Being in the top ten most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change, the Philippines has to prioritize climate change financing for adaptation initiatives that benefits the poor. Adaptation is really about survival and this is what we are focusing on.
This was stressed by Climate Change Commission Vice Chair Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering in her statement before delegates in the recently concluded 7th Asian Clean Energy Forum at the Asian Development Bank in Manila.
“Gaining access to funds would help the country push through its program towards the development of a green economy which it considers as a way of achieving sustainable development and real prosperity,” she said, adding that the Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the means to achieve this.
In addition, Sering said that green economy should be inclusive and should also benefit the poor. “We have seen our economy grow but poverty continues. Real prosperity should benefit everybody. Green economy and clean energy should be assessed to see that this benefits the poor.”
However, Sering stated that there is still a bias on mitigation for climate financing instead of adaptation. This has to be addressed by the GCF, particularly by considering country driven initiatives in all discussions and consultations, even in the international negotiation process.
“The Philippines has been actively engaged in the negotiations and has done anticipatory moves domestically by passing the Climate Change Act. The People Survival Fund, which will especially address adaptation in the country, has now been passed in both houses of Congress. At the same time, a cluster on climate change in the cabinet level has also been created.” she added.
According to Sering, “Adaptation is a priority but we have to set policies to encourage climate investment on energy efficiency and clean energy, with private sector involvement. The government is already in the process of drafting the country’s low emission development plan going towards 2020.”
She also stressed that the private sector should be part of the solution to the problem. “On implementing mitigation actions, we have to involve the private sector that will, in turn, help in financing adaptation strategies. It is also important to determine the vulnerability of infrastructure and allow the private sector to engage with government to address this.”
June 12, 2012