Saturday, November 30, 2013

$14-B Green Fund to be operational by 2014

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda.

MALOLOS CITY—If there was any positive effect coming from Supertyphoon Yolanda, it would most surely be the operationalization by 2014 of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

Speaking to journalists at the sidelines of the Climate Change Consciousness Week conference at the SM Convention Center on Tuesday, November 26, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said Yolanda (international name, Haiyan) has put more pressure on representatives to the recent 19th Conference of Parties (COP) held in Poland to implement the GCF.

“At least $14 billion will be operational by next year,” said Salceda, the elected co-chair for the GCF Board. He disclosed that European countries like Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (UK), and Australia
have expressed interest in putting the initial donations.

The GCF, Salceda explained, was first conceived in the COP held in Copenhagen in 2009 wherein developed nations were asked to contribute a total of $30 billion per year from 2009 to 2015; and $100 million from 2015 to 2020.

However, the GCF was not put into operation until it was formally created in Cancun, Mexico where the COP16 was held in 2010. The following year, the GCF was finally formed in Durban, South Africa. Salceda said operationalization of the GCF can be finally approved in the United Nations’ General Assembly (UN-GA) by September 2014.

“It is good news in itself, because it means that we are moving forward,” said the governor who also spoke during a parallel workshop on climate change for journalists. When asked by PromdiNews if the said fund can be availed of for victims of Yolanda, Salceda said that it is open for developing countries to address risks of climate

“GCF is an instrument of the family of nations to enable developing countries in performing their functions in adaptation and mitigation, so hindi lang sa calamity, risk based yan,” he said. At present, the GCF board is finalizing requirements for accreditation of countries interested in availing the fund.

In an earlier statement, Lawyer Mary Ann Lucille Sering, secretary of the Climate Change Commission of the Philippines, said the “the swift operationalization of the Green Climate Fund is critical to helping developing countries adapt to and cope with the worsening impacts of climate change.”
Sec. Sering (L) with Vice President Binay.
Sering added that “we are committed to exercising leadership and ensuring the essential requirements are fulfilled by September 2014 so money will start flowing to countries that are in need and most vulnerable.

Many of our countries have put in place policies and domestic financing strategies to make our economies resilient, rebuild communities better and in a transformational manner – but we need international support to help us bridge the gap and make this transition towards climate-resilient low-emission development.”

The GCF’s purpose is to make a significant contribution to the global efforts to limit warming to two degrees Celsius by providing support to developing countries to help limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and to adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Dino Balabo
Members of  Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists (PNEJ).