Climate and Environment

Clean air advocate pushes for policy-oriented methods to reduce carbon emission

Clean air advocate pushes for policy-oriented methods to reduce carbon emission
A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) was turned over to the CCC by the DOE last May 30 at the energy department’s office in Bonifacio Global City.
STAR/ File

MANILA, Philippines — Non-governmental organization and climate advocate Clean Air Asia is urging the implementation of policy-oriented methods to help elevate the air quality in the Asia-Pacific region, pointing out that the Philippines' air quality does not meet the standards of the World Health Organization (WHO).

During an international forum arranged by the United Nations earlier this month, the organization said that different actors should collaborate to enforce air quality standards and consolidate clean air and climate action plans.

"In this day and age, it's important that we recognize policy and technology solutions are key to ensuring significant and efficient emission reduction in our cities and in national governments," Dang Espita-Casanova, program manager at Clean Air Asia, said.

"This process we believe should be participatory [and] inclusive and highlights the co-benefits of actions so that we are able to engage and enlist support from all actors in the space," she added.

Several environmental groups have also been suggesting the shift to electric vehicles to help cut down carbon emissions in the country, which is being promoted under the Republic Act 11697 or the Electric Vehicle Industry Act.

In other Southeast Asia countries like Indonesia, Brunei, Burma, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand, governments are also ramping up their shift to EVs by introducing policies to promote it.

In Laos, the government imposed a 0% tariff for the importation of EVs, which also has an excise tax of only 3%, a value-added tax of seven percent lower, and vowed to not impose restrictions on EVs.

Indonesia, on the other hand, exempted e-vehicles from sales and luxury sales tax and is set to allot $320 million to incentivize the purchase of EVs.

In the Philippines, the Department of Energy aims to limit the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2040 where EVs shall account for half of all vehicles plying the roads.

Different types of EVs were also given tax breaks and removal for the first five years under Executive Order No. 12 series of 2023, with the exception of electric motorcycles, which drew the ire of several groups and think tanks.

According to the Land Transportation Office, motorcycles consist of the majority of motorists in the country, with around eight million units registered to the body.

Data from WHO states that 25% of the Philippines' population is exposed to unhealthy air of about PM2.5 concentration, which is at least five times more than a global recommendation.

This is mainly due to the emission of greenhouse gasses, primarily from the transport sector, which contributes over 80% of the country's total emissions.

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