Senator Loren Legarda said that treading the path of low carbon development would be beneficial to the Philippines and help the government achieve its long-term goal of a “matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay” for Filipinos.
Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and UN Global Champion for Resilience, made the statement after the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) issued a report commissioned by the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), independently developed together with climate science and policy institute, Climate Analytics, titled Low Carbon Monitor (LCM) at the UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech (COP22).
The Senator said, the report examines benefits and opportunities of limiting warming to 1.5°C as enshrined in the goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“Keeping to a 1.5°C limit could raise growth economic output by as much as 1% by the 2040s, since so many of the devastating impacts associated with higher levels of warming would be avoided,” stated the report’s Preface signed by Legarda, together with Gemedo Dalle, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in Ethiopia, and Edgar Gutierrez, Minister of Environment and Energy in Costa Rica.
“If we take into consideration the facts stated in the report, we will see that going low carbon is crucial in our pursuit of our vision and development goals under the Ambisyon Natin 2040 of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA),” said Legarda, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Finance.
The LCM states that if the government aligns its policies with the 1.5°C limit, the Philippines will improve its chances of enjoying the benefits of low carbon development.
The report enumerates some of the benefits that the Philippines will gain if nations are successful in limiting warming to 1.5°C. This would prevent a loss of 0.5 percentage point in GDP growth per capita by the 2040s compared to a high-warming world, prevent reduced labor productivity due to heat in the work place, and investing in renewable energy would improve economic stability and independence in the country.
Since global warming affects productivity due to heat in the work place, if the Philippines goes low carbon, it will minimize losses caused by extreme heat to total national work hours of 1% at 1.5°C compared to 2% at 2°C.
Moreover, the report indicated that limiting warming to 1.5°C would create 68% more energy-related jobs in 2030 compared with current policies.
In the Philippines, more than 1,000 MW of renewable energy projects had been completed under the Feed-in Tariff System (FIT) of the Renewable Energy Act as of April 2016. The construction of these renewable energy plants has created approximately 100,000 jobs.
“Today’s priority is to access the largest possible share of the benefits of the low carbon transition, and as quickly as possible. With the whole world working together, if all embrace low emissions development, renewable energy could be five times cheaper or more by 2050—that is a vision of a low cost energy future we believe everyone wants and should get. 1.5°C can and must be done. We will make it happen not just to survive but also to thrive,” said Legarda