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PPPs can help develop ‘green’ economy

Posted at 06/22/2011 7:12 AM | Updated as of 06/22/2011 7:14 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The government’s public-private partnership (PPP) initiative is one way by which the Philippines can encourage private companies to go green and help develop a green economy, a study released by four major international institutions said.

With storms getting stronger during rainy season, businesses need to implement climate-change adaptation measures and help develop a green economy, according to a report by the United Nations Global Compact, United Nations Environment Program, Oxfam and World Resources Institute.

“Public-private partnerships for climate-change adaptation can combine the power, authority, social responsibility and accountability of the public sector, with the finance, technology, managerial efficiency and entrepreneurial abilities of the private sector and the informed voice, energy, drive and oversight responsibilities of civil-society organizations. Partners share project risks, but also the benefits,” the report said.

PPPs can help address the seven factors that prevent companies from going green. These factors, according to the report, include information gaps, risk and uncertainty, and immediate investments needed but with long-term effects and gains.

Other concerns include poor access to financing, private costs versus public benefits, undervaluation of resource use and conservation, and policy and regulatory weakness.

But the only way Philippine PPPs can address these concerns is if the government strengthens and builds off existing PPPs to incorporate a strong focus on climate-change adaptation. There must be policies and laws that would have to be implemented to attract the private sector to invest in green technologies and strategies.

“Ingredients for an effective public-private partnership include careful partner selection; a high level of political commitment and a solid statutory foundation; a detailed business plan that articulates the responsibilities of all parties; a guaranteed revenue stream; active engagement and monitoring by the public sector; and strong stakeholder support,” the study stated.

The study said companies would be able to earn more profits under a green economy, which is a necessary move to veer away from a business-as-usual approach to climate change.

The study said the private sector is a key factor in a green economy.

Companies, the report said, should implement measures that would help anticipate and address the impacts of climate change. These investments, it said, would “pay for itself many times over” securing profits for companies.

But these investments must be complimented on the government side by integrating environmental and social safeguards into national laws, policies and regulations, and government contracts can also make important contributions to reward business behavior, avert maladaptation and improve community vitality and resilience to climate change.

The report cited data from an Asian Development Bank report released in 2007 that a “business-as-usual” trend would result in an economic cost to Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam to equal a loss of 6.7% of their combined gross domestic product by 2100, in contrast to a projected global average of 2.6%.

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