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Albay declares climate emergency, vows to reduce emissions

MANILA, Philippines — The governor of Albay declared Tuesday a state of climate emergency in the cyclone-prone province and vowed to strengthen the implementation of climate adaptation and mitigation programs.

Albay Gov. Greco “Grex” Lagman stressed that the “urgency of addressing the ongoing climate crisis cannot be overstated, and we must act quickly.”

Albay committed to reducing the province’s greenhouse gas emissions by prioritizing renewable energy investments over coal, oil and liquefied natural gas expansions, and urging financial institutions to establish clear roadmaps to cease support for fossil fuel projects

Other policy reforms include promoting circular and sustainable development, implementing a local climate action plan, and facilitating a just transition to a low-carbon economy.

Lagman also urged the provincial and local government units of Albay to declare a climate emergency at the city and municipal levels, integrating it into every plan and policy. 

Local governments should also adopt an environmental code, develop comprehensive climate mitigation and adaptation plans, and ensure the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples, women, youth and environmental defenders. 

“By declaring a climate emergency, we, the provincial government, alongside our city and municipal counterparts, commit to implementing essential climate adaptation and mitigation policies and programs while mobilizing the necessary resources for our people’s survival,” the governor said. 

“The imperative is to seize this critical decade for action, take the opportunity to preserve hope for a livable future for present and coming generations. Let us embark on the transition to a socially just future,” he added.

The declaration was issued in time for the stopover of climate activists in the province, who joined the climate walk to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

Climate scientists have warned that the window of opportunity to secure a liveable and sustainable future is rapidly closing, emphasizing the need for urgent climate action. 

Green and church groups have called on the national government to put the Philippines under a state of