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PUBLIC-PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNERSHIP NEEDED IN RENEWABLE ENERGY INVESTMENT – LUNTIAN

A party-list group hoping to be the first green party in the House of Representatives (HOR) is supporting calls for the public and private sector to invest in renewable energy (RE) to reduce the country’s carbon footprint and contribute to world efforts to reduce carbon emissions and put the brakes on global warming.

Luntiang Pilipinas Party-list (Luntian) first nominee Michael Ubac on Friday stressed that as an archipelago located near the equator, “the Philippines is already one of the countries most affected by global warming.”

“If we do not do our part to address this problem, we will continue to suffer the consequences of climate change. Rising temperatures means rising water levels, higher incidence rates of tropical diseases like dengue, poorer crop yields, and greater possibilities of being struck by super typhoons,” said Ubac, whose master’s thesis in Harvard University dealt with the effects of Typhoon Yolanda on the country.

“Rising temperatures means rising water levels, higher incidence rates of tropical diseases like dengue, poorer crop yields, and greater possibilities of being struck by super typhoons.”

According to Ubac, who also has a degree from the University of the Philippines and graduated cum laude, “the Paris Agreement that was championed by Senator Loren Legarda requires us to find ways to put the country on a low carbon path.”

“To do this, we need the support of both the government and the private sector because, admittedly, the costs of RE development are quite high. But we have to start somewhere, and we have to start now, or future generations of Filipinos will suffer from our inaction.”

“To do this, we need the support of both the government and the private sector because, admittedly, the costs of RE development are quite high.”

Legarda recently met with former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and now Convenor of Mission 2020 Christiana Figueres to tackle ways encourage investments to boost clean and renewable energy development in the country and the world.

The veteran legislator said transitioning towards a low carbon economy remains a challenge, but the potential economic rewards and the benefits in reducing climate and disaster risks would be massive.

“I’m proud to champion the policies and laws in place for us to transition towards a low carbon and sustainable path, but I agree, the challenge really is to operationalize these, and at the same time, to mobilize resources and innovation from the private sector and business community,” said Legarda, who is also the UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience and UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion.

“The Philippines is among the many developing countries that emit less than 1 percent of the total global GHG. There is no debate that we did not cause climate change, but we must take it upon ourselves not to contribute further to this crisis. We must set targets to keep global temperature rise to 1.5°C by reducing global GHG emissions by 45 percent of 2010 levels by 2030 and to zero by mid-century,” explained Legarda, who first established Luntian as an urban forestry program in 1998.

Since then, the group has planted two million trees in 33 provinces, 28 cities, and 84 municipalities across the country, and now hopes to secure seats in Congress via the party-list system.

“Climate change adaptation is one of the four pillars of the Luntian platform,” according to Ubac.

“Given the urgent environmental issues that will affect our country and the lives of our people for years to come, we need a voice in Congress that can paint a clear picture of environmental issues for our legislators, and help provide a legislative roadmap to address these painful realities. This is the role we in Luntian seek to play if we are elected to the HOR.”

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