Goal to cut 70% of emissions by 2030 to drive up business costs, prices
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the country’s largest business group, said the Philippines’ commitment to reduce its greenhouse gases by 70 percent by 2030 is “too high” to meet for industries, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as consumers.
In a letter to Climate Change Commissioner Emmanuel de Guzman, PCCI President George T. Barcelon wrote that the chamber supports the government initiatives to cut carbon emissions and sustain a clean business environment, but the plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent—with the year 2000 as baseline year—could affect the growth of the economy.
Barcelon said the Climate Change Commission should indicate holistic and specific mitigation options to meet the 70 percent reduction target, aside from the 40 percent reduction threshold already supported by the private sector and used as the benchmark for industries’ carbon reduction initiatives.
“We are very much concerned about how this 70 percent commitment will impact industries, especially those in the manufacturing sector and the small and medium enterprises [SMEs],” Barcelon said.
The PCCI president said capital-intensive measures to meet the target would cause businesses to incur higher operational costs, which would be passed on to consumers through higher prices of goods and services.
The Philippines is targeting an average of 6 percent to 8 percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) yearly for the next several years, but this can be compromised, Barcelon said, if the goal to reduce gas emissions by 70 percent does require capital-intensive steps.
Barcelon said appropriate measures should be adopted to balance the need to sustain the economic growth and the need to protect the environment, especially in view of promising signs of the rise of the country’s manufacturing sector.
In December last year, the Philippines committed to a 70-percent reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 as part of the Paris COP 21 Agreement on climate change mitigation.