Makati City, Philippines, through its Mayor Abigail Binay, has officially declared a climate emergency on Friday, 5 August 2022 as it acknowledges the need for concerted, multi-level, and multi-stakeholder climate action to address global warming.
Announcing Makati’s state of climate emergency during “Cafe Talk for Resilient Makati,” a webinar organized by the city’s disaster and risk reduction unit, Mayor Binay said “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. Addressing climate change impact and making headway with long-term goals such as net zero and race to resilience require the collaborative effort of the different sectors of society and all stakeholders.”
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration has observed a 0.75°C increase in the country’s annual temperature in the past 70 years, with the figure expected to soar to 1.8°C by 2050—well above the international target of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. This increase in temperature is one of the root causes of the increasing number of heatwaves, stronger typhoons, sea level rise, and flooding.
The Philippines currently ranks 17th as the world’s most affected country from extreme weather events.
The climate emergency declaration paves the way for Makati to further bolster its climate initiatives.
The city currently has various policies that help lessen its greenhouse gas emissions, such as ones on solid waste management, plastic waste ban, cigarette smoking ban, green building, and anti-smoke belching.
A key area of focus for Makati is sustainable mobility. It recently signed an agreement with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) to establish an electric bus-based smart public transport system in the city. This will complement the planned Makati subway to decongest the city’s roads and reduce its carbon emissions. The local government also plans to purchase a fleet of electric vehicles for its operations.
Makati City is the first local government in the world to join the Cities Race to Resilience. Since 2017, it has continuously invested in disaster equipment and distributed emergency bags and hard hats to its citizens to promote disaster preparedness. Makati also plans to install solar panels in public schools and government buildings to secure its energy needs during calamities.
It joins the cities of Bacolod and Quezon as one of the first local governments in the Philippines to declare a climate emergency.
Mayor Abigail Binay currently serves as the ICLEI Southeast Asia Representative to the ICLEI Global Executive Committee, chairs the ICLEI Innovative Financing portfolio, and serves as a Regional Executive Committee Member.