PH raises transitional woes for climate projects

Published November 8, 2021, 2:43 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Philippines urged governments and multilateral development banks (MDBs) work closely in addressing the transitional adjustments that might have to be undertaken to ensure the seamless implementation of climate-related projects on the ground.

Finance Undersecretary Mark Dennis Joven said that while MDBs like the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have been actively supporting the Philippines’ clean energy transition efforts, more work needs to be done in implementing the country’s “just transition principles.”

Speaking at a recent forum hosted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Glasgow, Joven cited as an example the ADB’s support for a project that aims to replace gas-guzzling and inefficient public utility vehicles (PUVs) in the Philippines.

He said this project had passed the ADB’s environment, social, and gender safeguards, but critical support was deemed necessary to ensure its sustainability, such as the setting up of more and accessible charging terminals for the vehicles.

Joven also said additional studies should be done when putting in place innovations or new systems that support climate change-related initiatives to determine whether these would already work under existing regulatory frameworks.

“While positive leaps have been achieved in the area of climate policy and transitional justice, we should pursue initiatives at the project level to ensure not only that project implementation is seamless but more importantly that important issues on transitional justice and other allied objectives are met,” Joven said during the forum.

The forum with the theme “MDB Support for a Just Transition–From Common Principles to Policy Support and Finance for a Just Transition” is a side event at the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).

Joven noted that the Philippines is a leader in the area of game-changing climate legislation as a result of the support extended by ADB and other multilateral institutions in the form of policy-based loans and technical assistance.

As early as 2008, when its Renewable Energy Act was passed by Congress, Joven said the Philippines has been adopting just transition principles in the areas of climate change and fossil fuel reduction.

These include the subsequent enactment of laws such as the Climate Change Act in 2009 and the Green Jobs Act of 2016, he said.

“The various laws cited earlier are proof of this strong collaboration between the government and institutions like the ADB and World Bank. In fact, to further accelerate the climate change agenda, the government is in negotiations with both the ADB and the European Union on a new climate policy-based loan,” Joven said.

 
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