Legarda: Operationalization of loss and damage fund a win for climate-vulnerable countries, including PH

December 1, 2023

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda welcomed the consensus decision of Parties to the Convention participating at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) today in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to operationalize the loss and damage fund and funding agreements.

Legarda said the move is a win for climate-vulnerable countries, including the Philippines.

“Today, we celebrate a significant agreement between the Parties to the Convention. This is a welcome development of a decades-long battle on loss and damage as we continue our call for climate justice and demand the developed countries to deliver on their commitments in the Paris Agreement,” Legarda said.

The four-term senator explained that the Philippines is a highly vulnerable country due to its geographical location, and averting, minimizing, and addressing loss and damage associated with climate change requires the most urgent action.

Moreover, the country’s limited resources spent on recovery and rehabilitation after disasters do not afford enough space to meet the nation’s development needs, and for a country that has minimal contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, loss, and damage, therefore, becomes an issue of climate justice, according to Legarda.

Earlier, she explained that developed countries still need to meet their obligations under the climate treaty, particularly in annually mobilizing US$100 billion of climate finance for developing countries starting in 2020.

This failure, she said, delays progress and raises doubts about the developed countries’ genuineness and solidarity with the developing world.

She stressed that there must be clarity and a new roadmap to deliver on this promise and for new commitments, including the loss and damage fund and the doubling of adaptation finance.

“Our stand is that developed countries most responsible for climate change must do more for countries least responsible. To pursue climate justice is to exact accountability from the most responsible for climate crisis based on the developed countries’ historical responsibility for emissions. While it is the responsibility of developed countries to address loss and damage, it is also their responsibility to help prevent loss and damage,” Legarda underscored.

The loss and damage deal was first officially included in a COP decision adopted by countries at the UNFCCC COP27 following two weeks of negotiations in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

“I am aware our Philippine delegation has been working hard on putting the loss and damage agenda on the table since last year’s Conference and pushing towards the establishment of the Fund in the ongoing negotiations with G77, the COP28 Presidency of the United Arab Emirates, and other stakeholders,” Legarda added.

On December 2, Legarda will deliver her message during a High-level Dialogue on the occasion of COP28 to discuss the Philippines’ National Adaptation Plan (NAP) and Nationally Determined Contribution Implementation Plan (NDCIP). (end)