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Climate commitment

The Philippines has vowed to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent by 2030, according to the country’s first ever submission of its mitigation plans to the United Nations.

To do this, it will rely on foreign aid and resources to reach the lion’s share of its commitment.

Out of the 75 percent target, only 2.71 percent will be achieved “unconditionally” or through policies and measures implemented using domestic resources. The remaining 72.79 percent will depend on resources from the international community.

The Philippines submitted a five page document, known as nationally determined contribution (NDC), to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on April 15. Its commitment is referenced against projected “business as usual” emissions of 3,340.3 metric tons of carbon dioxide from this year up to 2030. The emissions will be slashed from identified carbon-intensive sectors, namely agriculture, wastes, industry, transport and energy.

Our country is among the last countries that signed the Paris Agreement on December 12, 2015, to submit its first NDC. This submission comes close to our initial pledge when the historic climate deal was signed to reduce gas emissions by 70 percent by 2030.

While some climate groups welcomed the country’s first NDC commitment, others scored the continuous lack of ambition from regulators of more carbon-intensive sectors, such as the Department of Energy which has only committed a paltry 2.8 percent reduction and avoidance target from 2020 to 2030, and 12.3 percent from 2030 to 2040.

Additionally, environment groups criticized the removal of forests from the sectors which will be part of the country’s climate mitigation efforts.

The Philippines finally submitting its first NDC is already an achievement in itself, and at least we have committed to an ambitious goal and will do our share to fight climate change, even if we are going to be relying on foreign aid and resources. What is important is we have made the commitment and are already starting to do what needs to be done in order to fulfill those climate goals, no matter how small those improvements or contributions may be.*

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