Philippines seen to access climate fund

Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - November 22, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Climate Change Commission (CCC) secretary Emmanuel de Guzman is optimistic the Philippines would be able to avail itself of the United Nations-backed Green Climate Fund next year to finance a number of low-emission and climate-resilient programs in the country.

“It is only recently that our conduit entity of the GCF, Land Bank of the Philippines, was fully accredited. We will work closely with the Landbank to come up with very good proposals to access climate financing and implement these programs,” De Guzman said in a press conference Monday in Pasay City for this year’s observance of Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week. 

President Duterte has designated the CCC as the national authority to the GCF.

“We are establishing our system to be able to process efficiently concept notes, project ideas and also development of full financing proposal. Hopefully next year we already have good projects approved by the GCF and immediately executory,” he said. 

Launched in 2010 by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Fund supports developing countries to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions and enhance climate resilience. 

The Philippines has yet to tap the fund, according to De Guzman. 

The Philippines was ranked as fifth most affected by extreme weather events in the world, according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2017.

Meanwhile, De Guzman said the government is still revising the country’s nationally determined contributions (NDCs) for submission to the UNFCCC hopefully within the year.

“The NDC is a work in progress right now. We have submitted the NDC in October 2015. However, when we adapted, ratified the Paris agreement we agreed that we will revisit our submission and could also adjust our parameters in terms of growth projection, economic growth as well population growth. These are new considerations and we also did a recalculation of the targets based on cause-benefit analysis,” he said. 

“Our timeline is ASAP or before the full implementation of the Paris agreement in 2020,” De Guzman said.

In 2015, Manila committed to reduce its emissions by 70 percent by 2030, but it will need technical and financial support to achieve it. 

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources plans to include in the NDCs a cap-and-trade program to control the industrial sector emissions and require the mining industry to neutralize its greenhouse gas emissions and associated deforestation.

“In each sector, there is a prioritization being done… because we don’t want this to be business as usual there is an adjustment being done but no definite figure yet,” according to De Guzman.

“Our NDCs are anchored on conditional support from developed countries because this is climate justice. If we want to transition to a green economy then we have to be supported by the developed countries through the climate funds, green climate funds they are mobilizing,” De Guzman said.

“So essentially, we should not be spending for this because we did not cause climate change and we have needs both for adaptation and resilience building and these will be financed through climate finance mechanism set in the Paris agreement,” he said.  

The Paris Agreement aims to strengthen global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature increase well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Experts in the Philippines, however, are less optimistic with regard to the fulfillment of the 1.5 degrees Celsius, the limit set by the Paris agreement until 2040. 

“If the current rate of warming continues and the action done is business as usual, we will be breaching the 1.5 limit. I urge everyone, civil society, government – we do our act together,” said Lourdes Tibig of the Climate Change Commission. 

 2050 and from 2.5 to 4.1 degree Celsius by 2100, the report co-authored by Tibig showed. 

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