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Jun 07th
Home Sections Ecology and the Environment RP Fails to Avail of U.N. Program of Greenhouse-Gas Credits (Part 11)
RP Fails to Avail of U.N. Program of Greenhouse-Gas Credits (Part 11) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Ecology and the Environment
Saturday, 12 May 2007 12:58

The Philippines once again misses the boat called the "Clean Development Mechanism" (CDM) of the United Nations (U.N.). The CDM is the centerpiece of international efforts to help developing countries combat global warming (GW). The U.N. set up the CDM to raise billions of dollars from the developed (rich) countries for developing (poor) countries in curbing the emission of GW gases.

This U.N. program started in 2002, with contributions from the rich countries amounting to about $100-million. The CDM has grown to $4.8-billion (spelled with a B) in transfer payments to developing countries in 2006 (last year). The CDM's Secretariat is headquartered in Bonn, Germany.

This series of articles has said from the very start that there is available money in rich countries for projects that are designed to combat GW (climate change). But the Philippines has been slow to avail of these international programs and grants for the environment.

On the other hand, the People's Republic of China -- in spite of the adage of the supposed slow boat to China -- has captured the lion's share of the CDM. Last year, China obtained 61% of the so-called U.N. Carbon Emission Credits (euphemism for CDM) that amounted to $4.8-billion. India garnered 12% of the CDM. Other countries in Asia got 7%. Brazil had 4% while the rest of Latin America obtained a mere 6%. Africa got a 3% share while other nations obtained the balance of 7%.

The CDM works this way: The U.N. raises money through a complex market in trading pollution credits. Businesses and governments of rich countries help pay to reduce pollution in poor countries, so as to offset their own emissions. The CDM helps the industrialized countries comply with the Kyoto Protocol limits for emitting climate-changing gases like carbon dioxide.

For every ton of GW gases a developing country like the Philippines can prove that it has eliminated, the CDM Secretariat awards it a credit. Developing countries sold credits in 2006 to rich countries for an average price of $10.70 per ton.

There is also a privately-run pollution-credit market in Chicago, Illinois, that enables some large corporations to buy pollution credits, so as to comply with the mandates of the United States Clean Air Act.

It is not really difficult to raise funding and obtain grants from international entities like the United Nations, the World Bank and other multilateral agencies for the proposed "Filipino version of 'The Manhattan Project.'" What is merely needed is for all the Filipino politicians and national leaders to come together and agree on a bipartisan legal framework for obtaining the foreign aid for projects designed to combat GW and implement the ideas as suggested in this series of articles and in other position papers.

Perhaps the Philippine government can organize as soon as possible a Task Force for the Filipino efforts to fight GW. Perhaps it can ask the Filipino private sector and the Overseas-Filipino communities to join the Task Force. This semipublic entity should do a national plan, finalize the feasibility studies (including environmental-impact reports), handle the overseas funds raised and oversee the projects -- with the urgency, intensity and magnitude as the original "Manhattan Project" that was born during World War II in New Mexico. Yes, the Philippines has to act very soon before it is too late. # # #

Editor's Note: We are inviting readers to participate in the Forum Section of the, where we think people may be able to post their comments about the "Filipino version of 'The Manhattan Project.'"

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Last Updated on Saturday, 14 March 2009 16:38

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