Philippine senator wants blue economy to address ocean health and fight climate change

Philippine Senator Loren Legarda is making a big push towards green investments in the Philippines, as alternate head of the Philippine delegation.

The 2018 spring meetings of the international monetary fund and the world bank group are in Washington DC this week.

 

“Much of the discussions go around climate finance, this morning we had discussions on gender and finance, yesterday there discussions on financial inclusions… there’s also discussions on the environment, climate and air quality.”

When it comes to climate change — the Philippines may register a negligible amount of carbon emissions, but Legarda says the country will continue to choose a path towards a low carbon economy.

One of the solutions the Philippines has started to adopt is carbon pricing.

Instead of dictating who should reduce emissions, polluters decide for themselves whether to discontinue their polluting activity, reduce emissions, or continue polluting and pay for it.

Legarda says the Philippines — a nation surrounded by water — is carrying out efforts to move towards a blue economy that addresses the ocean’s health.

She said that what happened in Boracay is an example of wanton disregard for the marine ecosystem, where half of the 17.5 million liters of wastewater generated in Boracay is discharged untreated — prompting the government to shut down tourism to the island for 6 months of rehabilitation.

Legarda says, not only that there should be a clear roadmap towards restoring Boracay island’s environmental health but at the same time the lost incomes of its people should be addressed.

“I am not privy to the reasons why they decided to have a very bold move but in the meantime, I think we should provide for the livelihood of those who will lose their income in the meantime we should there’s a clear roadmap that’s doable that will make it worth our while to have close an island destination which has been receiving millions of tourists and income for our country.”

When she comes back to the Philippines — the senator is planning to file a bill on circular economy, which includes banning the use of single-use plastics such as plastic straws and micro-plastics.

 

 

On the sidelines, Legarda who chairs the Philippine Senate’s committees on foreign relations, finance and climate change, also met with Republican Senator Cory Gardner, who was interested in the ongoing Marawi City rehabilitation discussed cooperation especially in investing in the city’s renewable energy infrastructure.

 

Legarda and Philippine ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez met with former us ambassador to the Philippines, and now co-chair of the US-Philippines Society, John D. Negroponte, to discuss how to further enhance US-Philippines economic relations.

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