BAGUIO CITY-The Philippines is ready to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and help save the planet, even if it may negatively affect the country's economic growth, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje said here on Saturday night during the Baguio leg of the Earth Hour ceremonies.
Paje said the government's climate change cluster was still working out the numbers to determine the volume of carbon emissions the Philippines would be able to reduce before it commits to cuts in December at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.
The cuts will be painful because the commitment will require the public to moderate energy use and utilize energy-saving or clean-energy technologies that are more expensive than conventional ones, according to Paje.
"Our economy is growing and that means more electricity is consumed and more vehicles are on the streets expelling carbon gases. Cutting emissions to 1990 levels, as we intend to offer in December, would be inversely proportional to the improved gross domestic product (GDP) of the country," he said.
GDP measures the value of goods produced and services rendered in a country in a given period.
"The public must be compelled to review its day-to-day lifestyles. We also need to adopt technologies available in other countries, like electric cars," Paje said.
Paje acknowledged that to cut greenhouse gases, the Department of Energy (DOE) may be required to increase its reliance on renewable energy.