- You are here:
- › John Pearson
John PearsonHead of South East Asia Climate Change, Singapore
A package of decisions dubbed the “Cancun Agreement” was adopted at the UN Climate Change Conference in Mexico on 11 December. The Agreement represents significant progress and hopefully sets a path towards a low-emissions future and enhanced action on climate change in the developing world. Moreover, the Agreement signified a team effort of more than 190 nations that restored faith in the multilateral process.
The UK was pleased about the Cancun outcome. The British Foreign Secretary, William Hague said “This is an excellent result, not only for our efforts to tackle climate change which are central to our collective prosperity and security, but also more broadly for restoring confidence in multilateralism. In an interdependent world we can find common solutions to common problems.”
I have recently joined the British Embassy in Manila as the Climate Change Attaché. Although I was not part of UK’s negotiating team in Cancun, I still felt a sense of inclusion on Cancun’s triumph.
Being Filipino and working for the FCO, I see the value of my work as a catalyst for both the UK and Philippine Governments in ensuring that there is better understanding and dialogue between these two countries on the UNFCCC negotiations process – ideally, to jointly shape an effective response to climate change – to work as a team.
The Philippines and the UK have their differences in terms of vulnerabilities to climate change, adaptive capabilities, and global responsibilities in addressing climate change. But by briefly looking at the links related to prosperity and security between the UK and the Philippines, we can see good reasons why these two countries need to work as a team. To cite some examples, the UK is the largest source of remittances to the Philippines from Europe and the fourth largest source globally. Over the past decade, UK has invested more than any other country in the Philippines – a staggering $9.7 billion of portfolio and direct investments. There are approximately 250,000 Filipinos in the UK and about 50,000 British nationals in the Philippines who are thousands of miles away from their home countries, families and friends. This includes the thousands of Filipino-British nationals and their families.
I find the Philippines’ support for the Cancun Agreement is a good basis for possible teamwork with the UK on future climate change issues – to work together towards a global legally binding agreement to ensure all countries deliver the emission reductions needed to keep the temperature increase below 2 degrees, and thereby safeguard a liveable climate.
Ros Arayata is Climate Change Attache at the British Embassy, Manila