The Philippines has amplified the call of developing nations for urgent action and results on the climate change commitments of developed countries ahead of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) that opened here Sunday.
Prior to the COP26 meeting, Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella underscored in separate international fora the need to accelerate the mobilization and provision of funds to assist the most climate-vulnerable countries in climate adaptation and mitigation.
Dominguez, who heads the Philippine delegation to COP26, first made the call at the opening of the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), where he asked Western economies largely responsible for most greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to act now in significantly reducing their carbon footprints.
He also emphasized the need for these economies to make good on their commitments to extend the financing needed by climate-vulnerable countries to transition to a clean energy future.
Dominguez said he expects the participants in this year’s climate change meeting to stop talking and start acting now.
“We want to see from the COP26 meeting a clear transition of the Paris Agreement from being a platform for discussion to a springboard for concrete action,” he said at the AIIB annual meeting last October 27.
At the meeting of the Group of 77 (G-77) and China held on October 29, Fuentebella restated the Philippines’ position, and cited the need for transparency and accountability on the use of funds for climate financing.
“We stated that every dollar or every peso spent should be quantified, as well as its impact towards our common goal, and reported to the people of the receiving country and the people of the participating country for full transparency,” he said.
The G-77 is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries in the United Nations (UN).
This Group advances the interests of developing countries; articulates and promotes their collective economic interests and enhances their joint negotiating capacity on all major issues within the UN system.
In both the AIIB and G-77 and China meetings, Dominguez and Fuentebella said that despite Western economies failing to meet their financing pledge to climate-vulnerable countries, the Philippines has moved with urgency in implementing its climate mitigation and adaptation initiatives.
The Philippines, one of the world’s most climate-vulnerable countries, contributes only 0.3 percent of the world’s total GHG emissions, but has made the bold commitment of reducing these emissions by 75 percent over the next decade as its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement.
At the G-77 and China meeting, Fuentebella stressed the need for countries to be prepared administratively in mobilizing the climate change fund, saying it is the reason why Dominguez himself is leading the Philippine delegation.
Dominguez leads the Philippine delegation to COP26 to emphasize the country’s serious stance of cooperation and mobilization of available financing that will effectively address the climate crisis.
Among the expected outcomes of COP26 is the finalization of the rules to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement in which all countries of the world agreed to step up efforts to try and limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures, and boost climate action financing.
Signatories to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that started the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) are classified into three groups: Annex I, Annex II and developing countries.
Annex I parties are those that agree to reduce their emissions below their 1990 emission levels, and if they cannot do so, they must buy emission credits or invest in conservation.
Annex II parties are required to provide financial resources for developing countries to undertake emissions reduction activities and help them adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.
In addition, they have to “take all practicable steps” to promote the development and transfer of environmentally friendly technologies to EIT Parties (economies in transition) and developing countries.
The Philippines supports the call of G77 and China for a more robust delivery of support to developing countries.
This support should emphasize the value of concrete solutions like transformative technologies in the form of tangible results or pilot programs that would realize the goal of technology development and transfer, as well as capacity building, including strategic research, development, and demonstration, Fuentebella said. (PR)