PH greenhouse emissions growing

Philippine Daily Inquirer
3:31 PM | Friday, April 11th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines—The contribution of the Philippines to global warming is only a drop in the bucket of the world’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but that drop may get bigger in the future.

“Though it currently contributes less than 0.35 percent of global GHG emissions, its share will spike due to economic and population growth coupled with rapid urbanization,” the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Philippines said on Friday.

WWF-Philippines Project Manager Philline Donggay said this is why it is important for developing nations like the Philippines to begin serious steps toward climate mitigation and adoption of renewable energy to sustain its needs.

“Climate change mitigation reducing country emissions is critical because Asian economies are in full swing,” Donggay said in a news release.

Asia is the world’s fastest growing economic region and the largest continental economy by gross domestic product. Globally, six in ten people live in Asia, according to WWF-Philippines.

In the same release, WWF-Philippines announced its Building Momentum for Low Carbon Development project, which presents plans to synergize national development objectives with climate change mitigation strategies.

The project presents a path for the Philippines to transition from a fossil-fuel dependent economy to one that uses 100 percent renewable energy (RE) by 2050, the environmental organization said.

WWF-Philippines recommended increasing investments in both RE and energy efficiency (EE), while eliminating the country’s dependence on imported fossil fuels like coal and oil.

The Philippines is a fossil fuel-poor country and is vulnerable to the volatility of international fossil fuel prices, it noted.

“We have one of the highest power rates in Asia, mostly because of inefficiencies in the power sector and our reliance on imported fossil fuels,” WWF-Philippines Climate and Energy Programme Head Angela Ibay said.

“With coal and oil prices rising from increased demand, we will pay even more in the coming years – unless we invest in indigenous Renewable Energy now,” she added.

WWF-Philippines said Earth has already heated up by about 1 degree Celsius in the last two centuries, with an expected jump of 0.8 degree from atmospheric heat stored by the oceans.

“Beyond 4 degrees, up to 30 percent of all known plant and animal species will die — and intense storms, droughts and other climate effects will become nearly unmanageable for less-developed nations,” it said.

Today, the three largest emitters of greenhouse gases are energy generation, transportation and agriculture, WWF-Philippines said.

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