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Marcos: Philippines to bid in hosting climate disaster fund

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that the Philippines will announce its intent to host the Loss and Damage Fund

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said the Philippines "will announce its intent to host the Loss and Damage Fund.”

This comes after U.N. climate summit delegates adopted a "new fund" to help poor nations cope with costly climate disasters.

“The Philippines’ call for the immediate operationalization of this Fund to assist developing and vulnerable countries to respond to droughts, floods, and rising sea levels exacerbated by climate change,” Marcos said in his speech delivered by Special Assistant to the President Antonio Ernesto Lagdameo Jr.

“We urge partners from the private sector, civil society, partner countries and governments, and developing funding institutions to support the Philippines in this bid. You have been there for meaningful collaboration with our government to tackle the climate crises,” he added. 

In establishing the fund on the first day of the two-week COP28 conference, delegates opened the door for governments to announce contributions.

And several did, kicking off a series of small pledges that countries hoped would build throughout the conference to a substantial sum, including $100 million from the COP28 host United Arab Emirates, at least $51 million from Britain, $17.5 million from the United States, and $10 million from Japan.

The European Union also pledged $245.39 million, which included $100 million pledged by Germany.

Marcos, meanwhile, emphasized the urgency to confront climate impact and how the Philippines has always been at the forefront of climate issues. 

“More than just an environmental issue; for us, it is a matter of survival, of justice, and of protecting the rights of our people. Thus, the Philippine Development Plan sealed the national development priorities on accelerating climate action and establishing sustainable and livable cities,” Marcos said.

The President added that the government has allotted P453.11 billion for climate change adaptation and mitigation for 2023 while P889.65 million has been granted to local government units for climate change adaptation programs and projects under the “People’s Survival Fund.”

Marcos also highlighted how the Philippines, which remains to be the third largest geothermal power producer next to the US and Indonesia, is heading for low-carbon development. 

“We are on track towards achieving a 35-percent renewable energy share in the power generation mix by 2023 through policy reforms that allow more investors for offshore wind and floating solar. We need to protect our forests, our oceans, and our biodiversity,” President Marcos said. 

“The Philippines, being a megadiverse country, is home to 50,000 species of flora and fauna, 50 percent of which can only be found in the country. We are intensifying the protection of natural resources to restore natural ecosystems and maximize ecosystem services that will benefit indigenous peoples and local communities,” he added. —Vince G. Lopez/KG, GMA Integrated News