"This is the reason not just why things are happening so fast, but why it's getting the highest level of support. The county has been hit so severely," she said.
Last year, according to the U.S. State Department, the Philippines saw funding from a $4.7 million USAID program to provide technical expertise on low-emission development throughout Asia, a $2.9 million project to help prepare adaptation projects and a $300,000 program to help Asian nations develop greenhouse gas inventories.
USAID Assistant Administrator Eric Postel said the United States sees its clean energy aid in the Philippines and elsewhere as "an opportunity to enhance our diplomatic relations."
Despite the aid, though, the countries often are on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to international climate talks. As Bopha struck, the Philippines' lead negotiator to the U.N. global warming discussions broke down and delivered an emotional plea for the United States and other big polluters to give "no more delays, no more excuses" and start reducing emissions.
The country also led the charge for the United States and other wealthy countries to compensate developing nations for "associated loss and damage" from sea-level rise, extreme weather and other climate-change-related impacts.
"What's happening in the negotiations does not really reflect what's happening on the bilateral level," Sering said. "We're so satisfied sometimes with incremental success, sometimes personality-driven, that we tend to forget why we're here in the first place. On a bilateral level, there is a sincere effort to help."
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500