By Ellalyn de Vera-Ruiz
The Climate Change Commission (CCC) projected that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transport sector could significantly increase due to the country’s high population growth and economic expansion.
“Based on the latest GHG inventory, the transport sector remains the third largest contributor of our country’s GHG emissions, next to the energy and agriculture sectors,” CCC Commissioner Rachel Anne Herrera said.
“The most significant contributor of GHGs in transport is the road sector. Although utility vehicles and trucks constitute a minority of the projected vehicle fleet, their average usage is high, resulting in an outsized share of vehicle activity.”
At the Low Carbon Transport Forum organized by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-Philippines last Jan. 7, Herrera said incorporating climate smart and low carbon perspectives in national and local transportation plans is vital to the country’s efforts to avoid increasing levels of GHG emissions which continue to drive climate crisis.
She noted that the local governments of Baguio City, Sta. Rosa City, and Iloilo City have committed to improve their constituents’ quality of life by shifting towards a climate-friendly and sustainable transport system.
She also expressed appreciation for other clean transport initiatives, such as the e-Sakay and Star8, whose operations are beginning to generate profit.
Herrera was also grateful for the CCC’s partnership with the DOTr, saying the department has set the bar for being the first to propose climate actions and submit contributions for the country’s nationally determined contributions (NDC) to help achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement that limits global temperature rise to well below two degrees and even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
When the Paris Agreement, an international framework for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, was signed in 2015, nations agreed to boost the ambition of their national climate commitments — known as NDCs–every five years.
This year, nations are tasked to accelerate actions and strengthen their national commitments at a scale commensurate with the climate challenge.
“With the climate crisis in full swing, Earth has seemingly reached a tipping point. We could only hope that these tragic events would be the final push for governments and decision-makers across the globe to respond and act with a greater sense of urgency to transition from fossil fuel-based towards low carbon systems and economies,” Herrera said.