United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu and Undersecretary Jonas R. Leones participate in the 24th Conference of Parties or COP 24 of the UNFCCC held in Katowice, Poland on 2-4 December 2018. [Warsaw DFA]

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an an international treaty that recognizes that the climate system is a shared resource. The objective of the convention is the stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. It sets the overall framework for intergovernmental efforts to: (a) gather and share information on greenhouse gases (GHG), national policies and best practices; (b) launch national strategies for addressing GHGs and adapting to expected impacts, including the provision of financial and technical support to developing countries; and (c) cooperate in preparing for adaptation to climate change impacts.

Paris Agreement


In December 2015 during the 21st Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21), the parties adopted the landmark Paris Agreement. The Philippine Government, represented by then DENR Secretary Ramon Paje signed the Paris Agreement upon the authority of the Philippine President in Paris, France during COP21.

The central aim of the Paris Agreement is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise in this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The agreement also aims to increase the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change, and to make finance flows consistent with a low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate-resilient pathway.

In 2015, the Philippines, as Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, on behalf of 48 developing countries, led the advocacy for the ambitious global warming threshold of 1.5 degrees C, which was enshrined in the Paris Agreement as its longterm temperature goal.

Under the Paris Agreement, each Party shall communicate, at five-year intervals, successively more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). By 2020, parties whose NDCs contain a time frame up to 2025 are requested to communicate a new NDC and Parties with an NDC time frame up to 2030 are requested to communicate or update these contributions. Successive NDCs are supposed to signify "a progression beyond the Party's then current NDC and reflect its highest possible ambition."

In the UNFCCC's 24th Conference of Parties (COP24) in Katowice, Poland in December 2018, some 195 countries that are parties to the Convention including the Philippines, adopted a set of guidelines for operationalizing the 2015 Paris Agreement called the 'Paris Rulebook.' This included the technical details of the Paris Agreement, new finance goals of US$100 billion a year by 2020 and how countries provide information about their climate actions, mitigation and adaptation measures. In COP24, Climate Change Commission Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman said the Philippines will continue to champion the following concerns of developing countries: financing for technology development, transfer and diffusion, and capacity-building; that developed countries have clear programmes for delivery; clarity and acceptability of the time frame of the Paris Agreement programmes to enable developing countries like the Philippines to build their national capacities to avoid future generation of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and to survive the intensifying impacts of climate change through anticipatory adaptation.

Highlights of the COP24 outcomes include:
- mitigation: further guidance in relation to nationally determined contributions (NDCs), common time frames and modalities, work programme, and functions under the Paris Agreement of the forum on the impact of the implementation of response measures;
- adaptation: further guidance on adaptation communication;
- finance: identification of the information to be provided by Parties in accordance with Agreement Article 9.5 (ex ante finance transparency), matters relating to the Adaptation Fund, and setting a new collective quantified goal on finance;
- technology: scope of and modalities for the periodic assessment of the Technology Mechanism, and the technology framework;
- modalities, procedures, and guidelines for the transparency framework for action and support; the global stocktake (GST); and modalities and procedures for the effective operation of the committee to facilitate implementation and promote compliance.

Another highlight of COP 24 is the "Katowice Climate Package" which is designed to operationalize the climate change regime contained in the Paris Agreement. This also includes mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, financing action in developing countries, transparency and evaluating global progress.
Focal Office:
Environmental Management Bureau (EMB)
Date Ratified:
August 2, 1994
Focal Persons/Offices:
Secretary, DENR
Tel. No. (632) 926 3011, 920 4301, 929 6626 loc 2258

Undersecretary for Climate Change Service, Mining Concerns and Attached Agencies, DENR
Tel. No. (632) 928 1208, 926 2672, 929 6626 local 2290, 928 4969, 926 6576

National Focal Point to the UNFCCC
Assistant Secretary, Office for UN & International OrganiZations, Department of Foreign Affairs
Tel. No. (632) 831 8852, 834 4890

National Designated Entities (NDE) for Technology Transfer
Climate Change Commission
Tel. Nos. (632) 735 3144, 735 3069, 522 0378

DENR Climate Change Service Tel. No. (632) 928 1194

Designated National Authority (DNA) for Clean Development Mechanism
Director, DENR-EMB
Tel. No. (632) 928 3725, 927 1517

UNFCCC National Focal Point for Article 6 of the Convention /
Asia-Pacific Regional Representative, DNA Forum Chairing Committee, Designated National Authority (DNA) for Clean Development Mechanism (CDM); Secretariat, Philippine DNA for CDM/Kyoto Protocol
Chief, Climate Change Division, DENR-EMB Tel. No. (632) 920 2251

