Climate indicators in gov’t projects proposed

Published October 27, 2021, 4:05 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Climate Change Commission (CCC) wants to integrate climate indicators in the evaluation of government projects and provide localized data especially to highly vulnerable local government units (LGUs).

In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, who is CCC chairman-designate, said on Wednesday, Oct. 27, that the national govemrment should also assist LGUs in accessing green financing.

During the CCC’s first meeting with its newly-formed National Panel of Technical Experts (NPTE), Dominguez discussed with the 16 members of the panel the proposed action plans to mitigate the impact of climate-induced risks in the country.

The NPTE then identified the Philippines’ top 10 climate-induced risks and discussed how these should be addressed through policy and concrete actions on the ground.

The top 10 risks identified were the rising sea levels; coastal erosion; flooding; increasing frequency and severity of tropical cyclones; extreme drought; temperature increase and rising urban heat index; extreme rainfall; climate-influenced diseases; wind patterns; and biodiversity loss.

“We’ve heard this very interesting presentation and I want to thank each and every one for their valuable contribution here. The next step we have to do is, essentially, have the Commission adopt this program on the analysis of the risks, and the action points,” Dominguez told the NPTE members after the experts’ presentation.

Dominguez formally adopted the action plan and strategies presented by the NPTE.

He also instructed the CCC to integrate these in the upcoming updating of the National Climate Change Action Plan to help local governments craft action-oriented local climate change adaptation plans.

Dominguez then instructed Finance Assistant Secretary Paola Alvarez to coordinate with the CCC Commissioners in setting a timetable for the implementation of the action plans.

The experts warned that the Philippines has one of the fastest rising sea levels in the world, affecting around 800 of the country’s municipalities.

The NPTE discussed the past approaches done and the new ones being carried out to mitigate these risks, and presented before the CCC the experts’ set of actionable recommendations to fine-tune measures.

Among the key recommendations of the panel are the conduct of climate and health impact assessments for all provinces and cities using technology for forecasting, and including climate finance in the investment and development plans of LGUs.

The panel also recommended, among others, several “cross-cutting strategies,” such as co-creating climate solutions with populations most affected by climate change.

Also recommended were translating the science behind climate change into easy-to-understand concepts to be able to effectively communicate to the public; and integrating climate indicators in the monitoring and evaluation of government projects.

The experts likewise proposed the setting up and integration of online, real-time weather monitoring systems down to the local level; building a working network of State Colleges and Universities (SUCs) to provide support to LGUs and local communities on climate adaptation.

The panel underscored, moreover, the need to align local climate action with the sustainable fund frameworks of banks to make LGUs eligible for financing, and capacitate these local governments to enable them to revive the municipal bond market for green bond floats.

It recommended, too, the piloting of a climate and disaster-risk financing and insurance program at the local level as an approach to enhance community preparedness against climate-induced disasters.

Dominguez has said the CCC’s new crop of experts will provide the practical advice urgently needed by the climate change body to be able to effectively implement these doable programs, and will help engage and educate local communities in adopting them.

 
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