• WB: 2 percent of GDP needed for climate action


    A World Bank report released on Tuesday said that the Philippines should allocate at least 2 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) for the government to implement climate change action.

    At the briefing for the highlights of the report “Getting a Grip on Climate Change in the Philippines,” World Bank’s sector leader for environment, Christophe Crepin, said that the country only appropriated 0.3 percent of its budget for climate change.

    In a presentation, Crepin said that climate appropriations have been increasing relative to overall government budgets.

    He added that climate appropriations have increased by 2.5 times in real terms annually, outpacing the growth of the national budget which was about 6 percent.

    In the report, the Washington-based lender said that the Philippines can avoid the impacts of climate change in the economy and the people, if the government will develop its adaptive capacity and employ a sustainable green growth strategy.

    It said that the Philippines is exposed directly to multiple climate-related hazards such as typhoons, floods, landslides and droughts.

    The report recommended that the government should strengthen the planning, execution and financing framework for climate change; enhance leadership and accountability through monitoring, evaluation and review of climate change policies and activities and build the country’s capacity and managing change.

    According to the Department of Budget and Management, there are various planning and public expenditure strategies to better integrate and align the country’s climate reform efforts.

    “In the process, we expect to improve collaboration across government and ensure the quick and effective implementation of key climate change programs,” according to Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad.

    He added that the effects of climate change compromise the country’s socioeconomic development, given its devastating impact on human life, key industries such as agriculture and fisheries and infrastructure and property.

    Citing the report—which is the result from the Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPEIR)—the DBM said that there has been a steady 26-percent annual increase in the budgetary allotment for climate change efforts since 2008.

    Meanwhile, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said that climate change is not only an environmental issue but is a development concern.

    “It is a phenomenon that aggravates the country’s inherent vulnerability, and hamper or delay the country’s achievement of our development goals committed both at the global and national levels,” Socioeconomic Planning Arsenio Balisacan said.

    Balisacan, who is also the NEDA director general, said that an initiative such as the Philippines Climate Public Expenditure and Institutional Review (CPIER) is a valuable undertaking of government and development partners.

    He added that the systematic and comprehensive analysis of climate change mainstreaming efforts in the Philippines, particularly the institutional review and assessment of public expenditure for climate measures undertaken, will guide the government to effectively and efficiently prioritize adaptation and mitigation actions consistent with the development needs and priorities of the country.

    “We heed to the call for a more strategic and focused government intervention to address climate change, and we affirm most of the recommendations of the CPEIR Report,” he said.

    Mayvelin U. Caraballo


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