GMA to rich nations: Lend support to developing countries

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday called on rich and industrialized nations of the world on the urgency of the challenge of climate change even as she urged them to lend support to developing countries such as the Philippines in setting up green industry.

In her address at the closing ceremony of the three day International Conference on Green Industry in Asia at the Philippine International Convention Center, the President said that the government is resolved in its campaign to addressing global warming and renewed the Philippine government’s commitment in pushing for the green industry in the country.

“We also call on them to support developing countries to mitigate and adapt to worsening changes in climate by fulfilling their treaty obligations to provide technological and financial support including support for green industry,” the President said.

The President also enumerated the various measures under the green revolution being undertaken by the Philippine government in minimizing pollution and the ill effects of climate change.

She cited the Philippine’s bio fuel law and other laws envisioned to attain a cleaner environment even as she vowed to cut green house emissions and the consumption of fossil fuels in the country.

Mrs. Arroyo reiterated the Philippines’ goal of achieving by 2020 doubling its utilization of indigeneous energy and to attain energy independence.

Among the green industry being pushed in the country include environment friendly industries like furniture and eco tourism, which is focused at the grassroots by encouraging entrepreneurship among local folks and offering livelihood assistance in the setting up of eco tourism oriented sites.

The said conference is focused on how the region could effectively manage and reap the benefits of the transition to resource-efficient and low carbon industries, and, in the process, sustain rapid economic growth and trade competitiveness.

The conference is organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

Anchored on the theme, “Managing the transition to resource-efficient and low-carbon industries,” it was hosted by the Philippine government through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

It specifically provided a forum for the sharing of information and knowledge on policies and strategies to integrate sustainability into the industrial development process; best practices in optimizing energy, water and raw material used in the production process; and the development of new value and supply chains around industry-related environmental goods and services.

The conference was capped by the adoption of a ministerial declaration and action plan on improving resource efficiency in Asia and a mechanism to periodically review and assess progress in implementing the action plan.

A trade exhibition on clean technologies has been organized in conjunction with the conference.

About 600 ministers, senior government officials, representatives from industrial chambers and associations, entrepreneurs, the academe and research institutes, international/regional organizations, ASEAN Secretariat as well as journalists are participating in the conference.

DENR Secretary Joselito Atienza said the conference aims to promote and emphasize ecologically sound business practices as well as serves as a platform for industry leaders, economics experts, ecologists, and governments to exchange information and experiences.

It has been noted that rapid economic growth in Asia has lifted millions of people out of poverty while leading to steep increases in the region’s energy, water and other raw materials consumption, thus contributing to the depletion of natural resources, environmental degradation, and higher greenhouse gases emissions.

These factors put at risk the region’s social and economic gains, thus the clamor for a shift to green growth through the development of green industries.