Climate Change Commissioner Heherson T. Alvarez said the Philippines can start formulating policies to prepare the country towards a low carbon economy with the adoption of the Paris climate agreement.
Alvarez, one of the Philippine negotiators to the COP21, said the path to decarbonization started right after COP President and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius banged the gavel signaling the adoption of the Paris agreement by almost 200 countries.
“This could be the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era. The transition to a low carbon economy is almost inevitable, “ Alvarez said.
Although the targets are not legally binding, Alvarez said that the Philippines, as head of the Climate Vulnerable Forum that called for a 1.5C global temperature limit, can be lead highly vulnerable countries to move to a zero carbon economy.
“A low carbon economy in the long term will mean low energy cost, low cost for the manufacture of goods and services. Philippine products would be competitive and will open up opportunities for jobs and higher productivity,” he explained.
“A low carbon economy and working towards a zero carbon two decades from now will bring us to a resilient, sustainable, developed safe community,” he added.
Alvarez said the Philippines was the first to hold an Asia-Pacific Climate Change Conference in Manila in February 1995. The Manila conference which he convened was attended by four heads of state and 32 ministers. That meeting produced the Manila Declaration that cited the vulnerabilities of small island nations. The Declaration was presented later in the first Conference of Parties (COP1) in December 1995 in Bonn, Germany.