Legarda Urges Pinoys to Carbon Fast

June 21, 2013

With 85% of Filipinos saying that they have experienced climate change, Senator Loren Legarda today reiterated her call to practice a low-carbon lifestyle.

A recent SWS survey revealed that 8 out of 10 Filipinos “personally experienced” the effects of climate change.

“The presence of climate change could not be any clearer than this. Before, climate change was a term for the experts, now our citizens are experiencing it through extreme weather events, which in our country translate to either intense heat or excessive rains,” said Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change.

In this regard, the Senator urged Filipinos to practice a low-carbon lifestyle since climate change was caused and is exacerbated by increased emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane.

Legarda said that Filipinos should start eating more of local, plant-based, and in-season foods, because food that comes from distant places utilizes more energy for transportation and preservation, resulting to greater carbon emission.

“We should also economize on energy consumption and shift to indigenous and renewable energy sources. Traditional energy conservation measures, such as using low-wattage appliances and unplugging electronics when not in use, remain relevant,” she said.

“We should strive for a zero waste economy by practicing waste segregation at home. In the community, we can set up a material recovery facility and collection system in barangay or community-level Ecology Centers and develop livelihood programs using recycled waste materials,” she added.

Other ways to “carbon fast” include: considering energy-efficient transport modes like walking, biking, taking public transport, and carpooling whenever possible; maximizing the use of natural light and wind flow in house design; and building rainwater catchment recycling systems.

Meanwhile, Legarda also called on the government to invest in low-carbon development.

“Our government must design and implement a diversification of our energy systems. Exploring and developing geothermal and wind power, apart from hydropower, as renewable sources of energy would be a great leap in the country’s goal for energy sustainability and green development,” said Legarda, co-author of the Renewable Energy Act.

She added that the private sector should be encouraged to invest in clean new technologies, adopt energy efficiency measures and re-engineer corporate social responsibility to reflect the joint values of achieving business sustainability through building disaster-resilient local communities.

“The micro, small and medium enterprises comprise 99 percent of the businesses in the country. It is therefore crucial to increase their capacity to contribute to green and resilient economic progress,” she said.

“Even as we already feel the effects of climate change, we can do something to prevent it from getting worse. It is not too late for people to start a low-carbon diet and for governments, especially industrialized nations, to pursue a path towards green and disaster-resilient development,” Legarda concluded.