Legarda Renews PH Commitment to 1.5˚C, Supports Economic Transformation Through Green Innovative Facilities

November 14, 2017

Bonn,Germany—Senator Loren Legarda today assured international climate allies that the Philippine Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) would be compatible with the 1.5-degree climate goal, as prescribed in the Paris Agreement; and supported the notion that green innovative facilities could spur economic growth for the Philippines.


Legarda, Head of the Philippine Delegation to the 23rd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn, Germany, made the statement in her keynote address at the side event “Innovative Climate Finance Strategies and Instruments by and for Climate Vulnerable Countries,” organized by the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF).


“According to the latest analysis of Climate Action Tracker released last week, only Morocco and Gambia have NDCs that are compatible with 1.5˚C. And four out of the five countries which have 2˚C-compatible climate action plans are also members of the CVF: Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, and the Philippines,” Legarda said.


“Rest assured I shall do everything in my power to ensure that the Philippines’ NDC will soon be rated 1.5˚C-compatible as well, as I assume all my counterparts in other CVF countries are doing as well,” she added.


The CVF is an international alliance of countries highly vulnerable to a warming planet, which also created the Vulnerable 20 (V20), consisting of Finance Ministers from member-states of the CVF, which aims, primarily, “to act collectively and decisively to promote the mobilization of public and private climate finance from wide-ranging sources.”


Legarda said that the Philippines is proud to take part in the founding of the V20 during our presidency of the CVF, which we handed over to Ethiopia in August last year, in Manila. She added that we continue to take great pride in being a member of the Troika Leaderships of both the CVF and V20.


Legarda also mentioned that, in Marrakech last year, the CVF has already committed to strive for 100% clean energy generation for all members way before or by 2050, with the support of development partners.


“We continue to pursue a development path consistent with 1.5 degrees not only because we know it is the best way to protect our people and climate, but also because we know it will also spur economic growth. More than just transitioning our energy sector to clean energy-powered economies, the race to 1.5˚C-compatible economies presents to the ambitious an opportunity to transform development itself,” Legarda said.


“To start, we need climate-responsive plans and policies that would allow us to upgrade virtually all facets of our economies, which can only produce massive jobs and pump prime our economies. This can be done by first filling the staggering gap in local and national climate data through a research framework that encompasses both the rapid onset and slow onset impacts of climate change. Having a deep understanding of our vulnerabilities will enable us to plan better and smarter,” Legarda added.


In order for the Philippines to better understand its climate and disaster risks and investment opportunities, Legarda said that the country needs to garner international climate finance support for data gathering technology and bottom-up capacity building measures.


The Senator mentioned that, while the Philippines needs to ensure that the pledges in the Green Climate Fund (GCF) amounting to 100 billion dollars in public finance annually are delivered with the right balance, this figure pales starkly in comparison to private finance, which we need to tap with urgency.


“We need financing and de-risking facilities that unlock investments in critical infrastructure assets outlined in the vulnerable country-led Climate Infrastructure Blueprints, including urban services, transport, water, energy, sustainable landscapes, and ocean and coastal ecosystems,” Legarda said.


“The Sustainable Insurance and Takaful Facility (SITF) is one international mechanism dedicated to financing insurance solutions to provide enhanced de-risking of investments in resilient infrastructure and clean technologies, and significantly increase insurance coverage for populations, livelihoods, and economic assets against climate and disaster risks,” she added.


“As for the CVF and V20, we will continue to develop and put forward innovative collective proposals to international funding mechanisms, such as the Green Climate Fund and Adaptation Fund,” Legarda concluded.


Aside from Senator Legarda, other speakers include: Minister Kare Chawicha Debessa, Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change of Ethiopia and current Chair of the CVF; Dr. Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development of Bangladesh; Ms. Sara Jane Ahmed, Climate Finance Advisor of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) and the Climate Smart Network (CSN); and Dr. Ainun Nishat, Professor Emeritus of the Centre for Climate Change and Environmental Research of the BRAC University in Bangladesh.***