The International Finance Corp., a member of the World Bank Group, is now stepping up cooperation with the Philippine government to expand the development of green buildings in the country as part of coordinated efforts to address climate change.
“IFC offers its global technical expertise to help Philippine government units develop their green building initiatives,” IFC resident representative Jesse Ang said in a statement.
IFC’s green building program, supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs and the Government of Canada, works with governments and regulators to build capacity for green buildings through policy and regulatory support. It also provides financing to support private sector investments in green buildings.
The group is also helping the Department of Public Works and Highways update the National Building Code that will set minimum green feature requirements for new buildings, save energy and water resources, and support cost-efficient operations.
“We support the government in implementing its National Climate Change Action Plan, which provides for ‘greening’ the National Building Code,” he added.
Ang also said they are conducting technical studies that will be used in drafting a law requiring new buildings to reduce electricity use.
“These measures will help the country cut the greenhouse-gas emissions of new buildings by 20 percent annually,” Ang said.
Ang noted that with the IFC’s support, Mandaluyong City in Metro Manila passed a green building ordinance that provides incentives such as tax discounts on machineries and building improvements.
On Wednesday, the IFC hosted a forum titled “Green Building Imperatives” in collaboration with the Climate Change Commission, which is chaired by President Benigno Aquino 3rd, and the Philippine Green Building Initiative.
The forum was attended by over 100 local government officials.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Loren Legarda, and Climate Change Commissioner Heherson Alvarez were among those who spoke at the forum. The participants shared green building best practices and began discussing preliminary plans to adopt such practices among local governments across the country.
In a statement released by Malacanang, Aquino said that green building is one of the most important steps the country must undertake in adapting to climate change and mitigating climate risk.
The president said that the unabated use of carbon-based fuels has drastically altered our global climate such that weather patterns are changing and natural disasters have become stronger, more frequent, and less predictable.
“It is my hope that this will gain widespread acceptance among developers and major players,” Aquino said.
The IFC is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private enterprises in more than 100 countries, it uses its capital, expertise, and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.
In fiscal year 2013, the group’s investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges.