PGMA renews commitment to green industry, cites RP efforts to curb effects of climate change

September 11, 2009 11:04 am 

MANILA, Sept. 11 — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today reiterated the country’s commitment to the promotion of resource-efficient and low carbon industries at the close of the International Conference on Green Industry in Asia at the Philippine International Convention Center.

Speaking before ministers and officials of 22 participating countries, United Nations officials, members of the academe and civil society groups, President Arroyo cited her administration’s strategies to integrate climate change initiatives in Philippine policies.

“We are pressing ahead with a massive Green Philippine Environmental Plan that is comprehensive in scope and thorough in execution –a plan that includes reforestation, preservation of our reefs and waterways and scrubs the land and air of pollutants that endanger the health of our citizens, and energy independence,” she said.

As part of the Philippines’ contribution to green industry, President Arroyo told the ministers and heads of participating countries that her government enacted the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, a landmark law promoting the development, use and commercialization of renewable energy resources.

The law, she said, provided generous fiscal and non-fiscal initiatives to stimulate investments in the renewable energy sector.

“Feed-in tariffs provide reassurance to investors in wind, solar, ocean, run-of-river hydropower, and biomass resources. The law also seeks to institutionalize a Renewable Portfolio Standard, requiring the country’s electric utilities to obtain a certain portion of their electricity from lean, homegrown renewable energy resources. It also exempts proceeds from the sale of carbon credits from all taxes,” she also said.

The President also said that country’s agenda towards green industry put an emphasis on a sustainable economic model which brought economic opportunity and a concern for the environment.

“Too many nations believe the environment must be sacrificed at the altar of growth. We believe otherwise. We have a unique opportunity to get it right from day one: to introduce new industries that are clean and profitable,” she stressed.

Mrs Arroyo said that during her administration, indigenous energy rose from 48 percent to 58 percent and attained 67 percent self-sufficiency in electric power production.

With the Renewable Energy Law, the government plans to double the amount of power generated from renewable energy by 2020.

She also cited the country’s Biofuels Act for making significant contribution to the green Philippines program.

“In February this year, we mandated a one-percent bio-diesel blend which we have now increased to two percent. We have also mandated a five-percent bioethanol blend for unleaded gasoline,” she said.

The President cited her administration’s plan to promote the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) among buses plying south of Manila and to pursue investors in building CNG stations and natural gas pipelines.

In the same event, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Jose L. Atienza turned over the approved Manila Declaration on Green Industry in Asia and Framework of Action adopted by 21 ministers and heads of states who attended the conference.

While the Manila Declaration and Framework of Action is a non-binding document, it outlines the steps needed to reduce resource intensity and carbon emissions of Asian industries. It also provides a mechanism to periodically review and assess progress in implementing the framework of action towards a low-carbon future.

The Manila Declaration encourages Asian countries to set the appropriate institutional and policy framework towards a transition to resource-efficient and low-carbon industries. It calls for measures such as the incorporation of cleaner production policies in national development plans, and the fostering of a viable business environment conducive to investments in green industries.

It also encourages the promotion of the increased use of renewable energy and energy-efficient processes in the industrial sector, research and development programs that will lead to green innovation, and investments and financing in low-carbon and resource-efficient manufacturing industries.

The Framework of Action calls for the establishment of a communications strategy to enhance awareness towards green industries performance tools. It also calls for a network of green industries by setting up of energy management standard among Asian countries.

It is envisioned that elements of the Manila Declaration and Framework of Action would provide inputs to related activities and initiatives, such as the United Nations Summit on Climate Change in New York this month, the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) General Conference on the theme “Green Industry” in December, and the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen at the end of the year. (PNA)

RMA/OPS/ssc

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