By Juzel L. Danganan
MANILA, Feb. 14 (PNA) — Renewable energy firm Energy Development Corp. (EDC) has called on the government to deliver its commitment — at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (Cop21) in Paris last year — to reduce greenhouse gases by 70 percent in 2030.
Richard Tantoco, president and chief operating officer of EDC, said in a statement the commitment is “a critical step in the direction” and the government should pursue it.
He also called on all sectors to push the government to honor its COP21 commitment.
The EDC president, citing the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said the Philippines and 19 other countries are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Its impact includes 50,000 deaths per year.
EDC warns the figure will rise by 2030, with its incurred loss of at least 2.5 percent for the gross domestic product each year – amounting to around Php360 billion or Php150,000 per citizen.
Tantoco explained the countries opting for coal-fired power plants, with its low fuel prices, will suffer social and environmental costs.
”The truth is coal has costly externalities, way beyond the ex-plant price, and these have not been priced into the illusory ‘least cost’ equation,” he said.
The IMF reported that the environmental and health costs caused by fossil fuels last year amounts to USD 5.3 trillion or USD 10 million per minute.
The EDC president further said the country has limited resources to respond to emergencies, disasters and calamities.
He also stressed the government should set policies now to help mitigate the risks.
”We cannot continue to live with this fact unaffected, and we have to make our choices and set policies sooner than later to stop this self-inflicted harm on both a national and global scale," Tantoco said. (PNA)