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Constantino steps down as head of Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities

The Manila-based think tank is transitioning to new leadership after the 13-year tenure of the veteran development campaigner Renato Redentor “Red” Constantino.

First established in the Philippines in 1998, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) is an international non-government organisation advocating for fair climate policy and low-carbon, climate-resilient development. Image: Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities

Capping off more than a decade of advocacy work with Manila-based think tank Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), Renato Redentor “Red” Constantino has disclosed his plans to step down as executive director of the organisation.

“This announcement comes with mixed measures of relief, gratitude, and joy. After 13 years at the helm of ICSC, it is time to step down and make way for new leadership,” said Constantino in a statement.

First established in the Philippines in 1998, ICSC is an international non-government organisation advocating for fair climate policy and low-carbon, climate-resilient development.

Constantino will be succeeded by economist Angelo Kairos Dela Cruz, former ICSC deputy executive director and head of the group’s climate finance team.

The veteran development campaigner and essayist Constantino first took the reins of the ICSC in 2010. From just a team of two, the ICSC has since ballooned into an organisation of some 50 people.

Recognised for its role in championing effective climate action now enshrined in the 2015 Paris agreement, ICSC promotes equitable climate strategies globally as an advisor to the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Vulnerable 20 Group of Finance Ministers (V20), composed of 55 of the world’s most vulnerable countries.

ICSC is also an accredited observer to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and an advisor to the Philippine delegation to the UN climate negotiations. It represents Southern think tanks as a member of the High-Level Consultative Group of the InsuResilience Global Partnership.

“Our work has mattered not just in Manila but also in Majuro, Dhaka, Addis Ababa, and Accra, and Paris, Bonn, Washington DC, and Geneva,” reflected Constantino. “We have played a leadership role in helping give birth to the Paris Agreement and we’re active in the drive to comprehensively realise the core goals of the global climate accord. I am hopeful ICSC will continue to cleave to these guiding pillars even as it evolves to become far better than what it is today.”

Constantino is a member of the Board of the Peoples Survival Fund, the first legislated Philippine adaptation funding mechanism dedicated to supporting the adaptation action agenda of local governments and communities.

Constantino is the author of the book The Poverty of Memory: Essays on History and Empire, published by the Foundation for Nationalist Studies in 2006. In 2019, one of his essays was included in HarperCollins’ Letters to the Earth: Writing to a Planet in Crisis anthology alongside works by Yoko Ono, Mary Oliver, and Emma Thompson, among others.

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