consequences.

This year was described by scientists as humanity’s “last best chance” to reduce emissions enough to keep the planet below 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming.

Today, more extreme weather events are taking place all over the world, including typhoons, heatwaves, floods and forest fires, which are getting worse because of the effects of climate change. The past decade was the warmest on record.

While developing countries like the Philippines tend to emit less and are not responsible for most of the emissions, these nations however experience some of the worst effects of climate change.

For these reasons, the CCC expects the upcoming COP to prioritize the following key areas:

Green recovery: COP26 is the first COP since the COVID-19 pandemic. Nations will undoubtedly demand this COP26 to ensure the prioritization of green recovery packages in the global climate ambition.

The Philippines, being one of the countries with a high number of COVID-19 cases and vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, expects to give preferential attention in pushing this agenda to ensure our pandemic recovery.

Increased climate ambition: This is the country’s first COP with a submitted NDC that commits to a 75 percent reduction and avoidance of GHG emissions.

Moreover, parties are required to submit a new NDC every five years. As it has been five years since the Paris Agreement entered into force, parties are expected to outline their increased climate aspirations on the forthcoming COP, especially from the major carbon emitter countries.

Nature-based Solutions: COP26 will begin discussions on how nature-based solutions, such as ecosystems-based practices, can be a climate solution for absorbing greenhouse gases like carbon from the atmosphere.

Loss and damage mechanism: This refers to providing technical assistance to the countries that are vulnerable and have difficulties to adapt to the impacts of climate change, resulting in the loss of land, livelihoods, among others.

The CCC believes that the COP26 will bring major progress since the Paris Agreement and new decisions on how to cut GHG emissions.

For the CCC, the forthcoming COP26 should shed a light on the most vulnerable populations, such as women, children and adolescents, persons with disabilities, the elderly, migrants, and indigenous people.

Source: Manila Bulletin (