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Philippines: Climate Change a Top Priority in 2013

Typhoon_Ketsana_accumulated_rainfall_in_PhilippinesAlertNet reports that the Filipino government intends to implement a series of climate change policies in 2013, building off the creation of the People’s Survival Fund last year, a $24.5 million program designed to “implement local climate change action plans to make communities more resilient to climate-induced disasters.” While the allocation of funds is yet to occur, indications are that President Benigno Aquino III is placing climate change at the very top of the country’s agenda.

Given President Obama’s prominent mention of responding to the “threat of climate change” in his recent inaugural address, the U.S. strategic pivot to the Asia-Pacific region, and the proximity of the Philippines to the strategically-significant South China Sea, an alignment of priorities on climate change between the United States and the Philippines could serve as the foundation for a broader strategy of U.S. engagement and leadership on ensuring stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

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