By GELO UDAUNDO
MANOLO Fortich, Bukidnon–Former Rep. Nereus O. Acosta has called on the government and business sectors to help develop a green environment to address the climate change challenge.
The former lawmaker sounded the call during a conference of the Green Purchasing, Green Productivity, towards a Green Philippines (GP3) with the theme “Facing Climate Change and Achieving Sustainable Growth.”
Acosta, who is the Chairperson of the GP3 Convener Committee, said the country needs “the consciousness of a Green Philippines” and invited stakeholders to “find ways to live a green life.”
Consumers are the biggest problem and the main solution on this movement and local government units are urged to support entrepreneurs who are at the center for a green strategy, he pointed out.
“We need political will to continuously collaborate efforts of the public and private sector on how to inculcate this movement”, he added.
Acosta, who chaired the Committee on Ecology, when he was Congressman of the First District of Bukidnon, pointed out that the two main factors for the success of a green economy is sustainability and localization.
“One can’t legislate economic and social behavior, but one can legislate policies to prevent the economic behavior,” he noted.
Acosta shared that based on a recent study, about 262 million people are already affected by climate change-related matters, while another 1.8 billion is expected to suffer from water shortage in 2025 in Asia and Africa.
The study further proved that with a “green” economy, there can be higher gross domestic product, reduced poverty, more jobs, enhanced social equity and better quality of growth than a “brown” economy.
Integrated in the GP3 conference is the international initiative programs for a green economy. Examples are EU switch Asia programs which highlight business potentials through sustainable consumption and production in Asia, initiated by Green Philippine Islands of Sustainability (GPIS), Zero Carbon Resort and SMART Cebu Project.
The GPIS is a project that aims to contribute to an improved environmental and sustainable industrial development of Metro Manila and CALABARZON, by reducing the pollution level and by increasing resource efficiency in specific companies.
On the other hand, Zero Carbon Resort project seeks to enable tourism small and medium enterprises (SMEs), such as, hotels and resorts, to provide their energy services in an efficient, cost effective, and environmentally sound way.
The project applies the 3R strategy: Reduce-Replace-Redesign. A showcase “Zero Carbon Cottage” will be built in Palawan, which will operate using solar- and biomass-based energy generation systems.
Finally, SMART Cebu is a project implemented by a consortium of European and Philippine organizations in Cebu that is aimed at increasing the competitiveness of SMEs engaged in the home and lifestyle sectors in Cebu by promoting clean production, development of eco-friendly products and entering the green markets in Europe and Asia.
Meanwhile, another program called Resource Efficiency and Cleaner Production (RECP) is also consistent with the thrust to boost Philippine competitiveness as it focuses on greening existing jobs in critical sectors, such as, food production and manufacturing.
At the same time, it also promotes new employment in green sectors, such as, renewable energy and energy efficiency. These programs target MSMEs for environmental adaptability, responsibility and transparency.