Philippines, 12 Asian countries set agenda for climate talks

Jed Alegado
Philippines, 12 Asian countries set agenda for climate talks

WILL OLIVER

The countries identify 10 action points ahead of next week's climate discussions in Bonn, Germany

MANILA, Philippines – As climate negotiators go back to the table for the Bonn intercession next week, the Philippines leads 12 other countries from Asia which are most vulnerable to impacts of climate change. 

Dubbed as the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), the Philippines currently heads the group which includes climate negotiators and government ministers from Cambodia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam. The body hopes to set the tone for next week’s important gathering.

Secretary Lucille Sering, vice-chair of the Climate Change Commission, said the CVF does not see itself as a negotiating bloc in the climate talks but as a venue for expertise sharing.

“We convened this body because we want climate change to have more agressive synergy and alignment with disaster risk reduction practices and policies as well as the sustainable development goals. We realized that when we do our own analysis and planning at home, we see ourselves looking for expertise mostly outside.”

Also speaking at the forum, the ambassador of Bangladesh to the Philippines, John Gomes recalled how in November 2011 his country hosted a similar gathering, noting its “influence was felt in the Durban climate talks afterwards where a new track of climate change negotiations was agreed under the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).”

Collaboration and inclusion 

CVF in Asia submitted the following action points stemming from the gaps and best practices from Asia’s experience in combating climate change.

  1. Strengthen national coordination among institutions and departments and at the different governance levels

  2. Mobilize community and civil society in climate action and knowledge exchange between governments, experts, and communities

  3. Reinforce national institutional capacity and human resources to realize climate action

  4. Increase transfer, exchange, and diffusion of technologies and expertise between and among developed and developing countries 

  5. Enhance balance, access to, and coordination of, international climate finance (READ: Green Climate Fund hopes to raise billions in Berlin), and institutional capacity for national and international financial responses to climate change

  6. Build greater regional cooperation and coordination (knowledge sharing, information management, technology transfer and development, policies)

  7. Promote understanding and awareness among communities and the private sector through an enhanced role of the media

  8. Provide more effective enabling conditions for greater private sector engagement in driving climate action

  9. Accelerate climate-smart industrial development essential for diversifying vulnerable sectors of economies

  10. Enhance infrastructure, research funding, and capacity for hydro-met and socio-economic data and scenarios for more accurate and robust policy-making. 

The regional event was part of a series of workshops aimed at influencing a critical pre-Paris negotiations happening in Bonn, Germany, where the headquarters of the UNFCCC is located. – Rappler.com

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