Gov’t read­ies in­cen­tives cer­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem for firms pro­mot­ing green jobs

Manila Bulletin - - Front Page - By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT

The Cli­mate Change Com­mis­sion is now devel­op­ing the stan­dards and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion sys­tem in line with the in­cen­tives for busi­nesses and en­ter­prises which are pro­mot­ing green jobs.

Sec­re­tary Em­manuel De Guz­man of the Cli­mate Change Com­mis­sion re­vealed at the High-level Dia­logue: More Qual­ity Jobs in Asia and the Pa­cific: In­vest­ing for a Just Tran­si­tion, a side­line event of the ADB meet­ings here in Manila, that the new sys­tem is now be­ing de­vel­oped af­ter the is­suance of the Im­ple­ment­ing Rules and Reg­u­la­tions (IRR) of the Green Jobs Act in Septem­ber last year.

To this end, De Guz­man said that the Com­mis­sion, to­gether with the In­ter­na­tional La­bor Or­ga­ni­za­tion (ILO), has con­ducted a se­ries of multi-stake­holder roundtable con­sul­ta­tions on green jobs and just tran­si­tion, ef­fec­tively rais­ing aware­ness on green jobs and pro­mot­ing con­ver­gence among key stake­hold­ers across all sec­tors.

Pur­suant to the law, he said, the Com­mis­sion is also cur­rently up­dat­ing the National Cli­mate Change Ac­tion Plan to in­cor­po­rate the 2017-2022 Philip­pine De­vel­op­ment Plan and the Na­tion­ally Deter­mined Con­tri­bu­tions or NDC.

The NDC serves as the coun­try’s new in­dus­trial pol­icy and in­vest­ment agenda. It is ex­pected to gen­er­ate jobs sev­eral mag­ni­tudes greater than if busi­nesses stick to failed and fail­ing car­bon­in­ten­sive, un­re­li­able, and in­creas­ingly far more ex­pen­sive busi­ness-as-usual path­ways.

“We as­sure you that the pur­suit of green jobs and just tran­si­tion is a pri­mary con­sid­er­a­tion in our pol­icy de­vel­op­ment and plan­ning pro­cesses and is ar­tic­u­lated well in our NDC to be sub­mit­ted to UNFCCC this year,” he said. The United Na­tions Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC) is an in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal treaty ne­go­ti­ated at the United Na­tions Con­fer­ence on En­vi­ron­ment and De­vel­op­ment (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

In im­ple­ment­ing the NDC, the com­mis­sion rec­og­nizes that the trans­for­ma­tive role and cli­mate actions of the pri­vate busi­ness sec­tor are cru­cial.

“It is in this con­text we call on the pri­vate sec­tor to stop mak­ing bets on an un­sus­tain­able fu­ture and fo­cus in­vest­ing on green and cli­mate-friendly ven­tures,” De Guz­man said.

Rec­og­niz­ing the role of pub­lic and pri­vate banks in cat­alyz­ing green in­vest­ments, the Com­mis­sion has also em­barked on pro­mot­ing green bank­ing and cli­mate fi­nanc­ing within the coun­try’s fi­nan­cial sec­tor.

Through di­a­logues, the government is in­creas­ing the aware­ness and ap­pre­ci­a­tion among fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions of how they can in­te­grate cli­mate adap­ta­tion and mit­i­ga­tion cri­te­ria in their op­er­a­tions and ser­vices.

All these ef­forts, he said, is in light of the pre­vail­ing and im­mi­nent threats of cli­mate change and en­vi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion in the re­gion and it is im­per­a­tive for national gov­ern­ments to pur­sue low-carbon and green eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment while en­sur­ing a just tran­si­tion that max­i­mizes the ben­e­fits for all sec­tors of so­ci­ety.

“Here in the Philip­pines, our mantra is that no sec­tor should be left be­hind. We deem it crit­i­cal to in­vest in so­cial prepa­ra­tion for the trans­for­ma­tion of all sec­tors towards low-carbon de­vel­op­ment,” De Guz­man stress­ing that a well­man­aged tran­si­tion to en­vi­ron­men­tally and so­cially sus­tain­able economies can be­come a strong driver of de­cent job cre­ation, job up­grad­ing, so­cial jus­tice, and poverty re­duc­tion — which are all cru­cial in the pur­suit of in­clu­sive and sus­tain­able growth. How­ever, re­spond­ing to a chal­lenge that en­tails a ma­jor par­a­digm shift is not an easy en­deavor.

But the post-2015 global de­vel­op­ment frame­works — the Sendai Frame­work for Dis­as­ter Risk Re­duc­tion, the 2030 Agenda for Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment, and the Paris Agree­ment on Cli­mate Change — guide the national government in set­ting en­abling poli­cies and pro­grams and in paving the way for our tran­si­tion to low-carbon and cli­matere­silient de­vel­op­ment.

For in­stance, the Philip­pine Green Jobs Act was en­acted in April 2016 to scale up the pro­mo­tion of sus­tain­able growth and de­cent job cre­ation while build­ing re­silience against cli­mate change im­pacts.

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