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Experts call for balance between environmental and economic goals

Experts called for more programs to strike a balance between reaching economic goals and not compromising the environment.

“The awareness and desire of people and business to help in climate change response is there. We just need to provide more programs for them to participate,” Citicore Power, Inc. Executive Vice-President for Sales and Business Development Manolo T. Candelaria said during BusinessWorld’s Virtual Economic Forum on Wednesday.

Mr. Candelaria said further lowering the threshold electricity consumption to allow consumers to choose their power supplier, along with recent initiatives from the Energy department such as the green energy option, could help boost the use of renewable energy resources.

Under the government’s policy on retail competition and open access (RCOA), consumers with a monthly power usage of at least 500 kilowatts (kW) have the option to choose their retail electricity supplier.

The threshold, which used to be 750 kW, may still be lowered as the Department of Energy previously said that it was in talks with the Energy Regulatory Commission for a policy review.

“This will allow more businesses to avail and choose renewable energy suppliers, making the market for renewable energy attractive, thus opening more developments,” Mr. Candelaria said.

Angela Consuelo S. Ibay, head of the Climate Change and Energy Programme of World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines, said that definitely, there is a need to ensure the integration of sustainability into the country’s policies.

“We can and must build a better, healthier, and greener recovery for our country,” Ms. Ibay said during one of the breakout sessions of the forum.

She also pointed out that government and private sectors should integrate education for sustainable development as a way of enabling the youth to participate in governance and develop them as sustainability champions.

Guillermo M. Luz, chief resilience officer and advisor of Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, noted that individual and organizational changes are needed as both businesses and consumers contribute to climate change.

“One of the obstacles that keep society from addressing climate change is the mindset that it is very far in the future,” he said.

Mr. Luz added that one way to help in responding to climate change is for the government to make mass transit system organized.

“Limiting transportation options will create a new problem,” he said. “One way to solve this is by providing good mobility options.” — Marielle C. Lucenio

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