PH LEADS CALL FOR INNOVATIVE CLIMATE FINANCE FOR VULNERABLE COUNTRIES

Rappler | 15 November 2017

BONN, Germany – Senator Loren Legarda, the head of the Philippine delegation at the 23rd UN Climate Change Conference (COP23), called for a more innovative climate financing on Tuesday, November 14, in Bonn, Germany.

 

Legarda said that the Philippines particularly needs to get international climate finance support for data gathering and capacity building.

“Having a deep understanding of our vulnerabilities will enable us to plan better and smarter,” Legarda added.

According to the Senator, while the Philippines needs to ensure that the pledges in the Green Climate Fund (GCF) amounting to 100 billion dollars in public finance annually are delivered with the right balance, this figure pales starkly in comparison to private finance, which the country needs to tap with urgency.

“We need financing and de-risking facilities that unlock investments in critical infrastructure assets outlined in the vulnerable country-led Climate Infrastructure Blueprints, including urban services, transport, water, energy, sustainable landscapes, and ocean and coastal ecosystems,” Legarda said.

Sustainable climate insurance

Meanwhile, the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) led by Ethiopian Minister of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Kare Chawicha Dabessa also presented an Islamic finance-related insurance facility on the sidelines of the global climate negotiations.

With Legarda and Dabessa, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) climate finance advisor Sara Jane Ahmed talked about Sustainable Insurance and Takaful Facility (SITF) as an example that would “enhance the acceptability of the insurance product and aligns incentives to pursue mitigation and adaptation activities.”

Takaful (insurance) is a “cooperation between members of a community whereby each member undertakes to contribute a certain sum of money to a fund which will be used mutually to assist the members against a defined loss or damage,” according to ICSC. (READ: COP23: Plea for 'urgent action' on climate shadowed by Trump)

“We need more solutions such as the SITF to build resilient and sustainable communities and economies in our vulnerable countries,” said Legarda.

“There is a disconnect between the funds and those who want to implement the projects; banks should lend more to green investments and less to coal or fossil fuels,” she explained.

Rethinking insurance for vulnerable countries

Ethiopia, the chair of the CVF and Vulnerable 20 Group of Finance Ministers (V20), welcomed the initiative to provide access to innovative climate and disaster risk finance to vulnerable countries including sustainable insurance scheme. (READ: Syria to join Paris climate pact, isolating US)

“What we are doing is rethinking insurance to enable the ‘thriving’ of our vulnerable countries. We must use innovative financing and insurance to close the slow onset and fast onset event protection gap. We must incentivize adaptation and disaster risk reduction measures. And we must promote low carbon infrastructure investments,” said Ahmed.

Dr Saleem Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change & Development (ICCCAD), and Dr Ainun Nishat, climate change specialist of the BRAC University, also discussed climate finance solutions in Bangladesh. (READ: Tiny Fiji looks for global impact at Bonn climate talks)

The event “Innovative Climate Finance Strategies and Instruments by and for Climate Vulnerable Countries” was organized by ICSC, the Philippine government delegation, and the Bangladesh Center for Advanced Studies. 

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