FINANCE Secretary and Climate Change Commission (CCC) Chairman-Designate Carlos G. Dominguez III called on Western countries emitting the most greenhouse gases to urgently take responsibility and make good on their promise to extend the financing needed by climate-vulnerable countries to shift to a clean-energy future.
Speaking on behalf of the Philippines at the opening of the virtual 2021 Annual Meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Dominguez on Tuesday pointed out that Western countries have “avoided the pain by buying their way out of their global obligations, offering developing nations money for making the carbon reductions they themselves are unwilling to make in their own economies.”
Clearly, Dominguez said at the AIIB Flagship Seminar on the Paris Agreement held virtually Wednesday night, “the Philippines is moving with urgency. But we have seen very little funding and actions promised by Western countries materialize. All that has been done is talk without concrete action.”
He continued: “We need the Western countries to take responsibility for having contributed and continue to contribute the most to greenhouse gas emissions [GHG]. They must be given the greater burden of paying for the grants,
investments, and subsidies needed for the most climate-vulnerable countries to mitigate the effects of global warming.”
Dominguez will head the Philippine delegation to the 26th Session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP 26) set to be held next week in Glasgow, Scotland.
The finance chief said the Philippines would want to see all nations in the COP 26 meeting affirm the need for climate justice.
“This is the 26th time that the COP will be meeting. Yet, little action has been taken. Nothing would please us more than seeing the countries that emitted and continue to emit the most greenhouse gasses to accept the responsibility of financing the transition to carbon neutrality,” he added.
In the same forum, Dominguez also thanked AIIB for the opportunity given to climate-vulnerable economies in Asia to collaborate with AIIB in accessing financing to help reduce their carbon emissions and proceed with climate-resilient initiatives.
Under its Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement, the Philippines has committed to reducing GHG by 75 percent over the next decade. This, despite the country’s contributing only 0.3 percent to total GHG.
“The Philippines has been doing its part and is staying true to its commitment to the Paris Agreement. We are not yet a financial powerhouse but we are determined to punch above our weight class in green and climate finance,” he said.
Dominguez reiterated that the Philippines will showcase the country’s Sustainable Finance Roadmap during the COP 26 meeting to inspire other developing countries to adopt appropriate finance policies that will help reduce carbon emissions.
This Sustainable Finance Roadmap, developed by the Philippines’s “Green Force” of agencies led by the Department of Finance and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, synergizes public and private investments in green projects and sets the guiding principles that will create the environment for greener policies.
Apart from the road map, Dominguez said they will be also launching a landmark project to accelerate the country’s transition from coal to clean energy and will continue to push the congressional passage of a law banning single-use plastics.
The CCC has also reconstituted its experts’ panel which eventually identified the Philippines’ Top 10 climate-induced risks and proposed strategies on how to address these through actionable programs, especially in communities most vulnerable to the ill effects of this environmental crisis.