Gatchalian calls for probe into PH greenhouse gas emissions

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Win Gatchalian wants the Senate to look into the status of the Philippines’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and nationally determined contribution (NDC), to ensure that the country meets its promise to reduce at least 70% of its emissions by 2030. 

Gatchalian, who heads the Senate Committee on Energy, filed Senate Resolution No. 45 on Tuesday, July 30, a week after President Rodrigo Duterte in his 4th State of the Nation Address ordered the Department of Energy (DOE) to fast-track "the development of renewable energy sources, and reduce dependence on the traditional energy sources such as coal.”

“There is a need for Congress to examine the efforts of various government agencies in arriving at their respective sectoral NDCs and their specific adaptation and mitigation strategies, and 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. 

In March 2017, Duterte signed the Paris climate deal despite his misigivings about it, because a majority of his Cabinet voted to sign it. The deal aims to keep global warming "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels, and to strive for a limit of 1.5ºC. 

Article 4, paragraph 2 of the Paris Agreement requires parties to “prepare, communicate, and maintains successive NDCs that [they] intend to achieve.” NDCs “embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change,” according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

According to Gatchalian, the country has until 2020 to submit its NDC, which is supposed to detail measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change. (READ: Climate change: Why PH should care) 

But 6 months before the 2020 deadline, government agencies have yet to finalize their respective submissions for the NDCs, while some are still conducting stakeholder consultations, Gatchalian said. (READ: UN chief says world ‘not on track’ with climate change) 

“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,” the senator added. –