National Focal Point for REDD Plus
Senior Forest Management Specialist, Environmental Forestry Section, Forest Resources Conservation Division, DENR-FMB
Tel. No. (632) 928 2891, 927 8727
1. Develop and periodically update and publish national inventories of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), by sources and sink removals, using comparable methods;
2. Promote and cooperate with other countries in scientific, technological, technical, socio-economic and other research, systematic observations and the development of data archives related to the climate system and to climate change, and on their full, open and prompt exchange;
3. Cooperate in preparing measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change; develop and elaborate appropriate and integrated adaptation plans including vulnerability and adaptation assessments such as the Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) approach. The concept of EbA had earlier been introduced by the UNFCCC even before it was stipulated under the Paris Agreement. EbA involves the conservation, sustainable management and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of a holistic adaptation strategy to provide ecological benefits such as clean water and food to communities and help them adapt to the impacts of climate change. EbA also contributes to climate change mitigation by reducing the emissions from the loss of habitats and destruction of ecosystems.
4. Integrate climate change considerations in national policies and local action plans;
5. Promote and cooperate with other countries in developing, applying, diffusing and transferring technologies, practices and processes that control, reduce or prevent anthropogenic GHG emissions in all relevant sectors of the economy. One initiative is the REDD-Plus(+) or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) and the Role of Conservation of Forest Carbon Stocks, Sustainable Management of Forests and Enhancement of Forest Carbon Stocks (Plus) in Developing Countries. It is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests by offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forest lands and invest in low carbon paths to sustainable development (Decision 1/CP.16 Paragraph 70, UNFCCC). Elements of the UNFCCC Warsaw Framework for REDD+ are: (1) Forest Reference Emission Levels/Forest Reference Levels (FREL/FRL); (2) National Forest Monitoring Systems (NFMS); (3) National Strategies/Action Plans (NS/AP); and (4) Safeguards/Safeguards Information Systems (SIS).
6. Promote and cooperate with other countries in undertaking education,
information and training activities that widen and intensify public awareness of climate change and of its impacts, and encourage public participation in addressing them.
7. Regularly prepare and issue National Communications (NCs) describing actions being taken to meet the objectives of the Convention every five years; these must include the national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory together with measures for adaptation and mitigation.
8. Submit Biennial Update Reports (BURs) every two years. These contain updates on the submitted NCs or actions undertaken by a Party to implement the Convention, including national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories, mitigation actions, constraints and gaps to implementation, and support needed and received.
9. Submit the country's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) and the Nationally Determined Contribution (under the Paris Agreement). NDCs are national climate plans highlighting climate actions, including climate related targets, policies and measures that governments aim to implement in response to climate change and as a contribution to global climate action.
Policy Issuances:
DENR Memorandum No. 2016-55 of 1 February 2016 issued by the Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs stated among others, the inclusion of the Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EbA) concept that will address ecosystems resilience and ecological integrity as one of the contributions of the DENR in its intended NDC.
Republic Act 9729 - Climate Change Act of 2009
Climate Change Commission - Policy MilestonesExecutive Order No. 320, s.2004 - Designating the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as the National Authority for Clean Development Mechanism, Philippines
DENR Administrative Order No. 2005-17 - Rules and Regulations Governing the Implementation of Executive Order No. 320, Series of 2004, Designating the DENR as National Authority for the Clean Development Mechanism
DENR Administrative Order 2015 - 04 - Implementation of Vehicle Emission Limits for Euro 4/IV, and In-Use Vehicle Emission Standards
DENR Administrative Order No. 2009-04 - Creation of the Climate Change Office under the Office of the Secretary
EMB Climate Change Division - Laws and Policies
Sources / Relevant Links: CN.718.2012.pdf
De Guzman, E.; Climate Change Commission, March 2018


Second National Communications. The Philippines submitted its second National Communications to the UNFCCC on 29 December 2014.

Greenhouse Gas Inventory. In accordance with Executive Order No. 174, s. 2014, "Institutionalizing the Philippine Greenhouse Gas Inventory Management and Reporting System," the Environmental Management Bureau created a GHG Inventory Team. In 2016, the EMB designated Climate Change Focal Persons in all its Regions and conducted regional-cluster training/workshops on the implementation of the sectoral GHG inventory. This was made one of the Key Result Areas (KRAs) of the DENR Regional Offices in 2017. In August 2018, the DENR drafted the GHG Report (2010 as base year) for the Waste and Industrial Processes and Product Use (IPPU) Sector. On the other hand, the Forest Management Bureau is the lead data compiler of the GHGinventory for the forestry sector. The sectoral reports will be compiled by the Climate Change Commission to form the national GHGreport.

Roadmap of the Philippine Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Disaster Risk Reduction (2018-2021). The overall goal of the roadmap is "Climate and disaster-resilient communities supporting equitable and sustainable development." This was submitted to the Office of the Philippine President in 2017. It shall be implemented by the different government agencies under the CCAM-DRR cluster.

Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and NDCs. The Government of the Philippines (GOP) communicated its INDC to the UNFCCC on 1 October 2015. The INDC of the Philippines contains the following components: Preamble, National Context, Planning Process, Mitigation, Adaptation, Loss and Damage and Means of Implementation. Taking off from the INDC submission, the Climate Change Commission is transitioning the country's INDC to the more binding NDC. Under the Paris Agreement, the climate change adaptation and mitigation targets beyond 2020 for the Philippines shall be included in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). The NDC shall serve as the country's roadmap as to how it will transition towards a low-carbon economy. Through the NDC, the country aims to optimize the co-benefits of adopting a low-carbon development pathway while strengthening the communities' resilience against the effects of climate change.

