Gatchalian seeks inquiry into Philippines greenhouse emissions
Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - August 8, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian is calling for scrutiny of the level of the Philippines’ greenhouse gas emissions and an update on the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) plan to ensure that the country meets its intended commitment to reduce at least 70 percent of emissions by 2030 based on the Paris Agreement.

Gatchalian, chair of the committee on energy, recently filed a resolution directing the appropriate Senate committee to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the status of the country’s emissions and NDC.

His call for a probe into the country’s greenhouse gases came a week after President Duterte ordered the Department of Energy to transition into cleaner energy alternatives, including solar and wind, and reduce the country’s dependence on coal.

“There is a need for Congress to examine (1) the efforts of various government agencies in arriving at their respective sectoral NDCs and their specific adaptation and mitigation strategies, and (2) the status of the country’s GHG emissions in relation to the development of the NDC with the end in view of ensuring compliance with the Paris Agreement,” Gatchalian said.

“The State has the constitutional obligation to protect and advance the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology in accord with the rhythm and harmony of nature,” he added.

Gatchalian said the Philippines has until 2020 to submit its NDC detailing mitigation and adaptation measures to address climate change.

However, the lawmaker pointed out that the government agencies “have yet to finalize their submissions for the NDCs and some are still conducting their respective consultations,” six months before the deadline.

Moreover, Gatchalian said the only available official data on the Philippines’ emissions date back to 2000 at 126.879 gigagrams of carbon dioxide equivalent.

On Oct. 1, 2015, the Philippines submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), where the country manifested to undertake a 70 percent reduction in emissions from 2000 levels by 2030 conditioned on external support.

SHERWIN GATCHALIAN
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