Diokno to G20: PH will lead in climate action

Diokno to G20: PH will lead in climate action

As part of joining efforts to implement climate action, the Philippines has been actively participating in the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) which is being initiated at a critical juncture in our planet’s history. (Photo: United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction)

By Tracy Cabrera

MANILA — With the Philippines committed to being at the forefront of global climate action, finance secretary Benjamin Diokno disclosed that President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. is decided on the government’s objective of pursuing a whole-of-nation approach to mitigating climate risks.

In an official statement, the former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor pointed out to the Group of 20 that the country is one of the countries at highest risk for climate-related disasters and as such, it is determined to be a world leader in the fight against the crisis.

The G20 or Group of Twenty is an intergovernmental forum that works to address global economic issues, including international financial stability, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development.

It is composed of 19 countries plus the European Union, which, together, comprise the world’s largest economies and account for around 60 percent of the world’s population, 80 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP), and 75 to 80 percent of international trade.

Last Saturday, July 16, finance ministers and central bank governors from the group’s member countries discussed climate-related policy levers to enable the transition towards greener economies. The Philippines, though not a part of the G20, was invited to participate as a guest nation by the Indonesian government, which now leads the group, to share an overview of the country’s climate policy agenda.

President Marcos, Jr., in his inaugural speech, identified plastic pollution and climate change as among the critical issues his administration will address, and on top of this, his predecessor President Rodrigo Duterte had previously set an ambitious commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent by 2030 despite contributing only 0.3 percent of the total global emissions.

To support the new chief executive‘s agenda on climate action, Secretary Diokno shared that the Department of Finance (DoF) is backing the passage of a bill that would either regulate or tax the use of single-use plastics.

Aside from this, he added that the DoF is also studying the imposition of a carbon tax in the country even as the government has already assembled a group of Filipino experts to help climate-vulnerable communities execute localized action plans.

“We will deal with the impact of climate change while bringing down energy costs through developing clean and renewable energy sources, such as hydro, geothermal, wind, and solar power,” the finance chief concluded. (ai/mtvn)

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