The Philippines is considered one of the countries that is most vulnerable to the impact of climate change. — PHILIPPINE STAR/EDD GUMBAN

By Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson, Reporter

THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) is allocating $10 billion (P553 billion) in climate finance for the Philippines starting next year until 2029.

In a statement, the lender said the funds would allow the Philippines to implement its commitments to climate action under the Paris Agreement.

“The battle against climate change will be won or lost in Asia and the Pacific and nowhere is this more evident than in the Philippines,” ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa told a side event of the United Nations’ Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai.

The Philippines is considered one of the countries that is most vulnerable to climate change, as seen with recent extreme weather events and rising sea levels.

“The Philippines has adopted ambitious mitigation targets and adaptation priorities, but these require substantial resources and financing,” Mr. Asakawa said.

The Philippines is committed to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2030.

The ADB president said the funding is part of the new country program being developed with the Philippine government.

“ADB will also continue efforts to mobilize additional climate finance from the private sector, co-financing partners and other sources,” he added.

The multilateral lender is preparing the Philippines’ country partnership strategy for 2024 to 2029. It is expected to “prioritize climate action and promote inclusive growth.”

“Under the new strategy, ADB will support low-carbon transport, renewable energy, the development of carbon markets, flood management, resilient coastal development, food security, and adaptive health and social protection,” it added.

ADB Country Director for the Philippines Pavit Ramachandran earlier said the lender is looking to earmark between $3.5 billion and $4 billion annually in loans for the country until 2029.

He also said the new country partnership strategy would likely be released by the second half of 2024.

In September, the ADB approved a $303-million loan to the Philippines to build resilience against floods and other climate hazards.

In 2022, the ADB was the country’s top provider of active official development assistance. It accounted for 33.47% of the total, equivalent to $10.85 billion.

Meanwhile, Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said he is pushing for the establishment of a New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) for climate finance.

“The Philippines believes that decisive action is needed to enable ample and efficient mobilization and timely distribution of climate finance,” Mr. Diokno said in a speech at the High-Level Ministerial Dialogue at COP28. “The New Collective Quantified Goal on climate finance should be established without further delays.”

“The development of the NCQG must sustain and enhance both quality and quantity of climate finance. Improving the quality of climate finance must be anchored on the principles of transparency, accessibility, predictability and efficiency,” he added.

During COP21, it was agreed upon to set the quiantified goal starting at a minimum of $100 billion per year.

“In order to enhance transparency, the formulation of the goal should be science- and evidence-based; the operational definition of climate finance must be carefully constructed; and timeframes and commitments from climate finance providers should be clearly stated,” Mr. Diokno said.

“The clarity of this new goal will define the predictability of our climate actions. Finally, we must collectively commit to deliver real progress in setting up the NCQG in 2024,” he added.

In a separate speech at COP28, Mr. Diokno said the Philippines is also working on developing a climate finance data platform.

“The development of a centralized platform for tracking sustainable finance flows will help us significantly reduce information gaps and avoid mismanagement of data and information. This will effectively reduce the likelihood of having redundancies in funded projects and investments,” he added.