‘Need to act fast’: Makati City declares ‘climate emergency’

Anjo Bagaoisan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 07 2022 02:26 PM

People walk in the business district of Makati City. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file
People walk in the business district of Makati City. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA — Makati City, the Philippines’ financial hub, has declared a state of climate emergency in a bid to lead local efforts to address the on-ground effects of rising global temperatures.

Mayor Abby Binay, who issued the declaration on Friday, said low-lying and coastal areas in Makati and other areas are bearing the brunt of strong typhoons and rising sea levels.

“We heard the data. We understood the science. We are feeling its impact. Now is a crucial time to act and we need to act fast,” Binay said in recorded remarks at the close of a webinar organized by the city’s disaster risk reduction and management office (CDRRMO).

“With this realization, Makati City has found enough reason to declare a climate emergency in the city and we are well aware that much still needs to be done to achieve our climate goals.”

The city is among the first localities to made such a declaration in the Philippines, which is seen as one of the top countries threatened by climate change.

The CDRRMO showed the increase in rainfall experienced by the city over the years especially during storms.

It added that extreme weather events disrupt public services and displace families.

Binay said various sectors from businesses to communities should play their part in addressing the crisis and involve ordinary citizens.

“We need to plan and create strategies to make our city more climate-resilient. We need to educate and engage our citizens in this important effort and we need to lead by example by ensuring that our actions align with our goal of achieving a more sustainable future,” she added.

In a statement, the city said it is amping up its efforts to bring down its greenhouse gas emissions.

Among them are plans to use electric vehicles for the city government and solar panels for public schools and government offices.

Makati on Wednesday inked an agreement with the Korea International Cooperation Agency to put up a smart public transport system utilizing electric buses.

Construction also continues on the Makati Subway, which the city hopes would help decongest traffic and improve air quality.

Makati has also made commitments to climate change actions like the Cities Race to Resilience.

“We need to stand up and speak out for climate action. We need to call our leaders to do more and we can start by raising our voices in our communities. We need people who work purposely and decisively towards climate justice. We need you,” Binay said. 

Aside from disaster preparedness efforts and equipment, Makati has passed local measures such as a Green Building Code, plasitc ban, and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Ordinance.

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