Senator Loren Legarda today underscored the importance of convergence among financial institutions, the private sector and government in enhancing green financing which is key to transforming the country towards being climate-smart and climate-resilient.
In her keynote speech at "Green Breakthroughs 2017" organized by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Finance and Climate Change, stressed that a strong partnership among all sectors will be needed to put in place the right conditions to attract domestic and foreign low-carbon investments and to scale up green financing for adaptation and mitigation measures that will further enable us to protect our environment and our people's lives and livelihoods.
"Our government certainly cannot do this alone. This would entail greater involvement from the private sector in transitioning our whole nation towards the achievement of our national targets. The government has already started 'greening' our industries in various sectors, but our financial institutions and private banks could further escalate this green growth to a higher level," she said.
To encourage investments, she added, we must first increase awareness on the severe impacts of climate change within sectors. A national loss and damage registry and vulnerability assessment could help our banks assess the need of a proponent in a particular area for a certain project and realize the urgency of lending funds to finance it.
Moreover, the Senator pointed out that the multi-billion-dollar Green Climate Fund (GCF) is more likely to finance countries with Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as they are already aligned with country development plans.
"Our final NDC will lay a menu of climate change projects and programs for anyone to invest or undertake in support of meeting our mitigation goals, which was committed among nations under the Paris Agreement. It is thus important to accelerate our NDC process to access the GCF. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), as our National Designated Authority to the GCF, should take this into consideration," the Senator stressed.
Legarda also proposed the creation of a Philippine Green Bank which would finance green projects using coal taxes, other green financing reserves, or grants from foundations and corporations that support climate investments.
Legarda explained, "We cannot expect that our households would all of a sudden shift to using solar panels if there would be no businesses that can provide them the technology, and we also cannot expect that there would be business ventures on solar panels if green banks cannot even fund their startup. Most certainly, we cannot foster the right kind of relationship among these actors if the government does not even help create the enabling environment."
"What is important is the commitment from the government, private banks and financial institutions to spur and sustain green financing. All proponents should not wait for each other's move; rather, we must act harmoniously. Climate action makes good development sense. Through green financing, let us further unlock our nation's potential and secure a thriving and resilient future for all" Legarda concluded.
Source: Senate of the Philippines