A member of the British Parliament has vowed to lobby for more help for the Philippines to address the impact of climate change.
UK House of Lords Member Jack McConnell, former Scotland First Minister from 2001 to 2007, said that Europe had the capacity to help poor and vulnerable countries in building resilience against sea level rise and strong winds.
“UK is in a position to strongly influence global leaders because we have a role in European Union and United Nations. There’s a bigger responsibility and bigger opportunity,” McConnell told reporters in a press briefing in the Philippines Friday afternoon.
This is the second visit of the Scottish reformist in Leyte. His first visit was in February 2014 where he assessed the damage of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). His recent three-day trip aims to see the recovery process, more than one year after the catastrophe.
“I feel even more determined after this second visit in Leyte to campaign for global agreement to help developing countries reduce the impact of climate change,” he explained, “There has to be a proper program on disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM), financed and supported and consistently implemented.”
The official has outlined three major recommendations to the UK government: secure the commitment of other developed countries, put more resources to countries vulnerable to disasters, and ensure that UK will deliver its promise in the upcoming global summits on development and climate change.
“Strongest economies should put resources to make this happen. Without resources all target and commitments will just be pieces of paper,” McConnell added.
The UK official, with parliamentary interest on international development, peace building, and helping the poor, visited Tacloban, Palo, Santa Fe and Tolosa, all in Leyte from Feb. 18 to 20.
Particularly, the UK official noticed the struggle of poor families to rebuild their houses and livelihood, especially those who rely on coconut farming, the major source of income of many poor families in the province.