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CCC, MARINA seek greener, more sustainable maritime industry

CCC, MARINA seek greener, more sustainable maritime industry
Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos May 31, 2023

MANILA – The Climate Change Commission (CCC) and the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) have forged partnership in pursuit of a greener and more sustainable maritime industry.

The collaboration was a result of the two agencies’ recent meeting to discuss objectives and strategies for decarbonization aligned with MARINA's Maritime Industry Development Program (MIDP) 2019-2028, the CCC said in a news release on Wednesday.

One of the MIDP’s core objectives is the promotion of an environmentally sustainable maritime industry.

The CCC and MARINA committed to strengthening their partnership further through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

“The cooperation between the CCC and MARINA is significant, given that the shipping industry contributes to climate change and accounts for over 3 percent of the global annual carbon dioxide emissions,” the CCC said.

“The CCC will provide technical expertise, including guidance on mitigation and adaptation measures, to support MARINA’s policies and programs on decarbonization, and sharing of scientific studies and data sources on GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions,” it added.

From 2007 to 2012, the shipping industry caused about 1.015 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions globally, according to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) report.

The CCC said forging a partnership with MARINA is in line with the country's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP).

“The proposed collaboration forms part of the CCC's goal of building and strengthening strategic partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders to influence greater climate action,” it said.

MARINA wanted to align the decarbonization strategies in the technical, operational and economic measures with the country’s mitigation targets.

It invited the CCC to become a member of the technical working group under the National Task Force: Inter-agency Coordinating Committee to Facilitate the Ratification and Accession to and Implementation of Maritime Conventions (ICCFRAIMC).

MARINA also asked the CCC to attend the meeting of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80) from July 3 to 7 and the meeting of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG 15) from July 26 to 30.

The CCC joined the MARINA in the recently-held IMO Regional Conference on Seizing Opportunities for Green Shipping in Asia and the Pacific in Manila.

The conference was attended by key maritime stakeholders from Pacific Islands and Southeast Asian States to discuss energy efficiency, short sea segment, education of seafarers and global regulations.

CCC vice chairperson and executive director Robert Borje stressed the importance of collaboration and cooperation among international organizations, governments, non-government organizations, shipping firms, and other maritime stakeholders to enhance the region's capacity to face the challenges of climate change toward a more sustainable and green sector.

"Shipping is a vital part of our economy, but it also has a significant impact on our climate. Through collaborating with MARINA on green shipping initiatives, we can develop a sustainable maritime industry that benefits both our economy and climate,” Borje said.

“We need a whole-of-world approach in order to effectively address climate change and to modernize the shipping industry —through an investment-led, accelerated, just, and equitable transition. This is the one thing that the CCC asks from all of our stakeholders. There is an existential threat and challenge of climate change and this is the right time for us to integrate all of these concerns, particularly in the shipping industry,” he added.

MARINA Deputy Administrator for Planning Sonia Malaluan said the collaboration with the CCC is an important step towards the goal of achieving carbon-neutral shipping in the Philippines.

“We hope that the CCC can support us in developing and implementing policies that will help reduce the carbon footprint of our shipping industry," she said.

MARINA is an attached agency under the Department of Transportation that is mandated to integrate the development, promotion, and regulation of the maritime industry in the country.

Industrial waste

Meanwhile, CCC Commissioner Albert dela Cruz Sr. called on industries operating around the country’s largest lake to be mindful of the disposal of their industrial waste which pollutes the waters and ecosystem.

Dela Cruz made the call after a study conducted by Mindanao State University (MSU) scientists Cris Gel Loui Arcadio and Hernando Bacosa found that a high concentration of microplastics was found in Laguna de Bay’s 900-square-kilometer waters.

Citing the study, Dela Cruz said the presence of harmful microplastics could lead to adverse effects on humans and marine life.

“We must intensify our convergence to address the negative impacts of plastics and microplastic pollution in Laguna de Bay. If we will not do the necessary action, it will severely affect public health, food production and the livelihood of our fisher folks. Buhayin natin ang Lawa ng Laguna, bubuhayin din tayo ng lawa,” he said. (PNA)