Go to Top

Philippines working on gains secured from UN climate talks

December 29, 2010, The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) – The Philippine government is working on some of the gains that they secured from the recent U.N. climate talks in Mexico.

According to Lucille Sering, Climate Change Commission vice chairperson and head of the Philippine climate delegation, one of the first tasks of the commission after their return from Mexico is to push for a bill now pending in Congress to create the Peoples Survival Fund (PSF).

The People’s Survival Fund will serve as a repository of all future and present climate-related overseas and domestic financing.

The PSF “has enough safeguards, a fund that can be easily access and with less conditionalities,” Sering said in an interview with Xinhua.

After two weeks of intense discussions, delegates from over 190 countries finally signed on Dec. 11 the Cancun Agreements.

The Cancun text, among other things, paved the creation a Green Climate Fund that will help developing countries adapt to the impact of a warmer planet like sea rise, stronger typhoons and drought.

The Philippines, by virtue of its geography, is prone to natural disasters. It is located in both the typhoon belt and the Pacific Ring of Fire.

In 2009, for instance, typhoons Ketsana and Parma swept Metro Manila and most provinces in northern Philippines. The World Bank estimates that the damages caused by these back to back typhoons totaled 4.38 billion U.S. dollars or equivalent to 2.7 percent of the Philippine Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Sering said this is why the Philippine negotiators worked round- the-clock to push for the creation of a global climate fund.

The Fund will be managed by board made up of representatives from both developed and developing countries. The European Union, Japan and the United States were among the wealthy countries that pledged to extend 30 billion U.S. dollars until 2012 and to increase it to 100 billion U.S. dollars a year starting 2020.

But like most provisions of the Cancun text, there are several details that need to be worked out before a Global Climate Fund can be put into place.

It’s still unclear as to how and where would the developed countries source the money for the fund.

“There is a point to be made about ensuring we do not have an ‘ empty Fund’,” she said.

Aside from putting

up a global climate fund, the Cancun Agreements formed a new mechanisms for transfer of clean energy technology, provides compensation for the forest preservation and strengthens the emissions reductions pledges of industrialized countries.

But the Cancun Agreements didn’t produce a legally-binding commitment that will succeed the Kyoto Protocol (KP).

Photo by Redster/iCSC.