WATCH: PH's climate czar tries carbon footprint calculator
MANILA, Philippines – Secretary Vernice Victorio, Climate Change Commission vice chairperson, walked her talk when the Paris Agreement on Climate Change entered into force for the Philippines on Saturday, April 22.
In an Earth Day edition of Rappler Talk on Saturday, the Philippines' climate czar herself measured her household's carbon emissions using the Household Carbon Footprint Calculator to know the number of trees that she needs to plant to reduce her carbon footprint.
The platform was introduced by Rappler and Climate Reality Project for the campaign #ClimateActionPH. It measures the amount of carbon that a household emits every month and the corresponding number of trees that are recommended to be planted.
Victorio calculated her household's monthly footprint in 3 key areas: energy consumption, transportation, and waste.
The result of the test? So far, Victorio's household has emitted 211.96 kilograms of CO2 in April.
A tree can capture 8 kilograms of CO2 annually. This means Victorio needs to make sure her family will plant at least 26 trees.
"I only have to plant 25 more trees to offset my emissions...I planted my ceremonial tree today for Earth Day," Victorio quipped.
Households significantly emit greenhouse gases like carbon, one of the primary culprits of climate change. Latest data showed that a household in the Philippines emits 1,724 kgs of CO2 on average.
"We're asking all the youth to recruit their friends and family members to join and do something for the climate. It's not just signing up for the Paris agreement, but now we're pushing for climate action," Victorio said.
She also recommended 3 of 15 easy ways to minimize greenhouse gas emissions.
- Use energy-efficient appliances.
- Take a bike.
- Recycle waste.
Reducing carbon emissions
The Philippines, in 2015, committed to cut by 70% its carbon emissions by the year 2030. This target is being reviewed under the Duterte administration, according to Victorio.
"When we look at mitigation or emission reduction, we're going to put it in line with the sustainable development course, so it's just a matter of tweaking," she said.
These reductions will be taken from the country's major sources of carbon emissions – the energy, transport, waste, forestry, and industry sectors.
The aim of the historic climate deal is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2°C.
"2°C means we're losing about 98% of our coral reefs. Our crops will not have any subtle potential for adaptation. We will lose about 20% of our waters. So these are things that we cannot even accept as a country," Victorio said.
She added that the country has also "pushed hard for 1.5°C – a very ambitious goal."
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change is the first-ever legally-binding global deal on climate change signed in 2015 by 194 parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. – Rappler.com
Watch the full interview with Secretary Vernice Victorio on Rappler Talk: Paris climate deal takes effect in PH, now what?