Adaptation financing responsibility of developed nations, says Loren

December 23, 2009

Noting that the developed countries contribute most of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, Loren said that they should be primarily responsible for financing developing countries’ adaptation to the negative effects of climate change.
“The United States and China have contributed at least 40 percent of the world’s GHG, while the Philippines emits only 0.2% of GHG,” said Loren.
Yet the Philippines, like other developing countries, are the most vulnerable to extreme weather conditions caused by climate change.
The developed countries have pledged $100 billion annual funds by 2020 as aid to developing countries for climate change adaptation during the UN conference on climate change attended by representatives of 119 countries, including heads of state and governments.
Despite the non-binding agreement that result from the conference, Loren said that it was a good beginning that could lead to more positive results in the future, starting with the next UN conference on climate change in Mexico scheduled for November next year.
In the meantime, Loren advised developing countries to waste no time in passing legislation that would promote environmental enhancement in developing countries, substantially reducing the destruction of natural disasters like floods, typhoons, landslides and drought arising from global warming.
She cited the sufferings caused by about 20 typhoons that hit the Philippines every year, including typhoon Ondoy that brought about unprecedented floods and destruction recently. “
“I think it is the moral responsibility of the developed nations to provide technical and financial assistance and probably a climate adaptation fund mechanism for vulnerable developing nations,” said Loren.
In the Philippines, she said, “we have legislated important environmental laws. “ She mentioned the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management law, the Renewable Energy law and Climate Change Act which she helped pass as a senator.
“Those laws institutionalized the segregation of waste at source, recycling, composting and sustainable forest management. We have created the National Commission on Climate Change that will assist local governments on how to meet the ravages brought about by disasters, especially in the upland and low-lying communities in the Philippines.
“So, there is much to be done outside of Copenhagen. It is not the end of the world if no agreement is reached here. Each country, big or small, developed or developing, has its own responsibility and own mandate to create its own national and local legislation to make things possible.”
However, she noted that the Philippines contributed only about 0.2 percent of GHG. “Even we stop using cars tomorrow, even if we change all our bulbs into energy efficient lights, even if we get green energy like hydro and wind power, we only contribute 0.2 %. Se will not even contribute a dent in the global scenario.”
What the Philippines is more concerned about, said Loren, is to adapt to the effects of climate change so as to reduce the risk from extreme weather conditions like typhoons and droughts, and thus save the people from great destructions of property, crops and casualties.
As chair of the Senate committee on climate change, Loren chaired the Philippine Congress delegation to the UN conference on climate change here. She is also the United Nations champion for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the Asia-Pacific region.