Intra-Asean exchange for climate programs eyed

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd is proposing the establishment of an intra-Association of Southeast Asian Nations exchange of information on climate action projects. PHOTO BY JOHN RYAN BALDEMOR

FINANCE Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd is proposing an intra-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) exchange of information on climate action projects backed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Dominguez asked the ADB to lead the initiative that would let regional organization’s member-nations to share knowledge and best practices on localized climate adaptation and mitigation projects, the agency announced in a statement released over the weekend.

It said Dominguez stressed that his proposal is a better alternative rather than depending entirely on international fora like the annual United Nations Conference of the Parties, which focuses on the larger picture in solving the climate catastrophe and sometimes overlooks solutions best-suited to local communities.

“Climate change might be a global problem. The issue, however, exhibits itself most starkly in our smallest communities. I am sure that the ADB will be ready to help us promote the exchange of climate change action and adaptation practices among the Asean countries,” he was quoted as saying.

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The Department of Finance (DoF) said Dominguez made this request while the Philippines exchanged documents with the ADB to mark the signing of two loan agreements. One loan agreement is the $250-million policy-based loan for the Climate Change Action Program, Subprogram 1 (CCAP1), which aims to promote the country’s climate action agenda.

The signing of the loan agreement for the CCAP1 makes the Philippines one of the region’s pioneers in climate policy development funding, the DoF underscored, as this is the ADB’s first climate change policy-based credit.

“This initiative will hopefully encourage other countries to design and accelerate the implementation of their own climate programs. This sends a very strong signal to the international community that the Philippines is fully committed to deliver on our climate ambitions,” Dominguez said.

“We hope to inspire other emerging economies not only with our determination but also with innovative financial systems,” he added.