In Manila: David Llorito (632) 917-3047 E-mail: email@example.com
Erika Lacson (632) 917-3013 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Washington: Carl Hanlon (202) 473-8087 E-mail: email@example.com
MANILA, MAY 3, 2011—The World Bank supports the Philippines’ climate change agenda and will highlight the country’s climate change action plan in international forums and future global talks on climate change.
This was revealed recently by World Bank Climate Change Special Envoy Andrew Steer following his two-day visit to the Philippines for a dialogue with the Philippine government, the private sector, and other stakeholders on the World Bank Group’s global climate change agenda.
“The Philippines is a very important country for the World Bank for two reasons,” said Mr. Steer. “First, the country is badly threatened by climate change, one of the worst affected countries in the world especially due to the growing intensity and frequency of typhoons and the increasing vulnerability of some of its cities to storm surges.”
The second reason, according to Mr. Steer, is that the Philippines has interesting ideas on how to deal with the impact of climate change. The country, he said, has a good climate change law and has created the Climate Change Commission (CCC) that will soon unveil an action plan for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
“I came here to meet with the Climate Change Commission to ensure that I really understand what the Philippines is doing and highlight them in international discussions on the matter,” said Mr. Steer. “I also want to make sure that we are doing all we can to be helpful as an institution. It’s such a very important country; I want to ensure that we are doing our part.”
As the World Bank’s special envoy for climate change, Mr. Steer is responsible for guiding the Bank's external work on climate change. He also oversees the Climate Investment Fund, co-chairs the Strategic Climate Fund, and helps mobilize global climate financing.
In a multistakeholder forum held recently, Climate Change Vice Chair and Secretary Mary Ann Lucille Sering said that the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) will build adaptable communities in the country and increase the resilience of the country’s ecosystems to climate change and optimize mitigation opportunities towards sustainable development.
“The NCCAP will mainstream climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in the government’s plans and programs, both at the national and local levels. The green growth initiative included in the plan will also promote a low carbon growth path, looking at areas of investments for renewable energy, eco-tourism and ecosystem services.” Secretary Sering said. “The Commission shall pursue a multi-stakeholder partnership, including the private/business sector in the implementation of the NCCAP.”
Mr. Steer said the finalization of the Philippines’ National Climate Change Action Plan is a very encouraging development. He said that countries that are well-prepared are likely to generate local and international support for their climate change strategy and action plan.
“The Philippines' enactment of the Climate Change Act, the issuance of the Climate Change Framework Strategy and the finalization of the National Climate Change Action Plan are important steps to mobilize for local action,” Mr. Steer said.
Mr. Steer added: “Commitments on financial support for climate change action is becoming increasingly concrete. Some, such as the Climate Investment Funds and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) are already operational, while others such as the Green Fund are likely to be developed. Low-income countries in particular can look forward to strong support from the international community, while middle-income countries like the Philippines are likely to be able to draw on a mix of grant and loan resources as well for their own financing.”
The World Bank is supporting over 130 countries in addressing climate change issues, both in mitigation and adaptation. It is a trustee of a number of carbon finance instruments under the CDM and supports more than 40 countries through the US $6.5 billion Climate Investment Fund.
In Cancun climate change talks, the World Bank has been assigned as interim administrator for the prospective Green Fund, for which as much as US$ 100 billion could be available over time. The Bank has been supporting countries around the world with knowledge and expertise.
In the Philippines, World Bank Country Director Bert Hofman said the Bank is supporting the Philippine government with a US $250 million low-interest financing allocation under the Clean Technology Fund to promote renewable energy and more efficient transport.
“The WB and the Philippine government are also discussing a US $400 million financing to help enhance the capacity of the country to manage the impacts of natural disasters through strengthening the institutional capacity of the country for disaster risk management; mainstreaming disaster risk reduction measures into development planning; and better management of the Government’s fiscal exposure to natural disaster impacts,” said Mr. Hofman.
Other projects supported by the World Bank include:
Philippine Climate Change Adaptation Project - A US $5 million Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture to pilot-test climate resilient activities/mechanisms for the agriculture and natural resources management sectors, including capacity building of the Climate Change Commission. The project became effective recently.
Participatory Irrigation Development Project - A US $70 million project financed by the Bank, a portion of which will be used to re-design irrigation systems to make them more climate-resilient. The project is under implementation.
Carbon Funds/Projects under the Clean Development Mechanism - Philippine projects supported by the World Bank-administered carbon funds include: (1) the North Wind Power Project; (2) the Nasulo Geothermal Power Project; (3) the Methane Recovery Programs from Pig Wastes and Landfills; (4) the Ethanol Plant Wastewater Biogas Project; and (5) the Laguna de Bay Community Carbon Finance Project. All these projects are under implementation with the North Wind Power Project already receiving payments for its certified emission reduction credits.
Flood Master Plan for Metro Manila - The Global Fund for Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction (GFDRR) administered by World Bank finances the preparation of the Flood Master Plan for Metro Manila. The GFDRR also supports an ongoing technical assistance that seeks to integrate disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in local planning among a set of vulnerable local government units and the formulation of a risk financing strategy for the Philippines, which is under discussion with the Government.