THE PHILIPPINES will side with fellow G33 countries and China in calling for differentiated climate change commitments and respect for sovereignty at this week’s Rio+20 conference.
Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan will convey the Philippines’ position, a copy of which was provided BusinessWorld, at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) that will convene from Wednesday to Friday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Mr. Balisacan, as concurrent head of the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), will lead the Philippine delegation, which will include representatives from the PCSD, National Economic and Development Authority, Climate Change Commission, Environment department, Congress and civil society organizations.
While the Philippines supports the current thrust to push for a transition to a green economy, this shift must consider "the need for common but differentiated responsibilities between developed and developing countries, and respect for national development objectives and capacities".
The position paper states that there is a need for "access, technology transfer, knowledge sharing and cooperation, and technology transformation on green and cleaner production technology to close technology gaps between developed and developing countries."
The Philippines will also call for financial assistance and green investments as well as capacity building from developed countries. Trade protectionism and "tying conditionalities to official development assistance," the paper notes, must also be avoided.
Instead, "trade policies that prevent unfair competition that arises when countries protect their own production sectors through subsidies and non-tariff barriers including unwarranted sanitary and phytosanitary measures" should be upheld.
Also, "a green economy for the country should foster poverty reduction and equity, promote investments to bolster its natural capital, secure environmental integrity and ecological resilience, encourage sustainable consumption and production, promote the use of eco-efficient resources in the transport, energy, waste and water sectors, and create climate-resilient agriculture and industry sectors," it states.
The Philippine position also expresses support for the establishment of sustainable development goals across the United Nations system.
"The country also recognizes the need for the establishment of an intergovernmental high-level political forum that will provide political guidance and enhance the integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development (social, economic and environmental)," the document read.
The Rio+20 summit will focus on two main themes: how to build a green economy to achieve sustainable development and lift people out of poverty, and how to improve international coordination for sustainable development.
By Bettina Faye V. Roc
June 18, 2012