The British Embassy launched the documentary film "High Stakes – the Economics of Climate Change in Southeast Asia" during a reception for RP-UK Friendship Day last week. British Embassy Charge d’Affaires Colin Crorkin introduced the short film about the devastating effects of global warming and the urgent need for a strong global deal in the UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen this December. Commissioned by the UK Government, the film features a range of key personalities from South East Asia and outlines the many possibilities that exist to reduce emissions at low cost.
British Embassy celebrates Philippine-British Friendship Day
Carrying the theme Bigger Strides, Smaller Footprints, the RP-UK Friendship Day reception trumpeted
that economic growth and the reduction of carbon footprints can be compatible and not at all contradictory. The embassy itself will do its own form of carbon offsetting and has calculated the carbon emissions of the RP-UK reception for this purpose.
British business recognises that 21st century private sector operations are changing and future business success will be contingent on understanding climate change and grasping low carbon opportunities. Businesses have the potential to gain a share of the global market for low carbon goods and services, which is worth an estimated £3 trillion world-wide. Currently low carbon business is generating £107 billion a year in the UK and employing 880,000 people. Business can also reap financial benefits of emissions reductions improved energy efficiency. In the Philippines, British firms are investing in the renewable energy market by establishing partnerships with local companies.
"South East Asia has great potential to reduce its emissions. For example, in the energy sector 40% of emissions could be reduced at negative-cost – that is by reducing energy bills and saving money. We all have a part to play in tackling the challenges of climate change and achieving the goal of a low carbon economy. Hopefully we can take the "Bigger Strides" necessary to ensure that our daily activities create "Smaller Footprints". Some goals are desirable – this one is essential," said Charge d’Affaires Colin Crorkin during the reception.
Embassy guests were treated to an exhibit from ten companies and two NGOs presenting their climate change initiatives through investing in renewables, creating and distributing eco-friendly products and engaging in environmental projects. The participating organisations were: Bronzeoak Philippines, Global Green Power Corp., LIFE Inc., Manila Water/United Utilities, Manhattan Green Solutions, Montalban Methane Power Corp., PhilCarbon, Phil. Christian Foundation, Shell, TFS Green, The Body Shop and Unilever Philippines.
The exhibit also featured pieces by young Filipino artists aged 14-18 years illustrating their take on biodiversity, whose works are products of the Likha art contest conducted by environmental NGO LIFE Inc. in celebration of World Earth Day. Arnel Guadalupe Caranto, creator of environmental comic book ‘Wilfred’ Graphics displayed his publication’s graphics inked by Bernard Reyes. Outside the garden was installation artwork from internationally renowned artist Salvador Ching, an interesting conversation piece made from indigenous materials that depicted Mother Nature’s offspring.
The Philippine Christian Foundation showed their unique bags and accessories made from recycled materials. Manhattan Green Solutions brought in some of their energy-saving products. A hit with the crowd was the fuel simulator courtesy of Shell, where guests tested their driving skills through the FuelSim that measured fuel efficiency.