Alvarez challenges business community: shift to alternative energy, achieve zero carbon economy

MANILA, Nov 24 (PNA) — Climate Change Commissioner Heherson T. Alvarez today challenged the private business sector to aim for zero carbon economy by transitioning from the traditional to the alternative sources of energy.

Alvarez issued the challenge to CEOs and leaders of some 50 leading businesses and private industry after the Climate Change Commission received the Manila Declaration 2015 signed by the private sector during the “Business Summit on Climate Change” at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City.

The Manila Declaration recognizes climate change as a growing threat to mankind, the expectations of the private sector to the government to take actions, and their own commitment to combat climate change, and support the government’s effort “to define the country’s INDCs that are aligned with national priorities, circumstances and capabilities, subject to meaningful consultation with stakeholders.”

The Philippines Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) which was submitted to the United Nations last month committed a conditional goal of achieving 70% carbon emission reduction by 2030.

In the receipt of the Declaration, Alvarez asked the private sector to “undertake voluntarily an energy efficient usage of at least 2% per annum, meaning 2% less for the same output.”

Alvarez’s second challenge to the business group is, “to commit to install a 100 kilowatt of solar, or any other alternative energy, in their establishments, according to a systematic program of not more than three years.”

“We welcome your 5-point commitment but let me stress that to achieve your commitments, it is far better to rely on your organization’s flexibility and independence in responding to market conditions and market opportunities,“Alvarez said.

“That is the way you compete and make profits for your stockholders,” he added, citing businesses from the United States and Europe that are already profiting from the clean energy alternatives.

“[The Manila] Declaration could be our first step in an affirmative process on our road to efficiency usage, low carbon energy, and ultimately, into deep decarbonization that eliminate the hazards of climate change,” Alvarez said.

He explained that President Aquino, who Chairs the Climate Change Commission, has already led the way to a low carbon economy by greening Malacanang with solar rooftops.

“Our Chair will be happy to see this nationwide movement like fireflies, to brighten decades over our archipelagic horizon,” Alvarez concluded.

The Business Summit is part of the 3-day celebration of the Climate Change Consciousness Week 2015. Alvarez initiated and pushed for the issuance of Presidential Proclamation No. 1667 in 2008 declaring the third week of November of every year as Climate Change Consciousness Week. (PNA)