Salceda urges world to remit if they emit
ALBAY Gov. Joey Salceda, co-chairman of the UN Green Climate Fund, has called on the world community to join the fight against climate change and support the task of rebuilding from its devastation in a bid to stabilize the world economy.
Salceda made the call during the inauguration of the GCF’s new headquarters at the Songdo Free Economic Zone in Incheon, South Korea last December 4.
Administered by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, GCF transferred its temporary headquarters in Bonn, Germany to Songdo in Incheon City which is now a hub for UN offices.
South Korean President Park Kun Hye welcomed the dignitaries and guests including GCF co-chair, Manfred Konukiewitz who represents the developed countries, Korean Deputy Finance Minister Oh-Seok Hyun, GCF Executive Director Hela Cheikhrouhou, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres and Incheon Mayor Young Gil.
The GCF, or the Fund, is tasked to promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Started with a US$20 billion seed fund, the GCF has commitments from developed countries of up to US$100 billion by 2020.
In his message, Salceda said: “As a representative of a developing country which emits the4 least but suffers the most, I come to this gathering not to beg or borrow. I come to collect. Developed countries: if you emit, you must remit.”
Salceda said “the impacts of climate change on developing countries, particularly in Asia, is undoubtedly cataclysmic. Super Typhhon Haiyan, (Yolanda) which struck Central Philippines in November 7, left 5,719 dead, 11.2 million people affected, 1.1 million homes damaged and destroyed, and 4.4 million people displaced.”
He recounted how, with the help of the international community, his province Albay was able to rise up from a similar cataclysm in 2006 brought about by Typhoon Durian, which decimated the local economy, destroyed 203,000 homes and displaced 1.1 million people.
He thanked the “Korean people for their help in 2007, in rebuilding 10% of the entire housing reconstruction in Albay damaged by Durian.
Salceda, whom the UN also designated as its spokesman on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, said the GCF hopes to operationalize its program starting 2014, so it can finance disaster preparedness activities of developing countries. He represents Southeast Asia and the developing countries in the GCF Board.