climate change

[OPINION] Climate finance: A call to action for the Philippines

Tony La Viña, Jayvy Gamboa

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

[OPINION] Climate finance: A call to action for the Philippines
If climate-vulnerable developing countries such as the Philippines carry these common positions on the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance, then we expect that the outcome in Baku, Azerbaijan, will be robust

In international climate negotiations, 2024 is the year of climate finance. Much attention at the upcoming 60th sessions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Subsidiary Bodies or SB60 in Bonn, Germany, this June and at the 29th Conference of the Parties (COP29) in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November will be dedicated to the progress – if not the success – in negotiating the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance (NCQG).

This is the backdrop against which the Allied for Climate Transformation by 2025 or ACT2025 released its Call to Action titled, “Climate-Vulnerable Countries’ Expectations Leading to COP29.”

ACT2025 is a consortium of think tanks and experts elevating the needs and priorities of vulnerable developing countries to deliver ambitious, balanced, just, and equitable outcomes at the UN climate negotiations and other multilateral fora to chart a path toward greater global solidarity.

Manila Observatory serves as a core partner of ACT2025.

The state of negotiations and climate action

While there has been significant progress in the past few years like the adoption and operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund, the Call to Action points to unfinished tasks across the consortium’s four pillars of finance, ambition, adaptation, and loss and damage.

Finance lacking across the board. There is a growing gap between the needs of developing countries and the support provided and mobilized for their efforts to implement their national climate plans (UNFCCC 2023).

Widening gaps in mitigation ambition and implementation. The expected global average temperature increase by 2100 has dropped from 4°C to 2.5–2.9°C based on nationally determined contributions (NDCs) – significant progress but still far from the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C threshold (UNFCCC 2022).

Moreover, current policies are projected to result in higher greenhouse gas emissions than those implied by NDCs, and lackluster mitigation efforts in high-emitting countries will lead to greater needs for adaptation and addressing loss and damage in climate-vulnerable countries.

Adaptation keeps lagging behind. Gaps still exist in the implementation of, support for, and collective assessment of the adequacy and effectiveness of adaptation. Current levels of support for adaptation remain inadequate to respond to worsening climate change impacts in developing countries (UN Environment Programme 2023).

Loss and damage responses insufficient. Significant gaps related to addressing loss and damage persist, and there is a need to improve coherence and synergy among efforts pertaining to disaster risk management, humanitarian assistance, recovery and reconstruction, and displacement/migration, as well as address needs to increase speed of finance disbursement, among other issues (UNFCCC 2023).

However, the last-minute election of Azerbaijan to the COP presidency makes the seasoned and the new actors in climate negotiations doubtful of the host’s capacity to shepherd a crucial and highly contentious agenda, such as the NCQG. Azerbaijan’s pillars for its presidency, which is “to enhance ambition and enable action,” seem vague and require a lot of nuancing to carry forward. To say the least, immense leadership, trust-building, and consolidation of gains are demanded from the presidency.

Zooming into climate finance

The negotiations for the NCQG, which started in 2022 and are expected to end in 2024, carry with it the burden of addressing the failures of the US$100-billion goal agreed upon in 2010, and the much greater burden of finally delivering the finance needed by developing countries for mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage, among others.

In a working paper published by the World Resources Institute, “Untangling the finance goal: An introduction to the new collective quantified goal,” the key elements discussed in the negotiations refer to the quantitative amount and quality of finance, thematic scope, time frame of the goal, contributor base, and transparency arrangements.

The Call to Action summarizes the crucial aspects of the NCQG consistent with the needs of climate-vulnerable developing countries as follows:

  1. Ensuring developed countries assume the responsibility and leadership of providing and mobilizing financial resources to support developing countries’ transitions to 1.5°C-compatible trajectories and a climate-resilient future.
  2. Aligning with the climate needs and priorities of the developing world, estimated in the trillions of dollars. The NCQG should align with the findings of the Global Stocktake, prompting a financial response equal in magnitude to the scale of action required for securing a low-emissions, climate-resilient future.
  3. Encompassing the three pillars of climate action. Mitigation, adaptation, and loss and damage response are central pillars of climate action and should all be covered under the new goal.
  4. Adopting a framework for the quality of climate finance. The new goal must be shaped in a way that avoids exacerbating the already unsustainable levels of indebtedness of developing countries, prioritizing the use of non-debt instruments that prevent perpetuating climate finance as a synonym of climate-induced debt.
  5. Facilitating accountability of the NCQG with a strong transparency framework. The mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the NCQG should use the Enhanced Transparency Framework and the issuance of biennial transparency reports or BTRs.
Not only for developed countries

While the Call to Action seems directed only at developed countries with the G7 at the forefront as well as the broader G20, it should also serve as an action plan for climate-vulnerable developing countries, such as the Philippines.

The Call to Action is a rich resource for negotiation positions that put forward the interests of the Global South. The Philippine delegation led by Climate Change Commission (CCC) Chair-Designate and Environment Secretary Toni Yulo-Loyzaga, CCC Vice Chair and Executive Director Secretary Robert Borje, and Commissioners Rachel Anne Herrera and Albert dela Cruz should consider adopting these positions in Bonn up to Baku. If climate-vulnerable developing countries carry these common positions on NCQG, then we expect that the outcome in Baku will be robust.

Recently, the Philippine government has expressed its intention to host the Loss and Damage Fund (LDF) Board, to which the Philippines has gained a seat. While the discussions in the LDF will not be revisited in the NCQG negotiations, the latter has substantive implications for the LDF, particularly on the question of whether the new finance goals would also cover financing loss and damage. On a political level, a strong position of the Philippines in the NCQG negotiations complements its position and authority to host the LDF Board.

The NCQG negotiations present an opportunity for the Philippines to show its leadership, especially that it is one of the many countries that urgently need the developed country-driven financing to meet their emissions target and, most importantly, to ensure that communities in the grassroots are protected from climate change impacts to the fullest extent possible.

It is not only about money, it is about responsibility. Fighting for a robust climate finance goal is a moral imperative for the Philippines. –

For the discussion of the other ACT2025 Pillars, click this link.

Jayvy Gamboa leads the work on the UN climate convention for the Klima Center of Manila Observatory.

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!