Funding seen insufficient to meet climate commitments

REUTERS

THE government’s spending program for next year does not reflect the Philippines’ climate commitments, Deputy Speaker Lorna Regina B. Legarda said.

She said the national budget being discussed in Congress is a “business as usual budget” that does not reflect the goals of the Philippine nationally determined contributions (NDCs), or the country’s post-2020 climate actions under the Paris Agreement.

The Philippines will be sending a 19-member delegation to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland next week.

“I would like to see a pandemic-recovery budget that is aligned and attuned to the climate pathway that mainstreams ecological integrity,” Ms. Legarda said at a pre-COP26 virtual briefing Tuesday.

Developed countries will discuss plans to improve climate financing after they failed to make good on a pledge to roll out $100 billion to help developing nations tackle climate change each year by 2020.

“If we cannot even secure what rich countries owe vulnerable nations, then we are only deluding ourselves,” Ms. Legarda said.

The Philippines, under the NDC, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2030. Of the 75% target, around 72.29% will be contingent on support for climate financing and technology by developed countries.

The national budget should be used to mainstream climate change adaptation and mitigation, along with disaster risk resilience, Ms. Legarda added.

“It must not be just one government agency or a commission or a few agencies,” she said. “Every aspect in the budgetary process and all programs of government must be aligned with all the environmental laws.” — Jenina P. Ibanez

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