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Climate and Environment

Marcos to seek help from other nations in fight vs climate change

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Marcos to seek help from other nations in fight vs climate change
New Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., accompanied by his wife Louise (L), and grandson and Congressman Sandro Marcos (2nd L) arrive at the Malacanang presidential palace, following his inauguration ceremony in Manila on June 30, 2022.
AFP/Maria Tan

MANILA, Philippines — As the risks linked to climate change continue to increase, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Thursday that his administration will tackle the crisis by working with the international community. 

“We will look to our partners and friends to help the Philippines who, despite having very small carbon footprints, is at the highest risk,” Marcos said in his inaugural speech. 

“First, spare victims then help them recover and move on to lessen the harmful impact of climate change,” he added. 

The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change impacts such as strong cyclones, flooding, and sea level rise. 

“The rich world talks a great deal but does a lot less about it (climate change) than those with much less, but have suffered more death and destruction from climate change and lack of adaptation,” Marcos said. 

Climate finance

Climate Reality Project Philippines manager Nazrin Castro told Philstar.com that the organization is hoping that Marcos will bring the responsibility of the developed world to climate-vulnerable countries to climate change negotiations. 

Castro urged Marcos to demand wealthy nations to deliver their commitment to mobilize $100 billion annually in climate finance, and ensure the Philippines will have a voice in the COP27 climate talks on the establishment of the loss and damage financing facility for developing countries. Marcos is invited to attend COP27 in Egypt this November. 

In its first Nationally Determined Contribution, the Philippines committed to slash its carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 from sectors of agriculture, waste, industry, transport, and energy. However, a bulk of this commitment is hinged on foreign funding and assistance. 

Marcos also stressed that the Philippines has to play its part in addressing plastic pollution. The Philippines is among the top contributors to the marine plastic crisis. 

“We won’t shirk from that responsibility, we will clean up.”

Energy transition

Marcos mentioned in his speech that there are “tried and proven ways of mitigation” as he once again took credit for the wind farm in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, claiming he built it. He did not. The wind farm is a project of Ayala-owned North Wind Power Development Corp. 

He also hinted at tapping oil and gas as the prices of gas and diesel continue to rise.

“But surely, a free world awash with oil can assure supplies or we will find a way. We are not far from oil and gas reserves that have already been developed,” Marcos said. 

The Philippines is scaling up the development of infrastructures that will support the import of liquefied natural gas in anticipation of the depletion of the Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project in Palawan. But groups like the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development warn that this blocks the transition to cleaner and cheaper renewable energy.

“We, however, lament his position on fossil fuels and his failure to mention the critical role of renewable energy in addressing our issues on energy, specifically reliability, affordability, and security,” Castro said. 

“At this point, the clean energy transition must be pursued because it makes good economic sense. The climate change mitigation factor is just a co-benefit,” she added. 

CLIMATE CHANGE

FERDINAND MARCOS JR.

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