PH: Vul­ner­a­ble coun­tries need cli­mate funds with­out con­di­tions

Cebu Daily News - - ISLANDS - /IN­QUIRER.NET

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.

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