THE Philippines is one of the countries considered most vulnerable to climate change. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS
THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $250-million loan to help the Philippines’ efforts in climate change adaptation and mitigation.
“This is ADB’s first climate action policy-based loan. It will support the Philippines develop, deliver, and finance a holistic approach to address climate change by transitioning to low-carbon pathways, strengthening the ability of vulnerable sectors to adapt to climate change, and increasing conservation of land and marine resources,” ADB Vice-President for East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific Ahmed M. Saeed said in a statement.
The Philippines is considered one of the countries that are most at risk from the climate crisis. An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year, bringing strong winds and heavy rain that cause flooding and damage to infrastructure. The archipelagic country is also facing threats from rising sea levels.
The ADB noted the Philippines is fourth in the Global Climate Risk Index, which ranked countries most affected by extreme weather from 2000 to 2019.
“We have a climate emergency… The Philippines has adopted important climate actions and goals that will help address these threats and challenges and guide a green and resilient recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr. Saeed said.
The ADB said the Climate Change Action Program is expected to boost the Philippines’ efforts to achieve its commitments under the Paris Agreement, and to assist vulnerable sectors in the transition to a climate-resilient and low-carbon economy.
“The new program targets policy reforms and will help the Philippine government build planning, financing, and institutional systems to scale up climate action. It will support reforms to enhance the resilience of farming and fishing communities to the increasing impacts of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the deployment of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable transport,” the multilateral lender said.
The program was prepared in tandem with the Agence Française de Développement, which also provides $172 million to the Philippine government.
According to the ADB, policy-based loans transfer the loan amount to a government’s general budget. The funds are only released when the borrower completes policy reforms or actions that have been agreed with ADB.
On Monday, the ADB announced it approved a $400-million policy-based loan to help the Philippines further deepen its capital markets.
The ADB is one of the Philippines’ biggest sources of official development assistance, with average annual lending of $1.9 billion in the last five years. — CRAG