LEGAZPI CITY — The carbon being emitted in the Philippines is low, perhaps one of the lowest in the world, but the country is third most affected by natural calamities due to climate change.
This was disclosed by Albay Gov. Joey Sarte Salceda in the Climate Change Forum held Thursday at the National Museum in Manila attended by French President Francois Hollande as guest.
Salceda told the Philippines News Agency Friday that he also revealed during the forum that the aggregate carbon emission of the Philippines is only 0.31 percent but it loses 0.52 percent of government resources due to natural calamities brought about by climate change.
He said that based on the report of the World Humanitarian Trends and Trajectories up to 2030, the Philippines ranks first on this aspect.
Southeast Asian countries like Bangladesh, People’s Republic of China, India, Myanmar and the Philippines are always hit by natural calamities due to climate change, according to the studies of Thomas, Albert and Perez on Economies in Asia-Pacific Vulnerable to Climate-Related Disasters (1991-2010) in 2012.
Salceda said that it is a big challenge to the Philippines that while it emits low carbon, it is a victim and finds it hard to recover from the series of calamities that it is vulnerable to.
Salceda cited the experience of the Province of Albay as a green economy, in which he firmly believes.
According to him, every community in the country has a role or contribution in the protection of the environment, like mangrove forest plantation and protection, which, he claimed, could help a lot in lessening carbon emission and serving as protection from strong typhoons.
The Albay chief executive said that for the past seven years, the forest cover of Albay has grown to 88 percent.
From 700 hectares planted to mangroves, the area has increased to 2,400 hectares.
Meanwhile, he said, palay production grew from 147,900 metric tons (MT) in 2008 to 228,080 MT in 2014.
Salceda said that in the case of the Philippines, green economy can be achieved by pushing through with the plans to have efficient energy.
“There is a need for accelerating plans for energy efficiency, clean energy, forest protection and reforestation alongside investments in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation that saves lives and livelihoods, reduces disaster threats to critical infrastructure, people and ecosystems, and promotes sustainable development,” he said.
This, the governor said, is based on a paper, “Climate-Related Disasters in Asia and the Pacific,” released by the Asian Development Bank in 2013.
Salceda disclosed that the National Economic Development Authority is now working on the long-term Philippine Development Plan.
He said there is a need for a thorough, careful and comprehensive planning that includes adaptation, reduction, mitigation and resiliency towards a green economy for the Philippines.
Salceda also thanked France for being the first big contributor to the UN Green Climate Fund, whose board he co-chaired last year.
He told Hollande that under his term as co-chair of the GCF board, the fund was able to raise an initial amount of USD 0.3 billion to finance projects on climate change adaptation by countries heavily affected by negatives effects of the phenomenon like the Philippines.(PNA)