Climate Change Commission Secretary Robert E. A. Borje (Presidential photo by King Rodriguez)

MANILA – The Philippines, through Climate Change Commission Secretary Robert Borje, and former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon are eyeing stronger cooperation in efforts to push for “climate financing” which is expected to support developing countries’ mitigation and adaptation actions that will address climate change.

This, after Borje met with Ban in Seoul, Republic of Korea as part of the former’s official visit to the country, according to a press statement from Malacañang on Thursday.

Ban is currently the President and Chair of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), a treaty-based international, inter-governmental organization dedicated to supporting and promoting strong, inclusive and sustainable economic growth in developing countries and emerging economies.

During the meeting, Borje emphasized the need to unlock climate financing for the developing countries to support climate change action projects.

He said developing countries like the Philippines have taken bold steps to address climate change and that the same should be demanded of developed nations, especially in the commitment to deliver on climate funding.

“The Philippines’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) is more ambitious now at 75 percent. While a lot of it is conditional, the rallying call has been climate justice: To the least responsible, to those with the least resources, to the most exposed and vulnerable, we need to do more,” Borje was quoted saying.

He relayed President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s view on climate issues, underscoring climate justice for vulnerable developing nations and the responsibility of developed nations to provide assistance.

“We want to reiterate, and we want to work on climate financing so that we can rationally use the limited resources that we have so we can pursue country development as well,” Borje told Ban.

Duterte, in several speeches, has pushed for wealthy countries to compensate developing countries for damages caused by climate change.

For his part, Ban recognized the Philippines for its commitment to fighting climate change based on the Paris climate accord and for its principled positions on climate change adaptation and mitigation.

He expressed concern over the delivered contributions of developed nations to climate financing when compared to promises made more than 10 years ago.

“I’m spending my time speaking with global leaders and community leaders to raise the level of ambition to fight climate change. Climate can spoil everything, our society and even relationships between people,” he said.

Both officials recognized the importance of Philippines-GGGI partnership through financing of practical and pragmatic climate action projects and green development initiatives in the Philippines.

Among the areas being considered is the development of solar energy projects in so-called last mile communities with the help of private investors and corporations.

Duterte signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change Instrument of Accession in 2017, a pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep rising global temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius.

The Philippines is the country most at risk from the climate crisis according to a report published in 2019 by the Institute for Economics and Peace. (PNA)