Dominguez urges rich nations to raise climate change aid

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Finance (DOF) has asked developed economies to step up their efforts against climate change by expanding their financial assistance to vulnerable countries like the Philippines.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez urged rich nations to respond to the commitments made by developing countries in bringing down their carbon footprint to mitigate the impact of the climate crisis.

Dominguez said members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), composed of 48 economies most exposed to the risks of climate change, are now working on their goals to slash their waste contribution to the world.

Dominguez said developed economies should improve their funding programs to CVF members, as the latter suffers from natural calamities intensified by the carbon emissions of the former. Also, he requested for the transfer to developing countries of new technologies that they can use to alleviate climate damage.

The Philippines ranked ninth in the world as the most affected country from extreme disasters, based on the 2020 World Risk Index, on threats of natural hazards and lack of adaptive mechanisms. The country also placed fourth in 10 nations severed by climate extremities from 2000 to 2019 based on the Global Climate Risk Index.

According to the same report, the Philippines recorded a total of 317 events during the period and suffered $3.17 billion worth of losses from them.

In spite of the climate damage, the country posted 1.33 tons per capita in carbon emission in 2019, below the average of 4.72 tons per capita worldwide and 4.14 tons per capita in Asia.

“We need to work together to come up with new financial frameworks in order to build a global insurance safety net,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez said the Philippines plans to introduce a financing platform to boost the capacity of a hydropower plant, as well as acquire coal-fired facilities to repurpose them, in Mindanao. When completed, the region should get bulk of its power requirements from hydropower.

Further, Dominguez said the DOF looks to rework the business model of state-run Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC).

The DOF intends to tap the private sector in widening PCIC’s reach and improving its services in insuring crop losses.

The PCIC secured funding support worth P28.6 billion from the government in its last 20 years of operations, and Dominguez, who now chairs the PCIC board, wants to reduce its reliance on state subsidies by partnering with private insurers.

To address the climate crisis, multilateral institutions World Bank and Asian Development Bank issued $75 billion and $705 million, respectively, in green bonds last year to finance sustainable projects mostly in developing countries.

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