Philippines decries lack of financial commitment in the draft Paris deal

PARIS, FRANCE, Dec. 10 -- As the clock ticks away at the United Nations (UN) climate change talks with only four days left to finalize a legally-binding agreement, the Philippines called out other countries in a high-level meeting for failing to include crucial adaptation finance in the current draft of the Paris agreement.

‘The Philippine delegation is seriously concerned about the fact that there is not enough provision in the draft Paris agreement that provides adaptation finance for the developing countries most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change,” said Environment Secretary Ramon Paje at the ministerial meeting on December 8 in Le Bourget.

Some 195 countries have embarked on two weeks of climate change negotiations to hammer out a new agreement that will specify tracks of finance, mitigation, and adaptation actions from 2020 and beyond.

Even after the first week of the talks have ended on December 5, there remains no clear language capturing the mobilization of adaptation funds for countries most vulnerable to climate change.

Paje pointed out that there is no reference to the amount of finance needed for adaptation. It is specifically missing in Article 6, which covers the element of finance in the new climate deal.

“My delegation hereby further intervenes to ensure clear reference to a collective target for adaptation," he told the assembly.

The Philippines said that there should be a collective target for adaptation with a “solid quantitative goal,” or a particular amount for adaptation finance that should be reviewed every five years.

According to Paje, predictable sources for financing are critical for the implementation of initiatives that will enable the country to adapt effectively to the effects of climate change. Tools for adaptation include technology transfer and capacity-building innovations.

Paje also said that actions that will limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, which now enjoy the support of 112 nations, must be fast-tracked and sustained despite the setback caused by the failure of countries to agree on the review of the 2-degrees Celsius goal. Said review would have provided scientific evidence for the necessity of increasing mitigation targets.

The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), an advocacy coalition of 43 middle income and developing small-island nations which the Philippines heads, has pushed for the continued adoption of this goal even after this setback.

Paje likewise highlighted that the climate crisis does not spare anyone and will impact all - developed, developing and least developed countries.

He noted that this should then behoove the 195 nations participating in the negotiations to work in solidarity in establishing the loss and damage mechanism, increasing national mitigation actions, and accelerating capacity development for adaptation.

The Philippine delegation, through its lead negotiator, Climate Change Commission Vice-Chair Emmanuel de Guzman, ensures that the initiatives of the Philippines on behalf of the highly vulnerable countries, comprising the CVF, are strongly reflected in the Paris Agreement. (CVF)

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