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Diokno champions PH fiscal and economic policies to address climate change at COP28

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES––Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno has championed the Philippines’ fiscal and economic policies to address climate change in a fireside chat as part of the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) events in Dubai on December 1, 2023.

Organized by the World Bank Group (WBG), the Session on Fiscal Policies to Address Climate Change discussed three key issues: explicit carbon pricing; fossil fuel subsidy reform as a critical form of implicit carbon pricing; and reducing fiscal risks as well as supporting climate adaptation.

Recognizing the need for large-scale climate-smart investments to accelerate the shift towards a low-carbon economy, Secretary Diokno shared with WBG Vice President for Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions (EFI) Global Practice Pablo Saavedra that the Philippine government has passed a series of game-changing reforms to attract sustainable investments into the country.

In 2022, the Philippines launched its Sustainable Finance Framework to support its sustainability commitments. The Framework sets out how the Philippines intends to raise Green, Social or Sustainability Bonds, Loans, and other debt instruments in the international capital markets.

Through the Inter-Agency Task Force on Sustainable Finance (ITSF) or “Green Force”, the Department of Finance (DOF) is building a sustainable finance ecosystem to synergize public and private sector investments.

In line with this, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and other financial regulatory agencies are developing a principles-based Sustainable Finance Taxonomy Guidelines (SFTG).

The SFTG will serve as a tool to determine whether an economic activity is environmentally or socially sustainable. This directs private sector investments towards climate change adaptation and mitigation (CCAM) initiatives.

To reduce pollution, Secretary Diokno shared that the DOF is advocating for the passage of the excise tax on single-use plastics (SUP) bill, which imposes a PHP 100.00 per kilogram excise tax on SUPs with a four percent annual indexation beginning January 1, 2026.

Moreover, he said that the Philippine government seeks to rationalize tax on mining in order to