Reducing Carbon Dioxide to Avert Climate Change

Manila Bulletin, November 24, 2008 | Go to article overview

Reducing Carbon Dioxide to Avert Climate Change


Let this be a serious warning to all - that if we do not contribute meaningful efforts towards cutting carbon dioxide volume which we pollute the atmosphere, Filipinos will suffer untold consequences with the rest of the world.

A grim scenario, indeed. And it is no laughing matter. If we continue to be complacent of what is happening today in our surroundings, in not too distant future - in year 2050, to be exact - we will find truism to that biblical admonition, "We shall perish upon this earth!"

But before the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse come galloping into our shores, I am comforted by the thought that this administration appears serious in combating all types of pollution and in taking care of the environment. If it can only be done overnight, the objective is to make the environment spotlessly clean.

Equally encouraging is the fact that there is a high-level office that is designated to promulgate and coordinate policies on climactic environment management, and their implementation with domestic and international agencies.

It is the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Global Warming and Climate Change, directly under the Office of the President. It is headed by Heherson T. Alvarez. His stint in politics, and as former secretary of the DENR, equips him with the expertise so expected of him in his job, a competence that can seldom be claimed by other government functionaries.

In 1998, while a congressman representing his home province of Isabela, Sonny Alvarez contributed immensely in crafting what is now the Clean Air Act.

That edict has now instilled in every Filipino that sense of awareness and responsibility by doing his part in the conservation, protection and emission reduction in all aspects of his family or business life.

May I say it again: The caring of our environment is not just the responsibility of government, its agencies and instrumentalities.

The private sector - business and industry, SMEs, civic clubs, NGOs, the academe' and even the religious groups - also carry the burden of responsibility.

What has Sonny Alvarez done so far?

Significantly, immense and crucial, with him shepherding an office that is ostensibly under-staffed and constrained by a miniscule budget. But he is making do of what is presently available to his office.

For example, last Thursday, November 20, the presidential adviser organized a well-attended and highly successful whole-day assembly called, Carbon-Cutting Congress vs. Climate Change and its Impact on Food and Energy Security.

There were over 400 delegates who crowded the Heroes Hall of Malacanang for a whole-day of serious talks, discussion, evaluation and final declaration of common concerns. …

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