Environmentalists to Push for “Zero Waste” at Summit of Conscience for the Climate


Environmental advocates vowed to espouse
waste prevention and reduction measures as ethical and practical solutions to
global warming and climate change at a historic summit spearheaded by Senator
Loren Legarda.
On October 9, the Senate Committee on Climate Change, together with the Climate
Change Commission, Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Embassy
of France, will convene the Summit of Conscience for the Climate “to inspire Filipinos to act against climate change by caring for our
Environmentalist Sonia Mendoza, one of the
speakers, welcomed the summit as an opportunity “to steer greater citizen and
government support to ecological waste management to overcome society’s
dependency on landfills and incinerators.”                          
Mendoza, who is Chairperson of Mother Earth Foundation and concurrent President
of the EcoWaste Coalition, hoped that the summit “will generate renewed
interest and commitment to climate-friendly zero waste strategies, including
waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting that save resources and energy
while creating jobs and livelihoods.”  
To demonstrate the advantage of the zero waste approach, Mendoza cited the
study “More Jobs, Less Pollution: Growing the Recycling Economy in US,” which
“provides strong evidence that an enhanced national recycling and composting
strategy in the United States can significantly and sustainably address
critical national priorities including climate change, lasting job creation,
and improved health.”
The said study, for instance, estimates that a 75 percent diversion rate for
municipal solid waste and construction and demolition debris by 2030 in US
alone will result to lower greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to shutting down
72 of the country’s coal power plants, while generating 2.3 million jobs. 
As politicians gear up for the 2016 polls, Mendoza further urged those seeking
elective posts to emphasize climate and environmental protection in their
platforms and to walk the talk by campaigning in a responsible manner that will
not cause harm to humans and the ecosystems. 
“We need a new breed of political leaders who will stand up and take action for
climate, environmental, health, gender and social justice.  In particular,
we need leaders who will champion the enforcement of the Ecological Solid Waste
Management Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and other environmental laws,”
she said. 
At the summit, EcoWaste Coalition volunteers will distribute brochures
published by the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives and the
International POPs Elimination Network describing how zero waste strategies are
able to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, persistent organic pollutants,
mercury and other dangerous pollutants, among other advantages.
The Summit of Conscience for the Climate in Manila is an adaptation of the
first Summit held on July 21, 2015 in Paris, France where various political,
faith, culture and arts and environmental leaders met to influence negotiations
at an upcoming United Nations conference.   
On November 30 to December 11, negotiators and other stakeholders will troop to
Paris for the much anticipated 21st Conference of Parties of the United Nations
Framework on Climate Change (COP21) and hopefully reach agreement aimed at
keeping global warming below 2°C.