Emphasizing that the problem of global warming is “even more critical” than the global economic crisis, President Arroyo has ordered state agencies to join the Carbon Cutting Coalition that aims to reduce the Philippines’ consumption of fossil fuel by 50 percent in two years.
Mrs. Arroyo appealed to all Filipinos to contribute in reducing carbon emissions in their own way as the Palace hoisted the coalition’s flag yesterday as a “seal of good housekeeping” as far as adopting solutions against climate change is concerned.
“The crisis in the environment is as critical, if not even more critical, as the need to solve the global financial crisis,” the President said as the country prepares for the worldwide celebration of Earth Day tomorrow.
“In spite of all the efforts of the government, there is still a need to ensure that every citizen should contribute in reducing carbon emissions,” Mrs. Arroyo said.
Among the simple climate change solutions that can be done by ordinary citizens that were identified by the coalition are the following: changing incandescent light bulbs to fluorescent lamps; using bikes or taking public transport instead of driving cars; using electric fan instead of air conditioners; not setting the refrigerator’s thermostat too high; planting trees; and buying recycled products.
The President also reminded the Transportation Department to formulate a national, environment-friendly transport system where all major roads across the country are made more accessible to pedestrians and bikers.
Mrs. Arroyo has assumed the role of Environment czar, and devotes Fridays to “green” or environment-related projects and activities.
Last Friday, the President ordered some 70 member-mayors of the League of Cities of the Philippines, led by its chairman Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos, to put up a materials recovery facility in every barangay nationwide as part of efforts to reduce carbon emission.
She cited as example the P200-million solid waste facility in Payatas that converts methane emissions from the former dump into electricity, the biggest biogas emissions reduction facility registered with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change based in Bonn, Germany. The Payatas facility is rated to generate as much as 42,000 megawatts of electricity over a 10-year operating life.
Meanwhile, in a two-page memorandum issued to all Cabinet secretaries and heads of government agencies, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said aside from Earth Month, the country will also participate in Ocean Month and Environment Month in May and June, respectively.–Joyce Pangco Pañares, Manila Standard Today