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‘SEA must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60%; Philippines by 5.7%’

Ted P. Torres (The Philippine Star) - January 13, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Southeast Asia must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent by 2050 to enable the region to meet targets limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius.

Failure to limit global warming would result in an 11-percent reduction in gross domestic product (GDP) growth by 2100, according to the Asian Development Bank.

David Raitzer, project officer and economist of the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department of the ADB, said the region is one of the most vulnerable, and the Philippines more so.

Five Southeast Asian countries accounted for nearly 90 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the region in 2010.

In the ADB report entitled Southeast Asia and the Economics of Global Climate Stabilization Context and Approach, Raitzer said that the region is expected to suffer GDP losses ranging from 1.7 percent arising from 10 degrees Celsius of global warming to 4.8 percent from an increase of 12.5 degrees.

This compares with an average world gain of 2.3 percent of GDP from 10 degrees Celsius of mean global warming and an average loss of 4.6 percent of GDP from 4.8 degrees of warming, such that Southeast Asia is more vulnerable than the rest of the planet.

Meanwhile, the Philippines plans to reduce carbon dioxide or CO2 emissions by 5.7 percent by 2030.

Mitigating measures will be focused on the sectors of energy, transport, waste, forestry and industry.

“Following the sectoral restructuring of the economy, there is an increase in share of emissions from transportation services, fossil-fuel-based electricity, heavy industry, and households. In contrast, the share of emissions by the agriculture sector is found to decline from around 28 percent to just 6.4 percent,” the report said.

In 2010, energy was sourced primarily from oil (34 percent), geothermal (21 percent), coal (19 percent), biomass (17 percent), gas (eight percent) and hydropower (two percent).

Raitzer said the Philippines must dramatically reduce the use of coal by 2020 and completely phase out coal plants by 2050.

In turn, renewable as well as non-traditional energy sources should increase to fill the energy-source gap.

The ADB said that avoiding deforestation is the major near-term low-cost abatement opportunity especially in the case of Indonesia and Malaysia, where deforestation accounts for a large share of emissions.

Achieving improvements in energy efficiency and substitution of cleaner sources for fossil fuels require investment in green infrastructure.

This may include new zero or low-carbon power generation facilities, smarter power grids that can match both centralized and distributed supply and demand sources, energy-efficient buildings, public transport facilities that enhance mobility and safety while reducing congestion, and charging and refueling networks for electric and alternative fuel vehicles.

The study finds that by 2050, an additional $30 billion in annual investments will be needed in Southeast Asia’s power generation under a scenario of 500 parts per million.

ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK DAVID RAITZER ECONOMIC RESEARCH AND REGIONAL COOPERATION DEPARTMENT EMISSIONS ENERGY FIVE SOUTHEAST ASIAN INDONESIA AND MALAYSIA PERCENT RAITZER SOUTHEAST ASIA SOUTHEAST ASIA AND THE ECONOMICS OF GLOBAL CLIMATE STABILIZATION CONTEXT AND APPROACH
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