The Philippines submitted its 1st Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on April 15, 2021. As a party to the Paris Agreement, the country is obligated to submit NDCs every five years representing its planned contributions towards global efforts in limiting global warming to well below 2 °C.

Under the NDC, the country commits to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 75% from the business-as-usual scenario by 2030. This 75% reduction includes an unconditional contribution of 2.71%, with the remaining 72.29% conditional on external and international support.

Reboot Philippines welcomes the submission of the NDC, which is a significant step towards greater climate ambition on a national scale. In particular, we commend the decision to backtrack from the previously proposed GHG emissions reduction of 30%, presented last December 2020 in an NDC draft text. The current NDC also elevates the emission reduction target from the 70% level found in the Intended NDC submitted in 2015.

However, the low unconditional target of 2.71% is concerning, as adequate climate action may not be met if the Philippines fails to secure sufficient external support. The country needs to develop thorough plans for accessing support in the form of climate finance, technology transfer, and capacity building. There should also be greater transparency on how the unconditional and conditional targets were determined, with the intention that future NDCs will increase the unconditional emissions reduction target.

Reboot Philippines now calls on the government to ensure that NDC targets are fully met through sound policy and rigorous regulatory implementation. In particular, appropriate policy mechanisms must be set up to ensure adequate support towards fully achieving the conditional targets. Policymakers must ensure that policies across various government agencies are compatible with the climate action targets in the NDC. Succeeding NDCs should also continue to elevate the level of climate action ambition towards full alignment with the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Finally, we call upon everyone to intensify efforts towards the just and democratic renewable energy transition.

As a country highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, the Philippines must pursue even greater efforts towards climate mitigation and adaptation, and the just renewable energy transition is an essential component of climate action. More than ever, we need to ensure that the ongoing transition promotes stakeholder equity and adopts sustainable systems towards a better normal. This is why we #ResistReclaimReboot.



Background photo by Katie Rodriguez on Unsplash.