July 03, 2023 Monday
BONN, GERMANY — Civil society organizations (CSOs) and other stakeholders present at the 58th Session of the Subsidiary Bodies (SB58) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) expressed support to the Philippines’ priorities and expectations to the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai, UAE.
Seven community-based organizations, non-government organizations, and interfaith movement and women-led groups from the Philippines joined the negotiations in SB58. Some of these CSOs shared their views and support to the Philippines for the upcoming COP28.
The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC)
“The ICSC supports the Philippines’ call on building momentum towards COP28, highlighting the government’s priorities in line with national climate policies and fair share commitment towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. As a developing country at the frontlines of climate change impacts, we must continue to prioritize adaptation and resilience, with mitigation as a co-benefit of low-carbon development,” said Danica Marie Supnet, Interim Director for Climate Policy of the ICSC, an international non-government group advancing fair climate policy and low carbon, climate-resilient development.
Supnet added, “ICSC likewise joins the Philippines and the rest of the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Finance Ministers (V20) in calling for a global financial system fit for climate through the V20 Accra-Marrakech Agenda, the G7-V20 Global Shield, and other solutions to advance climate and disaster risk finance and insurance.”
Aksyon Klima/ Living Laudato Si' Philippines
Rodne Galicha, Lead Convenor for Aksyon Klima and Executive Director of Living Laudato Si’ Philippines, expressed his agreement with the Philippine government’s call for “a COP28 that would finally enable the acceleration of global actions towards the attainment of the goals of the Paris Agreement.”
“We are way past overdue. We need to end the cycle of broken promises and failed solutions for the sake of current and future generations. What we need now is to translate science and commitments into actions,” he said.
Galicha added, “For COP28, among our priorities is our call to ensure that the loss and damage funding mechanism would be structured and operationalized such that polluters pay, the most affected communi'es would receive what they are owed with no strings attached, and that the burden would be shouldered by developed countries and corporations responsible for the climate crisis.”
Living Laudato Si’ is an interfaith movement initiated by Catholic laypeople calling on Philippine financial institutions to divest from coal-related operations and other environmentally harmful activities, while Aksyon Klima is a civil society network that aims to build campaigning capacity and leadership among its partner community organizations, NGOs and the academe, on climate policies and issues.
The Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Programme (NTFP - EP Asia)
“We welcome the government’s sharing of the Philippines' priorities in the lead-up to COP28, particularly the inclusive and meaningful participation of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs), CSOs, women, and youth in all climate processes, the push to operationalize the loss and damage fund and the Santiago Network, and pursuing climate justice,” said Dazzle Labapis, Programme Officer of NTFP-EP.
He expressed hope that “there will be specific action points and concrete steps that the Climate Change Commission will initiate to make the engagement process meaningful and inclusive for IPLCs, CSOs, women and youth” as the country prepares for COP28.
The NTFP-EP is a network of over 60 non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations working to strengthen forest-based communities’ capacity to sustainably manage natural resources in the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Cambodia, also offered its observation and support.
“We are happy to note that the Philippines is ramping up on the Loss and Damage Funding structure. The need for loss and damage fund by the developing countries are urgent and rising, and we cannot afford to wait any longer. And because there is no question that burning of fossil fuels is the main driver of climate change, measures to ensure fossil fuel companies pay for loss and damage should be prioritized,” said Virginia Benosa-Llorin, Make Polluters Pay Co-Project Lead of Greenpeace.
She added, “The fossil fuel era needs to end, and fast. But while the world phases out the burning of coal, oil and gas, the fossil fuel industry needs to pay for the harm their products cause.”
Philippines in the leadup to COP28
In his closing statement in SB58, Secretary Robert E.A Borje, Head of the Philippine Delegation and the Vice Chairperson and Executive Director of Climate Change Commission, emphasized that “we must provide momentum for the progress needed for COP28 in the United Arab Emirates, and that we need to do more.”
The Philippines underscored that these priorities and expectations must be tackled in COP28: establishment of the global goal on adaptation framework; ramping up work on mitigation and inclusion of emissions avoidance as a mitigation measure; setting up loss and damage fund and funding arrangements, and operationalization of the Santiago Network; conclusion of the work on the global stocktake with comprehensive, inclusive and transparent output; delivery of urgent obligations on means of implementation and support; ensuring universal participation and involvement in the process; rationalizing the conduct of meetings through defined priorities and intended outcomes.
SB58, held on 5 to 15 June 2023 in Bonn, Germany, convened experts, policymakers, and stakeholders from around the world to share insights, foster collaboration, and find sustainable solutions to the climate crisis, as mandated by the UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement.
For more information on the Philippines’ participation in SB58, visit the Climate Change Commission PH’s website at https://climate.gov.ph and Climate Change Commission PH.