Manila, Philippines - President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has urged global leaders to support the Philippines' bid to host the 'Loss and Damage Fund', a crucial initiative for aiding developing countries in coping with the severe effects of climate change. This appeal was conveyed in a speech by Special Assistant to the President Antonio Ernesto Lagdameo Jr. at the opening of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) Philippine Pavilion.
According to Philippines News Agency, The President highlighted the Philippines' commitment to addressing climate change and its advocacy for just transition and loss and damage financing. He stressed the necessity of the Fund's immediate operationalization, especially given the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change's reports on the significant impact of climate change on vulnerable and impoverished communities.
The President appealed to the private sector, civil society, partner countries, governments, and development funding institutions for support in the Philippines' hosting bid, highlighting the country's history of meaningful collaboration in tackling climate crises.
Significant contributions to the fund have already been made, with the United Arab Emirates' Sultan al-Jaber, president of the ongoing COP28 climate conference in Dubai, committing USD 100 million. Germany pledged a similar amount, and the United States and Japan have also announced their contributions.
The operationalization of the fund, intended to compensate for climate-related loss and damage, was approved during the COP28 summit. World Bank President Ajay Banga, speaking at an event in Dubai, noted the World Bank's limited role in the fund's day-to-day management, indicating that donors and recipients would primarily control financial resource allocation.
President Marcos emphasized the Philippine government's implementation of transformative solutions to mitigate climate change and address biodiversity loss and pollution. He described these environmental issues as matters of survival, justice, and protecting the rights of the Filipino people. The Philippine Development Plan focuses on accelerating climate action and establishing sustainable, livable cities.
In 2023, the government allocated PHP 453.11 billion for climate change adaptation and mitigation, with PHP 889.65 million granted to local government units for related programs and projects under the 'People's Survival Fund'. The Philippines, aiming for low-carbon development, ranks as the third-largest geothermal power producer globally. The country is on track to achieve a 35-percent renewable energy share in its power generation mix by 2023, encouraging investments in offshore wind and floating solar.
The President also highlighted efforts to protect the country's rich biodiversity and natural resources, vital for indigenous peoples and local communities. He expressed gratitude for the Official Development Assistance (ODA) of PHP 164.17 billion for various climate change projects and acknowledged the support from the Asian Development Bank and the British government in developing the National Adaptation Plan and the Nationally Determined Contribution Implementation Plan.
Concluding, President Marcos expressed optimism about global progress in addressing climate change, affirming the Philippines' continued efforts to inspire action and collaboration in this critical area.