PH committed to promoting green maritime, decarbonization

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PH committed to promoting green maritime, decarbonization
Transportation Undersecretary Elmer Sarmiento at the recent Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Maritime Green Collaboration Launch at the Port of Detroit in Detroit, Michigan. Photo from the Department of Transportation.
  • The Philippines  is committed to promoting green maritime and decarbonization, according to Transport Undersecretary Elmer Sarmiento
  • Sarmiento underscored the Philippines’ commitment to implement the International Maritime Organization’s Strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships
  • He said the country will also implement decarbonization “on a large scale” while leveraging the full potential of the Paris Agreement

The Philippines is committed to promoting green maritime and decarbonization, according to Transport undersecretary for maritime Elmer Sarmiento.

At the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Maritime Green Collaboration Launch at the Port of Detroit in Detroit, Michigan on May 16, Sarmiento underscored the Philippines’ commitment to implement the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from ships.

At the same time, he said the country will implement decarbonization “on a large scale” while leveraging the full potential of the Paris Agreement.

“The Philippines is geared to implement its national contributions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as it strives for sustainability and clean growth by leveraging the full potential of the Paris Agreement and responding to post-pandemic needs,” Sarmiento said.

He noted the Philippines is willing to enter into partnerships with other countries and collaborate on key environmental issues.

“We look forward to it with great optimism and that this will serve as a foundation for an inclusive, green, and resilient economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, including establishing climate priorities, such as energy transition and nature-based solutions,” he said.

In 2018, IMO adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships, setting out a vision which confirms IMO’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions from international shipping and to phasing them out as soon as possible. Follow-up actions towards the development of the revised Strategy are set to be adopted in 2023.

The Paris Agreement, meanwhile, is a legally binding international treaty on climate change that was adopted by 196 Parties at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, France, on December 12, 2015. It entered into force on November 4, 2016.

The Philippines is a member of the IMO Council and a party to the Paris Agreement.

One of the programs under the updated Maritime Industry Development Plan 2028, the country’s decade-long roadmap aimed at accelerating the development of a nationally integrated and globally competitive Philippine maritime industry, is the promotion of environmentally sustainable maritime industry. It aims to accelerate the implementation of environmental regulations and standards to prevent pollution from shipping activities, transfer and spread of invasive aquatic species, and reduce GHG emissions from ships, thereby reducing negative impacts on the marine environment.

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Sarmiento, meanwhile, highlighted Department of Transportation (DOTr) maritime infrastructure projects that capitalizes on the country’s archipelagic nature by constructing commercial and social-tourism ports.

He explained that such infrastructure projects will decongest other ports by opening up additional space for vessels and ensure efficient and faster turnaround of commercial vessels, adding that it will bring economic opportunities and equitable growth to coastal communities and fishers.

“While addressing the needs of coastal communities and fishers with better port facilities, our commercial ports are also addressing our economy’s connectivity and mobility needs,” he said.