Climate Change Commission (CCC) Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman on Thursday said he is optimistic that the country can significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions with the appointment of Gina Lopez, a known advocate for environment and renewable energy, as secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
De Guzman said the appointment of Lopez, who chairs the ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, is most welcome as the Philippines undergoes transition from fossil-based energy use to cleaner and sustainable sources of energy.
“With ABS-CBN Foundation chairperson Gina Lopez at the helm of the DENR, we are confident that we are on the right track to achieve our dream of a low-emission and climate-resilient future for the country,” said De Guzman, vice chairperson of the CCC.
“We are honored to have Ms. Lopez as a partner in our journey toward our ultimate goal of a green economy, which offers enormous opportunities for green jobs for the Filipino people,” he added.
Lopez, who has been vocal against mining, has also made known her strong opposition to coal-powered plants due to their adverse impact on health, the environment of host communities and livelihood of residents.
Just last week, CCC began its task of reviewing the government’s energy policy to pave the way for a swift transition to renewable and sustainable energy.
The CCC, together with the DENR, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), has six months or until the end of the year to conduct a national review and craft a framework development on energy, as mandated by Commission Resolution No.2016-001 it issued last month.
The CCC is under the Office of the President and is the lead policy-making body of the government tasked to coordinate, monitor and evaluate state programs and ensure mainstreaming of climate change in national, local and sectoral development plans toward a climate-resilient and climate-smart Philippines. It promotes and facilitates the convergence of government policies, plans and programs for climate and disaster resilience.
The policy review is vital to fulfilling the country’s commitments under the Paris climate agreement to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. PND (ka)