MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is pushing for a regional information exchange on climate action, which is expected to be overseen by the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB).
In a statement on Sunday, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, who is President Duterte’s designated chair at the Climate Change Commission (CCC), recently urged the AfDB to ” lead an ASEAN-wide initiative that enables member countries of the regional organization to exchange information and best practices on localized climate change adaptation and mitigation programs.
“Climate change could be a global problem. The problem, however, is most evident in our smaller communities. I am sure AfDB will be ready to help us promote the exchange of climate change actions and adaptation practices among ASEAN countries,” Dominguez said last June 3 when the Philippine government and AfDB had an exchange of documents for two loan agreements.
One of the AfDB’s two most recent loans to its host country was the $250 million financing for the Philippines Climate Change Action Program (Sub-Program 1) – the bank’s first loan based on climate policy, which makes the country among the pioneers of climate-related development finance.
Dominguez said his proposal for intra-ASEAN climate information exchange was “a better option than relying solely on international forums such as the United Nations’ annual Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP) (UN) which focuses on the bigger climate crisis, and generally neglects solutions tailored to local communities.
After attending last year’s COP26 in Glasgow, UK, Dominguez lamented that wealthy, industrialized countries that further pollute the planet remain slow to meet their climate finance commitments to ease the burden on countries. developing like the Philippines.
One of the countries considered most vulnerable to climate change, the Philippines had ambitiously pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2030 under the Paris Agreement.
In addition to the AfDB loan, the Philippines also received a separate €150 million loan from the French government’s aid arm, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), for its action against climate change.
“This initiative will hopefully encourage other countries to design and accelerate the implementation of their own climate programs. This sends a very strong signal to the international community that the Philippines is fully committed to achieving our climate ambitions. We hope to inspire other emerging economies not only with our determination but also with innovative financial systems,” said Dominguez.
“We owe it to the Filipino people to build the nation’s resilience to climate change. We cannot wait for industrial economies to break their inertia and accept the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing climate finance to vulnerable countries. We only share one planet. The whole world must act together before global warming becomes a tsunami that we can no longer repel,” according to Dominguez.
Dominguez had told foreign investors that the Philippines wanted to raise funds for climate resilience itself, in part through “green bonds”, because developed countries have yet to meet their funding commitments to support climate resilience. poorest countries as they transition to clean energy under the Paris Agreement. Last April, the Philippines raised 70.1 billion yen from a four-tranche yen-denominated samurai green bond offering, in addition to its first foray into green bonds in March through which 1 billion dollars were borrowed on the offshore debt market.
The Philippines Sustainable Finance Framework launched last year aimed to raise green, social or sustainable bonds and loans, among other debt instruments, in international capital markets to borrow funds for programs and projects. aimed at combating climate change and promoting inclusive growth.
National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon earlier told the Inquirer that the sustainable finance framework covers an eligible portfolio of 989 billion pesos.
Proceeds from sustainable finance instruments can finance social expenditures such as education and health care for the poor, disabled and unemployed; basic infrastructure in rural areas; food security for farmers and disadvantaged populations; support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs); Job creation; social assistance such as conditional and unconditional cash transfers; as well as low cost and socialized housing.
Green spending was also eligible from sustainable fundraising, including projects promoting clean infrastructure, climate change adaptation, renewable energy, and environmentally sustainable management of living natural resources and land use.
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