President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. called on world leaders on Friday for the prompt operationalization of the “Loss and Damage Fund” in a bid to support developing and vulnerable countries from the impact of the climate crisis as he asked support for the Philippines’ bid to host the fund.
In his speech delivered by Special Assistant to the President Antonio Ernesto Lagdameo Jr., President Marcos said that the Philippines is pushing for just transition, and loss and damage financing as he emphasized that “the Philippines will announce its intent to host the Loss and Damage Fund.”
“The Philippines’ call for the immediate operationalization of this Fund to assist developing and vulnerable countries to respond to droughts, floods, and rising sea levels exacerbated by climate change,” President Marcos said.
“We urge partners from the private sector, civil society, partner countries and governments, and developing funding institutions to support the Philippines in this bid. You have been there for meaningful collaboration with our government to tackle the climate crises,” he added.
President Marcos made the remarks during the opening of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) Philippine Pavilion themed “Together Today for Tomorrow” on Friday afternoon, Dubai time.
Loss and Damage Fund refers to the costs of recovering from climate impact.
The President highlighted the urgency to confront climate impact, citing reports from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change that it will severely affect the vulnerable and poor communities.
President Marcos said that the Philippines has always been at the forefront of climate issues.
Amid all the challenges, the chief executive said that the Philippine government has put into action transformative solutions to curb the impact of climate change and address biodiversity loss and pollution.
“More than just an environmental issue; for us, it is a matter of survival, of justice, and of protecting the rights of our people. Thus, the Philippine Development Plan sealed the national development priorities on accelerating climate action and establishing sustainable and livable cities,” he said.
The President added that the government has allotted PhP453.11 billion for climate change adaptation and mitigation for 2023 while PhP889.65 million has been granted to local government units for climate change adaptation programs and projects under the “People’s Survival Fund.”
Aside from ensuring sufficient funds for climate change mitigation efforts, President Marcos said that the Philippines, which remains to be the third largest geothermal power producer next to the US and Indonesia, is heading for low-carbon development.
“We are on track towards achieving a 35-percent renewable energy share in the power generation mix by 2023 through policy reforms that allow more investors for offshore wind and floating solar. We need to protect our forests, our oceans, and our biodiversity,” President Marcos said.
“The Philippines, being a megadiverse country, is home to 50,000 species of flora and fauna, 50 percent of which can only be found in the country. We are intensifying the protection of natural resources to restore natural ecosystems and maximize ecosystem services that will benefit indigenous peoples and local communities,” he added.
President Marcos also told the world leaders that the Philippines is putting all those climate responses into action.
Before concluding his speech, the chief executive extended his gratitude for the Official Development Assistance (ODA) for the PhP164.17-billion worth of various climate change projects.
He also thanked the Asian Development Bank and the British Government for their support in the completion of the Philippines’ “National Adaptation Plan” and the “Nationally Determined Contribution Implementation Plan.”
“The challenges we face are huge, but so are the reasons to be hopeful,” the President said.
President Marcos said that the Philippines will continue to rally everyone to draw inspiration from “these signs of progress” that everyone in the world has achieved. PND