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Philippine business leaders hold virtual round table discussion with UK COP26 International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience

Image from the British Embassy Manila.

Philippine business leaders shared insights and successes on climate change adaptation and resilience efforts in the country during a virtual roundtable discussion with Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, UK Minister of State for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, and International Champion on Adaptation and Resilience for COP 26 last July 20, 2021. The roundtable discussion was organized by the British Embassy Manila in partnership with the OML Center.

Mr. Alastair Totty, deputy head of mission of British Embassy Manila, welcomed guests, explaining that engaging the private sector in climate adaptation is vital for mobilizing financial resources and technical capabilities, leveraging the efforts of governments, engaging Civil Society Organizations and communities, and developing innovative climate services and adaptation technologies. Mr. Totty added that the discussion is part of the embassy’s wider and continued efforts to work with local governments and organizations in mounting local actions.

Dr. Rodel Lasco, executive director of the OML Center, and one of the British Embassy Manila’s climate defenders for adaptation and resilience, provided the opening remarks, citing the heatwaves in the US and floods in Europe as stark reminders that the planet is changing, amid a global pandemic. Dr. Lasco moderated the discussion with representatives of various corporations. 

Ms. Agnes de Jesus (Chief Sustainability Officer, First Philippine Holdings), Ms. Antonia Loyzaga (President, National Resilience Council), Ms. Cathy Yap-Yang (Group Head and First Vice President for Corporate Communications, PLDT and Smart), Ms. Ma. Victoria Tan (Group Risk Management and Sustainability Head, Ayala Corporation), and Mr. Rene Meily (President, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation), shared initiatives taken by their respective organizations in relation to climate change adaptation, and the important role of the business sector in co-implementing adaptation efforts. 

Other business leaders also present at the roundtable discussion were Mr. Noel Cirilo (Chairman, Palm Concepcion Power Corp.), Dr. Corazon Claudio (Convenor-Chair, Climate Action and Sustainability Alliance), Ms. Marilou Erni (Executive Director, National Resilience Council), Mr. Rey Laguda (Executive Director, Philippine Business for Social Progress), Mr. Guillermo Luz (Chief Resilience Officer, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation), Ms. Riza Mantaring (Director, SunLife Grepa Financial), VAdm. Alexander Pama (Co-Chair, ARISE Philippines), Mr. Raymond Rufino (Chief Executive Officer, NEO).

Minister Trevelyan also had a virtual roundtable discussion with several civil society organizations (CSOs) in the country last July 27, 2021, in coordination with the Office of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda.

The OML Center together with the First Philippine Holdings Corporation (FPH) conducted an initial study to understand the physical risks of climate change to select industries in the Philippines. A copy of the study is available for download via our website.

Watch clips of panelists of the first Oscar M. Lopez Legacy Lectures in 2018 underscore the need to mobilize private sector action towards climate resilience and augmenting government efforts via our YouTube channel.