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Philippines selected to host climate loss and damage fund committee

On March 19, 2024, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at Malacañang Palace in Manila, Philippines.

On March 19, 2024, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at Malacañang Palace in Manila, Philippines. Image source: Reuters

The Philippines has been selected to host the board of directors of the Loss and Damage Fund negotiated by the United Nations, marking another step in providing financial assistance to countries to recover and rebuild from the effects of global warming.

Last month, the World Bank’s board of directors approved a plan for the bank to serve as interim custodian of the fund for four years.

However, some countries have expressed concern that allowing the World Bank to host would give too much influence to donors, including the United States, which appoints the World Bank president.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. published an article on the X website on Tuesday announcing that the Philippines was elected from among seven candidates.

“This strengthens our commitment to inclusion and our leadership role in ensuring that the voices of those most affected by climate change shape the future of international climate policy,” Marcos said as he chaired the board.

The Philippines must enact legislation before it can become host, and Marcos did not say when he would serve as host.

The Philippines, an archipelago nation of more than 7,600 islands and a member of the fund’s board of directors, is regularly hit by typhoons and other climate change-induced disasters.

As host, Manila can focus its attention on the Asia-Pacific region, where many countries have limited resources, hampering their ability to cope with the impacts of climate change.

Who will pay for loss and damage has been one of the thorniest issues in U.N. climate talks, as developed countries accused of being the biggest emitters in history have been nervous about how much they might face in damages.

However, the COP27 conference in Egypt in 2022 managed to establish a UN “loss and damage” fund specifically to address irreparable climate-related damage caused by droughts, floods and rising sea levels, but no details were decided.

Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), said the Philippines has a responsibility to show political leadership.

Napier said in a statement that they should demand developed countries “fulfill their historical, legal and moral obligations to provide compensation for climate damage”.

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