Senator Loren Legarda said that the government, particularly the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Climate Change Commission (CCC), should fast track the submission of project proposals for financing under the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Finance, Climate Change and Foreign Relations, made the statement during the High-Level Roundtable and Multi-stakeholder Forum on Green Finance held at the Senate.
“Now that we have acceded to the Paris Agreement, we need to accelerate our transformational shift to a low-carbon and climate resilient economy through adaptation and mitigation programs. Although the GCF has funded USD 2.2 billion for 43 climate projects worldwide, there is none yet for the Philippines,” the veteran legislator said.
The Philippines lacks a National Implementing Entity (NIE), through which the fund can be accessed. The Landbank of the Philippines is still undergoing accreditation as the country’s NIE. Legarda also encouraged private banks to apply as NIEs for the GCF.
“I ask all banks to participate and undergo accreditation to be an NIE for the GCF. But while we await for an accredited NIE, this should not hinder us from preparing project proposals on climate resilience and sustainable development projects,” the seasoned lawmaker explained.
According to Dr. Jerry Velasquez, Director for Mitigation and Adaptation Division of the GCF Secretariat, the GCF can provide zero interest loans payable for 40 years for sustainable development projects from the public sector.
Even with the lack of an NIE, the Philippines can send proposals through multilateral accredited entities such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Asian Development Bank (ADB), International Finance Corporation (IFC), among others.
“The role of the DENR as the Philippines’ National Designated Authority (NDA) is crucial here since all proposals submitted for GCF funding, whether through our NIE or multilateral accredited entities, must be endorsed by the NDA. We can send as many projects as needed as long as it is in line with the country plan,” the lady senator said.
She said she will strengthen the GCF secretariat under the DENR so that it can gather all the project proposals from the public and the private sector.
Legarda urged both the CCC and the DENR to start gathering proposals submitted for funding under the People’s Survival Fund (PSF), Tier 2 and Tier 3 climate-related projects from various government agencies that were not included in the 2017 General Appropriations Act (GAA) and the proposed 2018 national budget, and projects of awardees and nominees of the 2016 Climate-Adaptive and Disaster-Resilient Awards for Cities and Municipalities (CLAD). These proposals can be considered for submission to the GCF.
The GCF was established by the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to play a central role in mobilizing and channeling the financial resources required to enable a paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate resilient pathways in developing countries. The GCF aims to provide financing through financial instruments such as loans, equity, guarantees, and grants. Countries, especially developed nations, are expected to raise 100 billion dollars under the GCF to address mitigation and adaptation needs of developing nations.