Philippine calls for increased climate financing

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines called on multilateral development banks (MDBs) to ramp up climate financing to vulnerable economies as impacts of climate change continue to worsen.

During the G-24 Ministerial Meeting of the 2023 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the climate crisis continues to be one of the biggest adversaries of economic development.

Diokno sits as the first vice-chair of G-24 Bureau and the World Bank Governor for the Philippines.

Climate crisis was one of the four areas that needed to be addressed that Diokno raised during the meeting. The others were inflation, international tax reform, and ongoing reforms to the World Bank and IMF.

“When disaster strikes, climate-vulnerable countries such as the Philippines stand to lose the most,” Diokno said.

“We continue to advocate for climate finance that would provide for efficient and ample mobilization of financing for concrete climate action,” he said.

The finance chief maintained that global cooperation must be heightened to support a just green transition and provide aid to countries at risk.

“MDBs should redouble their efforts in raising capital and expanding private sector participation to scale up climate investments,” Diokno said.

An earlier study of the Department of Finance showed that the Philippines may incur as much as P1.5-trillion in losses from natural disasters in the next five decades.

It is also estimated that implementing climate change mitigation actions for priority sectors of energy, forestry, industry and transport alone will cost as much as $4.12 billion from 2015 to 2030.

The DOF has been aiming to mainstream climate financing through policy harmonization and mobilize finance for green projects, as well as engage with multilateral and development partners to be able to provide and channel grants, investments and subsidies for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The Philippines remains as one of the most climate-vulnerable countries over the past two decades. The United Nations earlier said the world would be inhabitable unless governments everywhere reassess their energy policies.

Further, Diokno stressed the important role of the World Bank and IMF in supporting countries, especially emerging markets and developing economies, in combating multiple global crises.

“The polycrisis we are facing threatens to reverse the years of progress we have made toward poverty reduction and shared prosperity,” he said.

Diokno said the ongoing reforms to Bretton Woods institutions—the IMF and the World Bank—create the opportunity to reinvigorate the multilateral system.

He noted that the proposed reforms to World Bank’s financial and operating models should not be at the cost of International Bank for Reconstruction and Development borrowers such as the Philippines.

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