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Diokno: PH’s Nationally Determined Contribution and National Adaptation Plan to resolve info gap with climate finance providers

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES––Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno has spotlighted the Philippines’ Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and National Adaptation Plan (NAP), which will resolve the information gap between the country and climate finance providers during a high-level dialogue on December 2, 2023.

With the theme, “Turning the Tide: The Philippines’ Journey to Climate Resilience”, the high-level dialogue on the Philippines’ NAP and Implementation Plan (IP) for its NDC highlighted how programs and activities by key partners of the Philippines can be leveraged to support financing, capacity building, and new technologies towards its NAP and NDC IP.

The NAP aims to facilitate effective medium- and long-term adaptation planning, and enable the integration of adaptation into relevant policies and programs across sectors.

Meanwhile, the NDC IP will detail the necessary actions, costs, phasing, and implementation arrangements for the Philippines to deliver its NDC, with constant consideration of its adaptation co-benefits.

The high-level dialogue was co-organized by the Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of the United Kingdom.

Secretary Diokno participated in the panel discussion on Partnerships to Support Climate Policy and Investments in the Philippines together with ADB Managing Director General Woochong Um; UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office Head of Adaptation and Resilience Peter Bentley; Division of Country Programming Green Climate Fund Director Carolina Fuentes; and Deputy Director Climate Change Agence Française de Développement (AFD) Atika Ben Maid.

ADB’s Senior Infrastructure Specialist Naeeda Crishna Morgado moderated the session.

During the discussion, Secretary Diokno shared the country’s challenge in accessing climate finance due to the mismatch between the intended support that international partners are willing to provide and the priority initiatives and needs of the country in addressing the impacts of climate change.

“I’m sure that with this very close collaboration with ADB––and we’d like to thank ADB for helping us in preparing the NAP and Implementation Plan––that problem will be gone,” Secretary Diokno said.

He said that the Philippines is confident in its plan and that the next step is to secure funding.

Recognizing the crucial role of the private sector in supporting the country’s climate ambition, the Philippines has enhanced its public-private partnership (PPP) framework to encourage the private sector to invest in previously closed off sectors, such as renewable energy (RE).

Aside from the private sector, Secretary Diokno also highlighted the role of bilateral and multilateral partners as the Philippines pursues a blended mode of financing to achieve its climate goals.

The Department of Finance (DOF) has been establishing the necessary policies needed to encourage and mobilize support for climate-related initiatives.

One of these initiatives is climate tagging to determine which items in the budget are relevant to climate change.

“We’re okay, but we’ve got to do more. The challenges are huge, but with your help, we’ll get by,” Secretary Diokno told ADB.

He underscored the urgency of the climate crisis, saying it is in the interest of every nation, every community, and every individual to ensure that this is addressed.

Given the pressing issue of climate change, the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) Board chaired by Secretary Diokno, recently approved PHP 539 million, or around US$ 9.7 million worth of new climate adaptation projects to ensure vulnerable communities are protected.

In closing, Secretary Diokno emphasized the need for the proper implementation of these projects to ensure genuine and lasting change.

Um acknowledged the Philippine government’s progress in developing its NAP and NDC, while Fuentes emphasized the significance of these plans as crucial instruments in informing the GCF of their programming priorities.

Maid likewise lauded the Philippines for developing its NAP and NDC, saying the AFD needs such well-advanced and quality plans to align their support with the country’s strategies. She also noted that not all countries have their own NAP, and that the Philippines is advanced in this regard.

Bentley, on the other hand, commended the Philippine government for having a long-term climate vision and expressed the UK’s intention to foster a long-term partnership with the country on this front.

The speakers also gave recommendations to the Philippines to realize its climate ambitions, including converting its NDCs and NAP plans into bankable projects for investors; fast-tracking the adoption of NAP and NDC plans into policy instruments and regulatory frameworks; and putting forward strategic and holistic proposals for readiness; among others.