Diokno underscores role of finance ministers in pushing for global green recovery

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno stressed the vital role finance ministers play in integrating green solutions into global economic recovery and development.

“[M]inistries of Finance across the globe play a vital role in pushing for reforms that incentivize and finance the integration of biodiversity considerations into economic recovery and development,” said Secretary Diokno in his intervention for the COP15 Finance Day Plenary 3: Economics, Finance, and Nature Nexus: A Conversation with Ministries of Finance on December 14, 2022.

Secretary Diokno cited that world expenditures on biodiversity conservation only amount to 120 billion to 140 billion US dollars. These are mostly sourced from domestic public spending and accounts for only around 20 percent of the annual cost of implementing the proposed post-2020 global biodiversity framework that is valued at not less than 700 billion US dollars.

“[W]e are not waiting around for long-overdue commitments to materialize. We are moving ahead with reforms to quicken our shift to more sustainable practices,” Secretary Diokno emphasized.

The Philippines has begun its shift towards sustainability with the recently approved House Bill No. 4102 or the Single-Use Plastic (SUP) Bags Tax Act. The bill seeks to help regulate the consumption of SUPs as part of the country’s efforts to reduce plastic pollution.

The Department of Finance (DOF) is studying the feasibility of implementing carbon pricing mechanisms such as carbon tax to generate revenues that can be tapped for environmental concerns.

The DOF is also working towards building a sustainable finance ecosystem through its Sustainable Finance Roadmap. The plan aims to synergize investments from the public and private sector towards green and social projects.

The country has been raising Green, Social, or Sustainability Bonds, Loans, and other debt instruments to finance initiatives under the Sustainable Finance Framework, one of which is the recently issued 25-year tenor Sustainability Global Bond.

“The twin challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change are fundamentally interlinked. They must be addressed together as part of a broader green and inclusive recovery. The Philippines stands in solidarity with all nations in the global call for an equitable green recovery,” Secretary Diokno said in closing.