Monday, 22 November 2010 09:37
A British delegation of business experts on low-carbon technologies recently explored possible partnerships with Philippine firms, holding a seminar for over 150 stakeholders that concluded with the British embassy showing an interactive web-based 4-degree Google Earth map.
The map presented by the embassy’s climate change attache Roslyn Arayata showed the global impact of a 4-degree Celsius rise in temperature.
Ambassador Stephen Lillie estimated that the market for the fast-growing industry of low-carbon and environmental goods and services is worth around 5 trillion U.S. dollars.
UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) Director Derek Page said that “in 2000, the Philippine waste sector emitted over 11,000 gigagrams of greenhouse gases."
"At the carbon price of at least 25 U.S. dollars recently being recommended by the UN Secretary General’s High Level Advisory Group on Climate Finance, this amount of waste is possibly worth at least P12 billion a year in the carbon market,” Page noted.
Local companies, industry associations, non-governmental organizations and government agencies, including Rene Golangco, Climate Change Commission Presidential Advisor for Business, were participants.
According to the British embassy, the British companies --Arup, Revonergy and Stericycle (Avanti Environmental) --have broad experience in this field and are already doing business in Asia and other parts of the world.
UKTI brought in the delegation to discuss waste management solutions to interested parties from government and the private sector, the embassy said.
On the minds of these experts-cum-businessmen: water pollution and flooding are the Philippines’ biggest problems which are precipitated by thousands of open dump sites and just a handful of sanitary landfills. How could they help the Philippine government address these issues?
Lillie said : "I very much hope that we will see more partnership between the UK and the Philippines to tap into this huge market in environmental technology and low carbon solutions.”
“We have made significant investment in research and development and so are able to offer a wide range of cutting-edge, innovative and transferable environmental technologies and other low-carbon solutions. Our industries are also very much about partnership,” according to Lillie.
”They have extensive knowledge not just in technology but in project management and financing. London remains the world’s international finance center and we have extensive experience in providing financing and services to support clean environment.
Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Demetrio Ignacio Jr. commended the British Embassy and UKTI for bringing in the UK trade mission, citing not only the business opportunities it presents but also its relevance to the country’s waste management problems.
Ignacio said “2.7 per cent is our rate of compliance to the solid waste management law enacted 10 years ago. In effect, we have 97.3 per cent violation 10 years after the law was signed,” he said.
Only 70 per cent of the country’s garbage is collected and disposed of, mostly in open dump sites which are themselves health hazards to the environment, according to Ignacio. “This is a problem in a country where 30,000 tons of garbage are generated every day.”
By Gloria Jane Baylon-PNA
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