NGOs call for climate objectives to be hard-wired into project planning

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ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS said the Philippines’ climate objectives need to be considered at every stage of the planning process in order to maximize the resources available for climate-change mitigation, including foreign aid.

“Aid given to LGUs (local government units) for programs related to climate resilience is a good initiative, but we should consider that funding is just one intervention,” Greenpeace Campaigner Rhea Jane Pescador-Mallari said in a mobile message Sunday.

She was responding to a recently-announced program by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to help vulnerable countries adapt to climate change.

“If we integrate climate adaptation and mitigations and other related concepts in every decision-making process… we can use the resources of our nation effectively.”

USAID on Thursday launched the Climate Resilient Cities project, which helps vulnerable countries like the Philippines gain access to climate-mitigation financing and expertise.

In a statement issued by the US Embassy in Manila, USAID proposes to help local governments and other stakeholders to “better understand, use, and disseminate climate information to local communities.”

Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities Executive Director Renato R. Constantino added that the Philippines needs “solid plans to maximize every peso for climate action.”

“It is vital we increase ambition for adaptation as a matter of priority even as we contribute what we can to the larger decarbonization effort globally.”

Mr. Constantino said the government must implement strategies with transparency and accountability to encourage the public to participate in the national effort against climate change.

In the 2020 World Risk Report, the Philippines ranked ninth out of 181 countries worldwide.

The most disaster-prone countries according to the report are Vanuatu, Tonga, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, and the Solomon Islands.

Qatar, Malta, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, and Saudi Arabia were deemed least disaster-prone countries in the world, according to the report.

Mr. Constantino added that Southeast Asia “is facing losses of up to 37% of GDP by mid-century if countries such as the US fail to dramatically curb their emissions.” — Bianca Angelica D. Anago