Greenhouse gas emissions in PH rising: report

Apples Jalandoni, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 20 2018 04:57 AM | Updated as of Nov 20 2018 04:39 PM

MANILA - The Philippine Climate Change Assessment Working Group 3 Report was launched on Monday during the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week in Pasay City.

One of the lead authors, Rodel D. Lasco, who is also the Scientific Director of the Oscar M. Lopez Center for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management Foundation, turned over the report to Climate Change Commission Executive Director Emmanuel M. De Guzman.

Focusing on climate change mitigation in the Philippines, the report assessed the country’s contribution to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that cause climate change.

While the Philippines has a minimal share in the global emissions, a mere 0.31 percent in 2010 and 0.39 percent in 2015, the country’s emissions are on the rise as the economy continues to grow.

The report puts a spotlight on 4 sectors that are the biggest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions: energy, industrial processes, agriculture, and waste generation. 

The use of coal and fuel oil for electricity generation contributed 41.8 percent, almost half of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the country in 2010 and is growing annually by 3.7 percent. Transport ranked second with 35 percent of the total emissions.

The agriculture sector, particularly livestock farming and rice cultivation, produces methane (CH4) that is more potent as a heat-trapping gas.

For Lasco, while these sectors are the major culprits to the climate, they are also the key to successful climate mitigation efforts. 

“Marami ang emission nila ngayon so sila rin 'yung puwedeng makapagbawas 'pag gumagamit sila ng mga magandang pamamaraan o teknolohiya,” he said.

De Guzman believes the support of the private sector will enable the country to pursue a low carbon development pathway.

On the first day of the climate week observance, top business leaders, such as SM Prime Holdings Inc. chairman Hans Sy, First Philippine Holdings Corporation CEO Federico Lopez, members of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Bankers Association of the Philippines made a strong commitment to make business a key driver of climate action.

“We are very happy that the top business leaders are with us in this climate action advocacy. They would like to have a good environment for business towards sustainability and a low-carbon economy,” De Guzman said.

Lopez, for instance, mentioned First Philippine Holdings Corporation's decision to “no longer build, develop or invest in coal-fired power plants” as they plan to further expand their renewable energy portfolio. 

This year’s Climate Week theme is “The 1.5 degrees Celsius Climate Challenge: Survive and Thrive Together”. 

A recent special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) detailed some of the adverse effects of a global warming that is 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, which include extreme weather conditions, sea level rise, and the spread of diseases. 

The IPCC report asserted that what could stop the acceleration of anthropogenic global warming is for the world’s nations to achieve and maintain net-zero anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions.

As a party to the Paris Agreement, the Philippines is ready to do its part in climate change mitigation by mobilizing multi-sectoral sustainable development stakeholders and to synergize action towards a green economy and a low-carbon future.