Philippines’ high-level executive dialogue in addressing climate change action


The Philippines was ranked first as the country at most risk for climate change phenomenon which was reported in the Institute of Economics and Peace 2019 Report. The country’s location is undeniably prone to these circumstances since it is located in the typhoon belt and the Pacific Ring of Fire. The Philippines has been facing 20 typhoons annually for several years and with the global climate crisis, this vulnerability is at its highest. These resulted in passing the R.A 9729, Climate Change Act of 2009. In the latest developments, the country has committed to reducing the GHG emissions for the sectors in the agriculture, solid and marine wastes, energy and power, and transportation, as its National Determined Contribution or NDC. This climate initiative solidifies the country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting the rise of global temperatures through GHG emission reduction globally. 

The Nordic-Philippines Climate Executive Dialogue is the event in response to the Nordic Embassies joint project with the Philippines to initiate the discussion and take actions in developing solutions and implementation on climate change. The main goal of the event was to bring together the initiatives from the Nordic countries consisting of Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Finland and Norway, and provide different climate actions and strategies for the Philippines to adapt and to consider in addressing climate resilience.

The event was held on February 16, 2023 at The Manila Hotel, Manila City. The dialogue was entitled “Advancing Sustainable Solutions and Drivers Against Climate Change”. The event was organized by the Philippine Center for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development Inc. (PCEPSDI). National and local government representatives, CEOs and Corporate Officers from the Nordic and Filipino-owned businesses were invited.

The program began with welcoming remarks from Mr. Arnel Eustacio Angeles, MDRRMO Director of Manila City followed by opening remarks from His Excellency Juha Pyykkö, Embassy of Finland Ambassador. There were two sessions for the event, the first one was focused on the government’s perspective and setting the surface for the climate situation and challenges in the Philippines while the second session focused on how to invest in climate change resilience and testimonies from the panelists. 

Honorable Secretary Ma. Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga of the Department of Environmental Natural Resources delivered the first sessions’ panel presentation. She emphasized DENR’s focal points to adhere to climate resilience. “Every fraction of degree counts in contributing to sustainability” she stated. BSD’s Board Member, Arch. Felino “Jun” Palafox was among the panelists in the first session. He cited his initiatives and solutions in contributing to combat climate change in the field of Urban Development and Real Estate. “Other countries are set to be examples, government buildings should be exemplar not exempted” his concluding message. The other panelists were from the mayor’s office of Quezon City, Save the Children Foundation Philippines and the Royal Danish Embassy Manila. It was a pivotal dialogue exchange moderated by Mr. Alfonso Tomas “Atom” Araullo. The second session, on the other hand, was composed of representatives from the Embassy of Sweden Manila, COWI Singapore (Denmark), RiverRecycle, Yara Fertilizers Philippines and H&M South Asia. Notable topics that were addressed in the second session were recycling mechanisms, agricultural barriers, maximizing textile resources and sustainable design. 

Closing the executive dialogue event, His Excellency Christian Halaas-Lyster from the Royal Norwegian Embassy Manila left a message to the attendees in the room with “We must act now, we must act together.”