Senator Loren Legarda said that Filipinos, especially those in poor vulnerable communities, would benefit from the country’s accession to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change through the Green Climate Fund (GCF).
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Climate Change and Finance, made the statement as she joined delegates from other Asian countries at the GCF Structured Dialogue in Asia, held in Bali, Indonesia.
“The GCF is actively seeking out country proposals for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Now that we have acceded to the Paris Agreement, we must seize the opportunity to access funding for our climate adaptation and mitigation programs,” said Legarda.
“The need for additional climate finance has already been emphasized in the Philippines’ Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), which states that 70% emission target below business as usual (BAU) levels by 2030 is conditional on the extent of financial and technical support that will be made available to us. It is in this context that the Philippines would like to access the GCF,” she added.
The Senator said that the Fund would have a transformational effect as climate-smart projects pave the way for Filipinos’ access to clean, affordable, secure, and reliable energy, while enhancing resilience against climate change impacts and risks.
Legarda especially called on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), particularly those that have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop resilience, to seek opportunities for sustainable business growth.
“Our programs should be those that would be felt on the ground, in the communities where climate change impacts are greatly felt. The shift to energy-efficient LED and use of solar lamps in unelectrified barangays address issues on access to energy while contributing to mitigation. We want economic growth through the creation of green jobs in communities. Every barangay can use rainwater harvesting facilities and build materials recovery facilities (MRF) with food gardens, which are sources of livelihood aside from addressing disaster risks,” she explained.
“But in order to do this, the government would need to capacitate local government units (LGUs) and provide support that will help unlock their climate adaptation and mitigation potential,” said Legarda.
The Philippines is preparing to submit a grant proposal to GCF by December 2017. The estimated project cost is between US$50-100M. This program, “Build the resilience of poor communities in the Philippines,” includes aspects of bamboo and mangrove reforestation, renewable energy, and water management, and will benefit at least 10 million farmers, 500 LGUs covering at least 19 provinces.
The Green Climate Fund Structured Dialogue in Asia from April 26-28, 2017 in Bali, Indonesia aims to discuss with Asian countries how they can access the Fund.
On April 28, Legarda will be among the panelists at the high level panel discussion on Asia’s ambition for utilizing climate finance through GCF. The session will be moderated by Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance of Indonesia and Howard Bamsey, Executive Director of GCF.
Aside from Legarda, other panelists for the high level segment include Malaysia’s Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Myanmar’s Union Minister U Ohn Winn, Laos’ Vice Minister for Natural Resources and Environment Bounkham Vorachith, Pakistan Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Climate Change Syed Rizwan Mehboob, and Nepal’s Chief Economic Advisor Punya Prasad Regmi.