TACLOBAN, 07 March 2019 — Top representatives of local governments, academic institutions, and businesses across the Eastern Visayas region convened today to tackle challenges and opportunities in crowding in climate and clean energy investments in the region.
The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), a Manila-based international policy group, convened the gathering focused on shifting financial flows towards resilient, low carbon development at Hotel Alejandro, Tacloban City. The event was undertaken in cooperation with the Climate Change Commission, Visayas State University’s Institute for Strategic Research and Development Studies, and Action for Economic Reforms.
Climate change scenarios vary heavily across the country and will adversely affect the development plans of towns, cities, provinces and sectors in Region VIII, according to Dr. Toby Monsod, associate professor of the University of the Philippines School of Economics. According to Monsod, the good thing is climate appears to be better integrated in Eastern Visayas’ regional development plan compared to the national version.
Regrettably, “there is still a disconnect in the regional plan between intention and action. Climate change is still more associated with typhoons and other extreme weather events, not with slow onset events such as sea level rise and ocean acidification. Anticipating these impacts presents an opportunity to spur wider, sustainable and inclusive economic transformation,” Monsod remarked.
“We believe that renewable and clean energy development needs to [be incorporated] in our growth. We support and push for transformative investments in the region,” said Meylene Rosales, director of the National Economic and Development Authority’s Region VIII office, in her opening remarks.
“No matter how much we talk about good solutions, we can’t do anything without investments,” she said.
“No one is providing [renewable energy in small island grids]. No one is generating and no one is investing,” added Atty. Emmanuel Saño, executive director of the Federation of Rural Electric Cooperatives in Eastern Visayas.
Climate Change Commissioner Rachel Herrera set the tone to open the event as she underscored the benefits of promoting investments in low carbon development not only for the climate but also the economy.
“As government puts in place the right conditions to attract domestic and foreign low carbon investments, our financial institutions and private banks must sustain and escalate this green growth to reach new heights,” Herrera said.
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