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Dominguez pitches PH sustainable finance roadmap as model for other states in fight vs climate change

MANILA -- Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has expressed the hope that the Philippines’ newly launched Sustainable Finance Roadmap and its guiding principles on building a green, sustainable and climate-resilient economy would encourage other countries to adopt similar plans and policies that will aid in significantly reducing their carbon emissions. 

Dominguez said the development of this comprehensive Roadmap underscores the pivotal role that appropriate fiscal policies play in reversing the effects of the climate crisis and in enabling the shift to a low-carbon economy.

He described Wednesday's launching of the Sustainable Finance Roadmap and its Guiding Principles as “a major step forward in our comprehensive national effort to combat climate change and support our sustainable recovery and development.”

“This is the result of hard thinking among the people from numerous agencies. It sets the guiding principles that will create the environment for greener policies, the mainstreaming of sustainable finance, and a pipeline for of investments that will help us reduce our carbon footprint even as we raise our economic output,” Dominguez said at the virtual launch of the Roadmap and its guiding principles this afternoon. 

The Roadmap is the outcome of the Philippines’ partnership with the government of the United Kingdom (UK) in helping the country implement the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Low Carbon Energy Program. 

The British government supported the establishment of the “Green Force”--the Inter-Agency Technical Working Group for Sustainable Finance led by the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). 

“I would like to thank the UK Government for supporting us in developing this comprehensive roadmap. This will help guide the Philippines’ journey towards a sustainable, greener, healthier and resilient future for the Filipino people,” Dominguez said. 

Dominguez and BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno, along with British Ambassador-Designate to the Philippines Laure Beaufils, led the launch of the Roadmap. 

The sustainable finance masterplan will address the policy and regulatory gaps in promoting sustainable investments through finance, implementing sustainable government initiatives, facilitating investments in public infrastructure, and developing projects that promote sustainable financing in the Philippines.

Dominguez said he will bring this blueprint to the forthcoming 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, where he will ensure that the voices of  climate change-vulnerable countries like the Philippines will be heard. 

“The Roadmap underscores our commitment to deliver on our carbon reduction pledges. We hope this roadmap will inspire other countries towards adopting the appropriate finance policies that will help in the reduction of carbon emissions,” Dominguez said. 

Dominguez said the Philippines’ bold commitment to the Paris Agreement of reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent over the next decade requires a whole-of-nation strategy that can only be achieved if the government starts spearheading the implementation of practical and achievable solutions on the ground. 

Farmers, fisherfolk and those living in coastal communities bear the brunt of the consequences of climate change in the Philippines, he said. 

Dominguez said the national government has been pushing the swift congressional passage of a bill that will ban single-use plastics, to encourage every Filipino to do his or her part on a daily basis in reducing marine pollution and helping save the world’s environment.

The Duterte administration is also tapping a financing mechanism that will improve the generating capacity of the Agus-Pulangi hydropower complex in Mindanao while retiring coal-fired plants in the region and repurposing them, Dominguez said. 

“This landmark project will be launched at the COP26 meeting in Glasgow. This could serve as a model for coal-dependent emerging economies to gradually shift from fossil fuels to more sustainable and greener energy sources,” Dominguez said. 

To provide our farmers adequate protection from crop losses while reinforcing risk mitigation and resilience efforts in the agriculture sector, Dominguez said the government is expanding the scope of the assets and crops covered by the Philippine Crop Insurance Corp. (PCIC). 

Another significant step that the Philippines has taken as part of its intensified efforts to fight climate change is the appointment of a new National Panel of Technical Experts of the Climate Change Commission (CCC). 

Dominguez, the CCC chairman-designate, said this new group of experts representing the country’s different regions will provide the government with the practical advice it urgently needs to fight climate change and will engage local communities in climate change mitigation and adaptation. 

“However, all our efforts will fail unless we build a supportive finance environment. Finance policies will enable a shift from carbon-intensive to renewable power sources. They will enable greener habitat and transport systems as well as more resilient agricultural practices. This is the reason why we partnered with the UK Government to implement the ASEAN Low Carbon Energy Program in the Philippines,” Dominguez said. 

He pointed out, though, that the Philippines’ efforts to transition to more sustainable economic activities would not be enough to reverse climate change, which requires the “orchestrated actions by all nations.”  

“It can only be solved if the industrialized economies that have contributed and continue to contribute the most to greenhouse gas emissions stay true to their commitments of bringing in urgent financing  support to climate-vulnerable countries. I will ensure that the climate-vulnerable countries’ voices will be heard at the COP26 meeting.” Dominguez said. (DOF)

About the Author

Kate Shiene Agna

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Central Office

Information Officer II under the Office of the Deputy Director-General-Digital Development Communications Unit of Philippine Information Agency. 

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