National Strategy to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants from the Municipal Solid Waste Sector in the Philippines

Submission to Policy Process
National strategy on SLCP

The National Strategy to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants from the Municipal Solid Waste Sector in the Philippines was developed through a multi-stakeholder consultation process led by the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) through its Environmental Management Bureau’s (EMB) Climate Change Division (CCD) and Solid Waste Management Division (SWMD), with guidance from the multi-agency National Solid Waste Management Commission (NSWMC), in coordination with the Climate Change Commission (CCC), and with assistance from the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), under its Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC)-supported Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Initiative. The Philippines, one of Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing nations, has always led efforts to adapt to the impacts of anthropogenically driven climate change while at the same time identifying climate-smart strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with its sustainable development agenda and national policies and programs. All current GHG emissions and other climate forcing agents will affect the rate and magnitude of climate change over the coming decades. The Philippines supported international efforts to reduce GHG emissions by submitting its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) in 2015, ratifying the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2017, and reviewing the 2018 recalculations in mitigation cost-benefit analysis (CBA) as inputs to the development of the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). National attention on short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) has been also increasing in recent years. SLCPs are powerful climate forcers that remain in the atmosphere for a much shorter period of time when compared to carbon dioxide (CO2), yet their potential to warm the atmosphere can be many times greater. Certain SLCPs are also dangerous air pollutants that have harmful effects on people, ecosystems, and agricultural productivity. As a result, the Philippines submitted its Medium Term Plan on SLCP Reduction for 2016-2021 to CCAC. The two main SLCPs from the municipal solid waste (MSW) sector are methane (CH4) and black carbon (BC). Due to its relatively short atmospheric lifetime, mitigating BC would reduce warming more quickly than addressing other climate pollutants. Methane has already been discussed in the CBA study in more detail but BC has not yet been explored at the national level in the Philippines. Thus, initial assessments on baseline GHG emissions from CH4, CO2 and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as BC emissions have been carried out using the emission quantification tool (EQT), which was developed by IGES on behalf of the CCAC initiative [Nirmala and Premakumara, 2018]. The results of the analysis revealed that net GHG (CH4, CO2, and N2O) emissions from the annually generated MSW in the 2010 base year would be around 4.46 million tons carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e)—5.54 million tCO2e of these are contributed by CH4 alone whereas recycling efforts contributed to a deduction of around 1.69 million tCO2e. In addition, the MSW sector released 1,422 tons of BC, or the equivalent of 0.97 million tCO2e, in 2010. In total, net baseline emissions from GHGs and BC are equivalent to 5.43 million tCO2e. If SLCPs only (CH4 and BC) are considered, the total baseline emissions would be equal to 6.50 million tCO2e, of which about 15% is due to BC.

Maria Delia Cristina M.
Albert A.