PARIS CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE STILL EXCLUDED IN TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED DURING APEC LEADERS’ MEETING

PARIS CLIMATE CHANGE CONFERENCE STILL EXCLUDED IN TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED DURING APEC LEADERS’ MEETING

MANILA — There is no assurance that the upcoming climate change conference in Paris will be tackled during this week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM).

Executive director of the APEC Secretariat, Dr. Alan Bollard, said on Monday that although there were a number of initiatives underway to address climate change issues in the Asia-Pacific region, there was no final statement yet from the leaders regarding the big meeting in France.

Bollard said all he could share was that there are discussions focusing on climate change issues, such as the more efficient use of energy, a list of environmental goods whose tariff has to be reduced to 5 percent, and low carbon cities.

“So, they will be pointing to all of those. We have to wait and see if they will talk specifically about the coming climate change (conference),” he said.

Preparations for the Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, scheduled from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, were rocked by the Friday the 13th attacks that killed almost 130 people and injured more than 300, 100 of whom were critical.

It is not clear if the APEC leaders will issue a statement on the attacks, although climate change issues and disaster preparedness and management have been important topics for this year’s meet.

In particular, the meetings placed special focus on the resiliency of the global value chain against natural disasters.

Noting that the Philippines, specifically, is prone to disasters, Bollard said the APEC discusses the issue of disasters and how they affect the Asia-Pacific economies.

Discussions range from defining how disaster impacts the economies to identifying methods to predict them better.

Prior to the APEC leaders’ week, senior officials have already expounded on the need to address the effects of disasters on economies because they derail and disrupt economic activities once the country is hit by disasters. PNA