MANILA -- The president of the largest renewable energy company in the country has enjoined businesses to revisit conventional development thinking to address problems posed by climate change.
Energy Development Corp. president Federico Lopez said such problems facing climate-vulnerable nations can destroy years of progress overnight, and can only be solved if the adaptation efforts are networked and collaborative.
At a forum during the Climate Reality Project training workshop conducted by former US Vice President Al Gore in Manila, Lopez said, “If successful adaptation is to happen, we will need mechanisms and institutions that help catalyze action, knowledge exchange, and collaboration among players amidst a changing planet.”
He said new kinds of partnerships among public, private, community, and research groups are needed to cope with the challenges. “We cannot be certain of what's coming, as the past is no longer a reliable gauge for the future; but we all stand a greater chance against the angry forces of nature if we mount a concerted and cooperative effort to understand what's going on, and what we must do to prepare ourselves collectively,” he said.
The EDC generates more than 1,188 megawatts of geothermal, 132 megawatts of hydro, 150 megawatts of wind, and four megawatts of solar power. Its production plants and concession areas are spread out over 250,000 hectares around the country, including Negros Island, or almost one percent of the country's landmass.
Lopez described how many of their energy facilities are located alongside lush watershed areas -- home to various flora and fauna that's practically a showcase of the country's biodiversity. “We consider this a huge responsibility,” Lopez said.
In partnership with the University of the Philippines Institute of Biology, he said EDC is studying the biodiversity around their facilities “to better understand the ecosystem and how best to protect it”. He said that since 2008, EDC has been reforesting more than 10,000 hectares with 6.5 million trees.*
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