Groups Urge Representatives to Champion Zero Waste at Climate Talks
18 November 2008, Quezon City. Members of the Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives and the Ecowaste Coalition today called on the Philippine delegation to the upcoming climate talks in Poznan, Poland to take up the cudgels for the climate by pushing for the quickest and cheapest strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Governments and other stakeholders, including public interest groups, will converge in Poznan for the United Nations Conference on Climate Change on December 1-12, 2008 to deliberate and agree on future commitments, actions and collaborations to deal with climate change.
In a meeting with the Secretariat of the Inter-Agency Committee on Climate Change (IACCC), the waste and climate groups pressed for RP leadership in urging the global community to embrace and support Zero Waste as a strategy to stop the wasting and warming cycle.
"The huge challenges weighing down the world's climate, environment and economy demand the application of the most innovative citizens-driven solutions such as Zero Waste, which has all the potentials of reducing emissions while creating green infrastructure and livelihood for local communities," Manny Calonzo of the EcoWaste Coalition and GAIA, said.
Calonzo pointed out that Zero Waste will also foster the goals of major chemical safety agreements such as the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Strategic Approach for International Chemicals Management that governments, including the Philippines, adopted in 2001 and 2006.
In their meeting with the IACCC Secretariat, representatives of the EcoWaste Coalition, Mother Earth Foundation and GAIA referred to a "triple win" if countries go for and implement Zero Waste.
By "triple win," the groups mean the 1) elimination of waste without the pollution caused by incinerators and landfills, 2) the creation of local enterprises and jobs with far less financial outlays, and 3) the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
In a letter presented to the IACCC, the waste and climate groups asked the Philippine climate negotiators to ensure that mitigation funds in the waste sector should help accelerate the achievement of Zero Waste targets and programs.
"We urge you to make incinerators, landfills, and other 'waste-to-energy' projects which undermine Zero Waste ineligible for mitigation funds, offset credits and other forms of climate-related financing and subsidies," the groups said.
The groups cited the report "Stop Trashing the Climate" to bolster its position that Zero Waste can help countries in achieving dramatic greenhouse gas reduction targets.
The report released in June 2008 shows that along with waste prevention, expanded recycling and composting can have the same climate protection impact as closing 21% of the 417 coal-burning power plants in the US, the nation's largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions.
The call to make Zero Waste a core strategy to combat climate change is supported by GAIA, which has over 600 affiliates from the Philippines and 81 other countries across the globe.