Makati declares state of climate emergency

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 6) — Makati Mayor Abby Binay has declared a state of climate emergency in the city.

She cited rising temperatures and sea levels globally that affect low-lying coastal areas, including the country's financial district.

"As temperatures and sea levels continue to rise, low-lying coastal areas in cities like Makati have become more vulnerable to strong typhoons that bring floods and landslides," Binay said in a webinar on Friday. "This will result not only in the disruption of public services but also the displacement of families and even entire communities."

Binay vowed the local government will step up efforts to address climate change. She also called on the participation of businesses, communities, and other stakeholders.

"We call upon everyone to come together and act now. We must ensure aggressive application of the whole-of-society approach in combating climate change," she said.

"The time for action is now. As the new breed of Makatizens and global citizens, it is our responsibility to take care of our city and ensure that it remains a livable place for future generations," the mayor added.

At present, Makati is strictly implementing several ordinances for the environment--including the Solid Waste Management Code, Makati Green Building Code, plastic ban among households and business establishments, ban on cigarette smoking, Anti-Smoke Belching Ordinance, and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Ordinance.

Binay also said there are plans to procure electric vehicles for the city government and the use of solar panels in public schools and government offices to minimize energy consumption and ensure continuity of services during calamities.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' Traffic Center on Friday, Binay said Makati plans to roll out around 30 to 50 electric buses in 2024 as part of its initiatives towards building a "smart and green" public transport system. 

The city government is also pushing for the Makati subway project. Binay admitted there has been a delay in its construction due to lockdowns in China, where most of the engineers are from.

The subway is seen to decongest traffic in the city, improve air quality, provide jobs, boost the economy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.