‘Philippines striking balance between development, climate crisis’

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
�Philippines striking balance between development, climate crisis�
A resident walks on a dried up fish pond in Candaba town, Pampanga.
Ernie Penaredondo

DUBAI — The Philippines is striking a balance between achieving development and addressing the worsening climate crisis, Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga said as the country has yet to make a commitment to move to a net zero emissions economy.

“We don’t want to make a choice between our own development and climate solutions. Because in fact we didn’t contribute most to this (climate change) problem,” Loyzaga, who leads the Philippine delegation at the 28th annual meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or COP28, said in a recent interview.

“So, what we’re trying to do is balance and not choose either or climate mitigation or development,” she told Manila-based journalists covering the event.

COP28 opened last Thursday at the Expo City Dubai and will wrap up on Dec. 12.

The Philippines is reportedly the only country in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that has not committed to a net zero target.

In order to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius net zero target in the 2015 Paris Agreement, global carbon emissions should reach net zero around 2050.

Net zero means any emissions are balanced by absorbing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere.

“The net-zero target really depends on your resources... And among the leading contributors of course to our emissions is energy. So we’re really dependent on the phase and the trajectory of our energy transition and the affordability of that transition,” said Loyzaga.

Unfortunately, Loyzaga said, the country is unlikely to meet the net zero target by 2050, given the Philippines’ energy capacity. — Bella Cariaso

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