The Philippines and Germany have reaffirmed their commitment to enhance cooperation on climate, energy and biodiversity at the first-ever PH-German Climate Consultation held last April 18 in Makati City.

Organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the event marked the first high-level consultation between the Philippines and Germany aimed at strengthening their bilateral partnership for accelerating climate agenda.

The two countries committed to working closely together to step up action on climate, energy and biodiversity by sharing knowledge and technical expertise to build capacity for climate adaptation and resilience.

DENR Secretary Antonia Loyzaga and Germany’s State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Action Jennifer Lee Morgan led the Philippine and German delegations, respectively.

“We acknowledge the importance of climate consultations and dialogues with developed countries like Germany that would be instrumental in helping us effectively implement our climate actions,” Loyzaga said.

Loyzaga expressed hope the partnership will continue beyond project timelines and scopes, stressing that international cooperation “encompasses our environment, our biodiversity, our natural resources, our consumption and production, and our sustainable development goals.”

“We express support for sustained partnership for both of our governments in accelerating our climate actions,” she added.

For her part, Morgan said the climate consultations with the Philippines “enable me to listen, learn and discuss how we can deepen our bilateral collaboration and to help those who are hit hardest by the climate crisis.”

“We want to work with the Philippines to develop a resilient, alternative development pathway that brings prosperity and a better life for all citizens, and to strive for a successful COP28 that drives ambition by the major emitters to keep the 1.5 degrees limit within sight, and show solidarity with the most vulnerable people on Earth,” she pointed out.

The consultation culminated in the signing of a Joint Declaration of Intent on Interdepartmental Consultations between Germany and the Philippines for Bilateral Technical Cooperation Projects in the Fields of Climate, Energy and Biodiversity.

Under the declaration—signed by Morgan and Philippine Department of Finance Undersecretary for the International Finance Group Mark Joven—the parties agreed to hold regular interdepartmental consultations about ongoing and pipeline bilateral technical cooperation projects.

During the consultation, both countries presented their plans, projects and activities aimed at addressing the climate crisis at the local and international levels.

These include operationalizing the loss and damage agenda and building more resilience against the consequences of the climate crisis, which will be integrated in their commitment for the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in the United Arab Emirates in November this year.

The two nations also discussed ways to accelerate the implementation of German-funded environmental and climate programs aligned with the Philippine Development Plan, particularly the Philippines’ commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change through the Nationally Determined Contribution, which is to attain an emission reduction or avoidance in its greenhouse gas by 75 percent.

The Philippines and Germany have a long-standing partnership. The Philippines has been participating in collaborative project undertakings with Germany, such as the Transformative Actions for Climate and Ecological Protection and Development or TRANSCEND Project, which aims to support the Philippines in its programs and policies focused on biodiversity, ecosystem-based approach, and energy and transport.

The Philippines is also one of the focus countries of Germany’s International Climate Initiative projects, which is a funding program for climate action and biodiversity conservation established in 2018.

Officials from DENR, Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Office of Civil Defense, German Agency for International Cooperation, and Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany Manila shared their interventions during the consultation. #