PH: Vulnerable countries need climate funds without conditions
HALFWAY through the first week of the climate change negotiations in Paris, the Philippines is broadcasting an appeal for strong adaptation support, without conditions.
“We need predictable, scaled-up funding to adapt to the consequences of climate change. The world must heed this call if they are sincere in helping developing nations. There should be no strings attached in this assistance,” Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman, chief of the Philippine delegation to the 21st Conference of Parties to theUNFrameworkConvention on Climate Change, or COP21, said in a statement.
The Philippines, current chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, an advocacy alliance, added its voice to the call of the key negotiating bloc known as the Group of 77 and China for developed economies to honor their “legal obligation” of sharing financial resources with struggling countries.
Earlier, the G77 and China spokesperson, Ambassador Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko of South Africa, reminded delegates that, under the UN Convention, “developed countries are obliged to provide financial resources, including technology transfer and capacity building to all developing countries. This is a legal obligation under the Convention. It is neither ‘aid’ nor ‘charity’, nor is it the same as development assistance.”
The 2007 UNFCCC report on “Investment and Financial Flows to Address Climate Change” estimated that developing countries would need anywhere between $28 billion and $67 billion annually by 2030 for adaptation requirements — that is, retrofitting their economies to meet changing conditions caused by the consequences of global warming.
In the same statement, Alicia Ilaga, lead Philippine negotiator for adaptation and director of the Climate Change office of the De- partment of Agriculture, said the Paris climate treaty must specify that adaptation finance will be grants-based. “Assistance for infrastructure improvement, the relocation of communities to places that are safer, require money. We shouldn’t have to be subjected to having more debt from the international community to get that help,” she said.
Climate funds that come in the form of interestbearing loans would be difficult for developing countries like the members of the CVF to access. Grants, or outright donations, would be easier to secure.
The Forum, a coalition of 43 middle-sized economy and small-island developing countries headed by the Philippines, made a dramatic call last Monday for strong support of adaptation actions. The ManilaParis Declaration put in writing the group’s ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to below 1.5°C.