Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Civil society groups back new climate body vice chair

A nationwide network of civil society groups on Tuesday expressed support for newly appointed Climate Change Commission (CCC) vice chairperson Lucille Sering, saying her appointment to the post signals reforms in the climate body.

“We welcome this development as it ushers in the much-need reforms in a commission formerly beset with an uninformed and biased leadership," Rowena Bolinas of the Aksyon Klima network said in a statement on Tuesday.

She likewise lauded President Benigno Aquino III’s “swift and decisive" action to replace former CCC vice chairperson Heherson Alvarez, who has drawn flak in the past months due to his supposed “unilateral" decisions in the body. (See: PNoy lauded for replacing Alvarez as CCC vice chair)

“President Aquino made the right decision in appointing Commissioner Sering as the new vice chairperson. Now, we can look forward to a more consultative climate body that seeks to listen to the voices of vulnerable sectors affected by climate change impacts," she said.

Sering, who once served as Department of Environment and Natural Resources undersecretary, took her oath on Monday afternoon as the new CCC vice chairperson, in ceremonies administered by President Aquino himself.

As the new vice-chairperson, Sering now serves as the executive director of the body, which is chaired by the President.

Chito Tionko, a civil society representative, meanwhile challenged Sering to take concrete steps to cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“We should be ready to shift to organic agriculture, shelve our coal plants, establish an efficient mass transport system and ban logging and mining," he said in the same statement.

Tionko will be one of civil society representatives of the Philippine delegation to be sent to Cancun in Mexico in December for the next round of climate change talks,

He likewise said that the new climate body vice chairperson must take steps now to update the existing National Framework Strategy on Climate Change in the light of possible developments from the Cancun talks.


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