PH bats for climate financing to nations vulnerable to global warming

Asia-Pacific nations should forge stronger partnerships to address the impact of changing climate by making climate financing available and accessible to developing countries that bear the brunt of global warming, the Philippines’ top climate official said.

Climate Change Commission Secretary Robert Borje delivers his speech at the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Kumamoto City, Japan, on April 24, 2022. (Malacañang photo)

Climate Change Commission Secretary Robert Borje made this pronouncement during the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit in Kumamoto City, Japan, on Sunday, April 24.

In his speech, Borje noted that every country was responsible for formulating and implementing water development strategies and trajectories in the era of climate change – up to the last mile, up to the last person.

“To this end, we need climate financing. Make it more accessible and available. Unlock it for the developing world," he said.

“This is not a plea for handouts, Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen. This is an urgent call for a responsible partnership. We want to contribute more, but we in the developing world need to help ourselves first," he added.

According to Borje, the core of climate change adaptation and mitigation is climate justice and underscored that more should be done to the least responsible for climate change and with the least resources and the most exposed and vulnerable.

“Through the 4th Asia Pacific Water Summit, the Philippines hopes this message is heard clearly and acted on urgently,” he said.

The Filipino official raised the Philippines’ experience following the onslaught of recent series of typhoons in the country.

He particularly mentioned Tropical Depression Agaton, which inundated large swaths of the Visayas region at the height of summer and displaced many residents. He noted that the total damage was estimated at $1.6 billion, representing the country’s health insurance budget for around 60 percent of the total population.

“The narrative can still be transformed: from frustration and desperation to one of action and inspiration,” Borje said.

“This is where climate justice becomes relevant in what we do - a guiding light towards a more informed collaboration among our nations so that our peoples, across generations, will be equipped to restore and ensure the quality of and access to water for all – as a matter of life – a dignified life," he added.

Borje’s speech echoed President Duterte's pronouncement in his Talk to the People last week, where he stressed that wealthy countries must be held accountable for erratic severe weather events caused by climate change drivers that caused damage and destruction to developing nations like the Philippines.