Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Green partners needed

Green partners needed 
By Katlene O. Cacho
Sun.Star Cebu
August 10, 2010

A strong partnership between the public and the private sectors is needed to address today’s environmental problems, a former secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said in a business summit yesterday.

“Taking action in addressing climate change requires collective action. It is a shared responsibility,” said Elisea Gozun, one of the speakers at the One Cebu Business and Sustainability Summit held at the Cebu International Convention Center.

In her presentation before Cebu’s industry leaders, Gozun reported the Earth is experiencing a “global fever,” an increase in temperature due to the increased emission of greenhouse gases caused by the increasing number of vehicles, industries; and emission of methane from livestock manure, among others.

The increased emission of greenhouse gases, Gozun said, has resulted in an erratic climate resulting in an increase in rainfall, rise of sea levels, increase in temperature and extreme weather. These have triggered natural calamities like landslides, floods and stronger typhoons.

“Excessive heat in particular has caused drops in production,” she said, noting that the recent El Niño weather phenomenon has affected the marine and agriculture production and livelihood of farmers, especially in the key agricultural cities of the country.

Gozun reported that the 2009 typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng, which claimed properties and lives, particularly in the Luzon area, resulted in economic losses equivalent to 2.6 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

GDP refers to the amount of goods and services produced by a country.

Among the steps Gozun recommended for adoption by industries is the increase in energy and water efficiency, shift to the use of renewable energy, promotion of the low carbon lifestyle among employees, greenhouse gas accounting, rehabilitation of forests, tree planting, and the incorporation of green measures in the supply chain.

She said local government units should also pass ordinances requiring malls and subdivisions yet to be constructed to have rainwater catchment facilities in their plans.

“Being eco-efficient is good for the triple bottom line,” she said.

The triple bottom line or TBL is an expansion of the business framework that takes into account the social and environmental aspects aside from the economic aspect of the business.