• Remit $15 billion to climate fund now, says Salceda


    LEGAZPI CITY: Gov. Joey Salceda of Albay, co-chairman of the United Nations Green Climate Fund (GCF), has sought the immediate remittance of $15 billion by developed countries to the GCF from out of the $100 billion pledged to it at the Fund’s June 30-July 1 First Contributors’ Meeting in Oslo, Norway.

    “There is no longer any choice, we must pay now, or pay more later if we delay action,” Salceda said of his urgent appeal

    Salceda sits as co-chairman of the GCF Board as representative of Southeast Asia and the 124 developing countries that are the most frequent victims of the ill effects of climate change, mainly because they are poor and vulnerable.

    Developed countries have been held responsible for global warning and its ill effects—devastating strong typhoons among them—due to pollution brought about by industrialization. Under the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC), these countries have been expected to finance climate change adaptation programs for the developing countries.

    The GCF, under the UNFCCC, is mandated to collect the fund and program climate change adaptation expenditures. The First Meeting of Interested Contributors to the Initial Resource Mobilization Process in Oslo seeks to start collecting the pledges.

    “At this meeting, we are taking the first important step, a small but significant step in the full operationalization of the fund, and the eyes of the world are upon us,” Salceda said during the opening of the conference on Monday at the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel in the Norwegian capital.

    Norway, the host country, has reaffirmed its $1-billion commitment.

    “For many developing countries, it is a daily challenge for survival. We are acutely aware of this in the Philippines, and it is happening in all regions of the world. The GCF is the only fund dedicated to addressing this challenge. It is our fund on which high hopes are placed, especially in the developing world,” Salceda said.

    He added that climate change is no longer an “inconvenient truth” of the past but is now the inescapable reality for all countries and peoples of the world. “It is a global challenge in all its aspects . . . an environmental challenge that threatens all life on earth, a security challenge that is increasingly recognized and an economic challenge that also represents opportunities.”

    Salceda pointed out that “it lies within our hands to make this fund as one that meets the challenges before us, and to achieve the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC and provide support to developing countries in their efforts to address climate change and its adverse effects.”

    The governor said the requirements for the opera–tionalization of the fund were completed during the board’s seventh meeting last May in Songdo, South Korea, hitting the 2014 deadline.

    “It is my privilege as a Filipino to steer the board in its formative stage in completing the eight prerequisites over which many were skeptical,” he noted.


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