Philippines urged to join fight vs climate change-A A +A
Thursday, September 12, 2013
AN OFFICIAL from the European Union's climate change commission said developing countries such as the Philippines should also be legally bound to draft and implement measures that would lead to a significant agreement on the fight against climate change at the Paris summit in 2015.
Connie Hedegaard, EU's climate change commissioner, noted the improvements in the country in terms of awareness and project implementation. However, she said there is a need for countries to realize that developed countries, such as the members of European Union, should not have the full burden of fighting against climate change.
The European Union has urged major economies and developing countries to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 20 percent by the year 2020 in the hopes that it would translate to an 80 to 95 percent reduced emission by 2050.
But before the Paris convention on climate change in 2015, Hedegaard tagged 2014 as the year of ambition, which means countries must race to implement laws and draft new agreements in an aim to reach the targets set for 2015, 2020 and even 2050.
"I would very much encourage all countries not only to address... what is the process we need, the timeline we need to be able in 2015 to conclude a substantial new agreement where all countries take their fair share of the job," Hedegaard said.
"Deadline is coming closer. Maybe we are thinking, we can postpone it a bit further. I say 'no.' We are running late. This deadline is important. It is too risky to wait until Paris 2015 and see if countries will bring something to the table," she added.
In order for businessmen to invest in the right companies that promote the reduction of emissions and the development of new sources of energy, they should see how governments respond to the call of the Paris 2015 summit.
"What do countries plan to do after 2020? We can see if the world is fair enough, ambitious enough," she said.
In the 2009 Copenhagen and 2011 South Africa summits, countries agreed to conclude a more binding agreement by 2015 in Paris, a massive gathering of developing and developed countries that aim to combat climate change through the discovery of alternative sources of energy and ways and means for adaptation and mitigation.
Countries also agreed to reduce emission by as much as 20 percent by 2020.
This came despite the fact that some environmental experts refer to this as an underwhelming goal, citing statistics which apparently forecasted the failure to reach a 95-percent emission reduction by 2050 based on the 2020 goal.
Hedegaard expressed optimism with the Philippines' efforts to secure laws and implement projects that would be helpful in reaching the goal in the next two years. However, she noted that there is a need to "inject ambitions" in the talks if the international community is to reach the goals it earlier set.
"What I hear is very constructive . . . [something that] will try to create the push the world needs to reach the agreement in 2015. There are a lot going on in the ground. There are projects coming up," she said of her meeting with Philippine officials.
But though the meetings have been constructive, Hedegaard still urged the Philippines to "be equally legally bound to do what we can, according to our capabilities."
She added it is not lost to Western countries like the European Union member-states that they need to be more proactive and exemplary in pushing for the programs and the goals.
Even amid the economic turbulence in the region, EU was able to commit 7.2 billion Euros for climate change fund. They are also open to funding projects and programs in developing nations.
"Things are being done in the Philippines... On the resilience and adaptation side. There are many things about deforestation and wind. There is basic awareness there," Hedegaard said.
However, "I'm a bit puzzled that the Philippines, so far, has not internationalized what you are doing. You don't have the biggest emission, and yet you are doing things. Why not show them to others? Tell the rest of the world."
"'We [Philippines] are not very rich, but we can do it. Why can't you do it? Send a strong signal from the Philippines," she added.
According to United States Department of Energy's Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC), the Philippines has a per capita emission of 0.8 tons in 2009, placing it at the rank of 159.
From the same list, Qatar ranked first with 44 tons of per capita emission, Trinidad and Tobago with 35.8 tons and Netherlands with 31 tons.
Australia ranked 11th with 18.3 tons and the United States ranked 12th with 17.2 tons. EU countries like Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom ranked below Middle East and some Asian countries while the European Union had a per capita emission of 8.1 tons.
The basis if such figures are from the carbon dioxide emitted because of the burning of fossil fuels and cement manufacturing. Land use, such as, deforestation was not used as basis for the per capita emission, the CDIAC said. (CVB/Sunnex)