New efforts to clean the polluted air around the world 

Published February 11, 2021, 12:53 AM

by Manila Bulletin

Since the historic Paris Climate Agreement of December, 2015, many nations around the world have taken concrete steps to carry out its goal of reducing carbon emissions – mostly from industries and from motor vehicles cars – around the world so as to limit the rise in world temperatures that are now melting polar glaciers, raising ocean levels, and generating more and more powerful typhoons and hurricanes.

Early this week, the United States announced concrete steps it taking to help achieve its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. We in the Philippines should see how we too can make our contributions and see which of these steps we too can adopt.

The US, now under new President Joseph Biden, announced it will:

— Offer new tax incentives to encourage the purchase of electric vehicles, on top of the present $7,500 tax credit.

— Electrify the fleet of 650,000 government cars, as well as the nation’s 500,000 school buses.

— Build an additional 500,000 public charging stations for electric vehicles by 2030.

— Invest $5 billion in battery research to further reduce electric vehicle prices.

— Ensure every American city has high-quality zero-emissions public transport options.

The US states of California and Massachusetts have announced they will ban the sale of fossil fuel (gasoline and diesel) cars by 2040.

General Motors has committed $27 billion in developing 30 new electric car models by 2025 while Ford Motor Co. will double its investment in vehicle electrification to $22 billion

Another country, Australia, is now the world leader in manufacturing electric buses and trucks and in building fast-charging equipment.

Last March, 2020, the European Union called on all European nations to enact laws to meet the target of net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050. Last October, President Xi Jin Ping announced before the United Nations that China will be carbon-neutral by 2060, followed a week later by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pledging that Japan will be too by 2050.

These are the world’s top industrial nations and top sources of industrial emissions and it is only right that they now take the lead in cleaning up the atmosphere. But the rest of the world must  join in the overall effort, including our own, the Philippines.

Right now, we are largely concerned with recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, but so are the other nations of the world. In the midst of all their efforts for recovery, they are carrying on their long-term plans and doing their part to clean up the pollution in the world’s atmosphere. We too must do our part.