Mayor Belmonte pushes for climate financing for cities

Mayor Belmonte pushes for climate financing for cities

By Rjhay E. Laurea

QUEZON CITY — Mayor Joy Belmonte reiterated her call on international climate financing institutions to work with cities to support the implementation of their climate action plans in order for them to achieve their mitigation and adaptation targets as soon as possible.

Mayor Belmonte, together with Mayor Barthélémy Toye Dias of Dakar, Senegal, also expressed the appeal during the closing plenary of the C40 World Mayors Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“Please help the cities that have plans, that are prepared, that have the expertise to be able to execute and implement a plan towards fruition,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.

Through a technical assistance from C40 Cities, the UK Government, and other non-government organizations, Quezon City was able to complete the city’s Enhanced Local Climate Change Action Plan (Enhanced LCCAP) for 2021 to 2050, a strategic roadmap towards building a climate-resilient and carbon neutral city by 2050.

However, in order to accelerate the implementation of its priority climate actions, the city government needs to complement locally allocated funding with climate finance from external partners to be able to effectively adapt to the impacts of climate change and meet the interim target of reducing its carbon emissions by 30% in 2030.

“We have a plan with objectives, goals, and targets. In the global south, we have the political will, commitment, and conviction, and we know how urgent the problem is but we do not have the financial resources that we need to carry out this plan that you generously helped us create. I believe that you have a moral obligation to help the global south to see this plan to fruition otherwise they are just pieces of paper,” the mayor stressed.

Despite these challenges, QC has initiated actions to mobilize resources for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

In 2019, with the help of the City Council led by Vice Mayor Gian Sotto, the Quezon City Government declared a Climate Emergency in the city, prompting the establishment of clean, sustainable, and environment-friendly programs.

Thirteen percent of the city’s budget was dedicated to climate action. With this, the city has been able to build 93 kilometers of bike lanes which will be expanded to 350 kilometers by 2025, and establish 675 community farms that provide livelihood for at least 16,000 QCitizens, among others.

Several policies were also initiated such as Ordinance No. SP-2868, S-2019 or the Plastic Bag Ban Ordinance; Ordinance No SP-2876, S-2019 that prohibits the distribution of single-use plastics for dine-in customers in restaurants and hotels; Ordinance No. SP-3107, S-2021 or the Quezon City Green Public Procurement Ordinance; and the creation of the Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability Department (CCESD) through Ordinance No. SP-3009, S-2020.

“And yet, financial assistance would still help. With climate financing, if we are able to put solar panels in all of our government buildings, we would already be reducing 12 percent of our carbon emissions. These little wins will go a long way in a global south city like Quezon City,” the Mayor added. (ai/mtvn)

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