Makati leads climate change adaptation in cities

Everyone has been busy fighting COVID-19 and rightly so. But one battle that should also not be forgotten is the war against the climate crisis.

The good news is that everyone is talking about it now because more and more people are recognizing the urgency of changing our ways and acting hard and fast to address climate change.

There is now increasing pressure on corporations to overhaul their processes and strive to become carbon neutral.

In cities and local governments, too, we are seeing similar initiatives as both public and private sectors are moving to come up with concrete solutions for a more sustainable future.

Global covenant of mayors for climate change & energy

Thus, kudos goes to Makati Mayor Abby Binay for her recent appointment to the Board of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), the world’s biggest alliance for city climate leadership with more than 10,500 member cities and local governments.

Makati Mayor Abby Binay

“It is a great honor to be selected as one of the board members of GCoM. I look forward to being a champion for mayors in Southeast Asia and around the world as we work together to implement actionable solutions for a more resilient and sustainable future,” she said.

Makati’s mayora will represent over 80 cities in the GCoM Mayoral Board, which is co-chaired by former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who is the UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions, founder of charitable organization Bloomberg Philanthropies and software company Bloomberg L.P., and Frans Timmermans, European Commission executive vice president for the European Green Deal.

Mayor Abby will provide an important perspective, especially as Southeast Asia faces severe risks, Bloomberg said.

“We’re glad to welcome Mayor Binay to the board of the Global Covenant of Mayors. Cities play a central role in confronting climate change, and Mayor Abby will provide an important perspective, especially as Southeast Asia faces severe risks. Together, we will help lead the charge on city climate action,” said Bloomberg.

Timmermans also congratulated the mayor on her appointment and lauded her for being a strong advocate for climate action in Southeast Asia.

Makati City Hall

“Mayor Binay is a strong advocate for climate action in Southeast Asia and we warmly welcome her to the Global Covenant Board,” he said.

Fighting the climate crisis

He added that now more than ever,  cities are at the forefront of the fight against the climate crisis, and are driving many of the changes needed to succeed in the planet’s green transition.

Race to resilience

Mayor Abby vowed to serve as a critical voice toward meeting the goals of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCC) Race to Resilience campaign, which aims to help communities build resilience and adapt to the impact of climate change like extreme heat, drought, flooding, and sea-level rise.

The mayor will launch the Cities Race to Resilience campaign at the Asia Pacific Climate Week on July 8 to encourage cities to join the global movement and commit to undertaking risk and vulnerability assessments.

Mayor Abby is walking the talk. The graduate of human ecology and law has implemented sustainable development efforts in Makati City by upgrading and distributing equipment to disaster response teams, City Hall employees, and residents.

She also innovated programs in the city to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, restore rivers and creeks, prevent the use of plastic bags in households and establishments, and preserve green spaces.

Under her watch, Makati has become one of the top-performing cities in Metro Manila in complying with the Supreme Court mandamus to local government units on cleaning up Pasig River and its tributaries and managing solid and liquid waste, which is aimed at rehabilitating the Manila Bay.

These and more are some of the initiatives Mayor Abby has been implementing to make the city future-ready and resilient and the importance of this cannot be overemphasized, now more than ever.