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Climate projects offered as path to unlocking investment

climate projects offered as path to unlocking investment - Climate projects offered as path to unlocking investment

CLIMATE CHANGE mitigation projects will help attract foreign investment, starting with government-backed attempts to upgrade facilities to international standards, experts said.

The main driver is the Philippines’ need to invest more in climate change and green growth strategies, International Monetary Fund Representative to the Philippines Yongzheng Yang said in a online business conference Friday.

“We all know the country is very vulnerable to climate change, natural disasters so investing more in this area is a good policy, is a good way forward,” he said.

Officials have proposed a climate emergency to expedite such measures, as did Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu last month, due to the loss of billions every year to typhoons and other disasters.

Environmental NGOs have been asking the government to make this declaration to prioritize climate measures in policymaking and to hold fossil fuel companies accountable.

Compliance with international environmental standards is a key draw for international investors and will help unlock financing, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Policy Advisor Stephanie Venuti said at the same conference.

“These standards are backed by governments internationally so they’re understood by a number of trading partners. They’re understood by a number of international businesses. So in demonstrating implementation of these standards, that is an opportunity to attract investment and open up international market opportunities,” she said.

“They are embodied or embedded into international trade agreements.”

Governments can develop policy and businesses can start preparing, she said, ahead of international trends that could require responsible business conduct.

The European Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, announced in April that the commission is developing rules for mandatory environmental and human rights due diligence for companies. The commission’s studies found gaps in the implementation of environmental and human rights standards despite the current practice of voluntary compliance.

“(Environmental compliance is) also a way to demonstrate resilience of your business operations and your supply chains, which as we know that’s the key,” Ms. Venuti said. — Jenina P. Ibañez

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