Philippines pushes for
grants-based adaptation funds in Paris climate change talks
PARIS, France, Dec. 3 (PNA) -- As the UN climate change negotiations
enters its fourth day (Dec. 3), the Philippines calls for adaptation funds
that will not result in additional financial burden for Filipinos.
Alicia Ilaga, the country’s lead negotiator for adaptation and director of
the Climate Change office of the Department of Agriculture, said they want
the Paris agreement to reflect that adaptation finance must be grants-based.
“Assistance for infrastructure improvement, the relocation of communities to
places that are safer require money. We shouldn’t have to be subjected to
having more debt from the international community to get that help,” she
Funding adaptation measures is a critical aspect of the allocation of
climate finance. Adaptation support is crucial for the country as it
experiences extreme weather events that affect farmers, fisherfolk and other
vulnerable sectors. This has implications on the country’s food security and
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change 2007 report on “Investment and
Financial Flows to Address Climate Change” projected that developing
countries would need US$ 28 billion to US$ 67 billion annually by 2030 for
The maximum projection of US$ 67 billion is more than half of the US$ 100
billion to be provided under the Green Climate Fund, the main funding
mechanism for mitigation and adaptation initiatives in developing countries.
But it is not just a question of how much money is needed, it’s also an
issue of how the funds would be provided. Finance for adaptation should not
come in the form of loans as this will make it harder for developing
countries -– which are also the most vulnerable to the effects of climate
change -– to access funds. Loans should be repaid and incur interest.
Grants, on the other hand, do not carry such conditions.
Ilaga said these could best support adaptive measures that would strengthen
livelihoods, food security and ecosystems. This also complements the
country’s position that adaptation finance must be needs-based -– this means
that the country would seek and use funds for their priorities that have
been identified in their national adaptation plans or NAPS. The country is
in the process of completing its own plan.
The Philippines also wants to ensure that there is parity between mitigation
and adaptation in climate finance. The country believes that adaptation has
mitigation co-benefits; hence, funding for adaptation should not be seen as
additional costs but as investment to make mitigation also more effective.
The Climate Vulnerable Forum, a coalition of 43 middle-sized economy and
small-island developing countries headed by the Philippines, called for
strong support of adaptation actions. They said that adaptation will help
them meet their goal of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to below
“Adaptation needs are inseparable from the long-term goal. The approximately
3-degrees of warming that current commitments have the world on track for
will require enormous adaptation efforts compared with current needs,” the
CVF said in its Manila-Paris Declaration released on Nov. 30.
“Holding the rise in temperatures below 1.5°C reduces adaptation costs
significantly even if major additional efforts are already required simply
to manage impacts associated with the current 0.75-0.85°C degrees of
The CVF pointed out that developing countries are already “leading the
design of adaptation plans” as reflected in the intended nationally
determined contributions or INDCs in 2015. INDCs capture the mitigation and
adaptation targets of each country.
“The Paris agreement can make a difference on the ground if it supports the
implementation of these proactive adaptation actions, and further efforts to
lead by example,” the CVF stressed.
President Benigno Aquino III also pointed out at the CVF forum that even if
we are getting "better at adaptation," we still need more help.
"People still die and whole communities are displaced; businesses are
affected, thus stunting economic activity. Funds that could otherwise be
used for other development needs and services are channeled towards the
costly efforts involving relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction."
Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman, head of the Philippine delegation at the 21st
Conference of Parties or COP21 in Paris, said that they will push for strong
adaptation support from developed countries.
"We need predictable, scaled-up funding to adapt to the consequences of
climate change. The world must heed this call if they are sincere in helping
developing nations.There should be no strings attached in this assistance."