Development considerations in the formulation of the country's NDC are:
- On account of the Philippines' vulnerability to climate change, the NDC shall reflect adaptation as the anchor strategy; mitigation shall be pursued as a function of adaptation.
- The country should be allowed to peak its emissions, with an opportunity to transition as early as possible to an efficient, resilient, adaptive, sustainable clean energy-driven economy.
-  Pursuit of mitigation actions shall be contingent on resources that will be received, including financing, technology transfer and support for capacity building.

The Climate Change Commission created an NDC Technical Working Group (TWG). The TWG had its first meeting on 5 March 2019 to discuss and finalize the country's NDC that shall be submitted in late 2019. Consultation meetings on the country's NDC are scheduled in 2019 with various stakeholders. Afterwards, the submission of certificates of concurrence from all concerned Department Secretaries shall be done, followed by the President's approval of the NDC, then its eventual submission to the UNFCCC.

The Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM). On 17 January 2017, the Governments of the Philippines and Japan signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) of the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) on Low-Carbon Technologies. The JCM is expected to contribute to the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC by facilitating global actions for GHG emission reductions or removals.

It is envisioned to facilitate the diffusion of leading carbon technologies and implementation of mitigation actions, and contribute to the sustainable development of developing countries. A joint committee operates and manages the JCM and evaluates contributions from Japan and the Philippines to GHG emission reductions or removals in a quantitative manner, and use them to achieve the emission reduction targets of both countries. The DENR Secretary and the Minister of Environment serve as Co-Chair of the Joint Committee and the DENR-EMB Climate Change Division serves as the JCM Secretariat. The JCM projects on GHG emission reductions will be evaluated by Measurement, Reporting and Verifications (MRV).

The JCM projects are expected to lead to a significant reduction in GHG emissions as stipulated in the Philippines' NDC. The Philippines will earn credits from JCM projects or initiatives that reduce production or emission of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases and the credits shall generate monetary income from carbon markets. The JCM shall also facilitate the transfer of low carbon technologies and facilities for local project developers. The bottomline is that the JCM is expected to contribute to the country's goal to attain a low carbon development path and help enhance the climate resiliency of communities. Projects eligible under the JCM are those in the fields of renewable energy, energy saving (energy efficiency), waste handling and disposal and transportation. As of 2018, nine international firms or organizations have submitted projects under the JCM.

REDD Plus. The DENR Special Project on the Preparation of a National REDD+ Mechanism for Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Conservation of Biodiversity in the Philippines was implemented by FMB and Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, German Federal Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety from November 2012 to April 2017. It covered the following sites: Ligao City and Oas in Albay province (Region 5), Caraga, Manay and Tarragona in Davao Oriental (Region 11), and Borongan City and Maydolong in Eastern Samar (Region 8). These sites have a total forestland of 182,611 ha with a total forest cover of 89,488 ha. The components of the project are: (1) Establishing a national implementation and coordination system for REDD+, (2) Developing finance/benefit sharing mechanisms for REDD+, (3) Integrating ecological, social and governance standards or safeguards in the implementation of REDD+, (4) Planning forest land use and REDD+ implementation in selected areas, and (5) Building awareness, information and knowledge management.

Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (EbA). This is the "use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as part of an overall adaptation strategy to help people to adapt to the adverse effects of climate change." (CBD 2009). The EMB Climate Change Division (CCD), under the auspices of a 2016 GIZ technical assistance, "Program on Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) Mainstreaming" formed and hosted the EbA Community of Practice (CoP). The EbA CoP consists of EbA trainers, practitioners and facilitators who assist in the promotion of EbA measures and strategies in their respective communities, local governments and organizations. The EbA CoP helps in the gathering and sharing of hard evidences of actions that qualify as ecosystem-based adaptations to climate change. As of December 2018, documentation of significant EbA measures, methodologies, experiences and lessons learned have been started with support from the DENR Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB). The EMB CCD also assisted the LGUs in the preparation of their Local Action Plans on Eco-DRR and a draft communications plan on climate change. This included assisting the LGUs in the conduct of vulnerability assessments of their localities.

Other Related Activities and Projects. In May 2015, the Philippines was accepted as the 48th country member of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) of the UNEP. In 2016, DENR Undersecretary Jonas Leones sent a memorandum to the all the bureaus to undertake action on the reduction of Short-lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP), with EMB as the CCAC focal point. In 2017, the CCAC Secretariat confirmed the support for the Philippines in its effort to develop a national plan on SLCPs under the auspices of the "Supporting National Planning for Action (SNAP) Initiative" of UNEP.

The Forestry and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is providing funds for the "National Land Monitoring and Information System for a Transparent NDC Reporting" from June 2018 to May 2021. This is implemented by the DENR-FMB. The study on "Strengthening Capacity for Integrating Ecosystem Services in the Forest Land Use Planning Process to Enhance Climate Resilience and Poverty Reduction in the Philippines" (February 2017 October 2017) was also implemented by FMB with support from the World Bank.
This Page was updated on 27 December 2019 and will be updated on 10 December 2020
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