Electrification and Decarbonization – what’s going on

By Chemrock

This is the second part of a trilogy on electricity in Philippines split into:

– The first part (Philippines Electricity Tariff Decoded) dealt with the high electricity tariff which showed that politics, corruption and competency issues are always inherent in the delivery of essential services.

– This second part deals with the low carbon approach taken by the world to mitigate global warming. It forms the backdrop to better understand the path taken by Philippines as explained in the third part.

– The third and final part will look into the restructuring of the electricity industry under the Epira framework in an attempt to surmise whether the dual objectives of improving equity, ie cheaper rates to consumers, and the environmental sustainability goals set out in the country’s NDC 2030, can be attained.

This blog is somewhat a carry-over of Joe’s previous article on “Global warming, the endgame for humanity and the Philippines“. The primacy here is to show what the world is doing to prevent this endgame.

Under the auspices of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework for Climate Change Control) the world has organized itself to seriously tackle the threat of global warming. The Kyoto Protocols formalized the approach in 2005 where signatory countries are treaty-bound to their obligations. International cooperation has been revamped under the Paris Agreement (PA) in 2015 which will come into effect in 2020. Unlike the Kyoto Protocols, commitments under the PA is voluntary. The guiding goal of PA is to limit increase of average world temperature from pre-industrial levels to 2050 by 2 deg Celcius. By pre-industrial levels is assumed to be 1850, that was when global temperature data were first recorded.

Not time for feet dragging

The Philippines is a late signatory as President Duterte grudgingly added his signature to the PA recently. It seems it was the cabinet that convinced the president to ratify the PA, and that ought to be seen in a positive light. Duterte puts the blame for global warming squarely on the rich countries and has indicated that the Philippines will pursue their commitments only if financial assistance from developed countries are forthcoming. The Philippines carbon footprint is very low, contributing 156 metric tons of CO2E (2016) which is less than 0.3 of a percent of global emissions. Yet it is the country with the highest vulnerability to climate change due to its archipelagic make up and being natural disaster prone. But it is past the time for finger pointing, playing the blame game, feet dragging, and holding rich countries to ransom.

The US is the only country in the world that has not ratified the PA. President Trump has announced that the US will not participate in future PA discussions. Non-ratification means the US will automatically be out of the PA in 2020, a couple of months after Trump’s term ends. The refusal to accept the economic cost of PA commitments is the reason; skepticism of the effects of climate change is the excuse. Fortunately, the urgency of climate change mitigation has a life of its own that not even POTUS can control. Many states in the US have joined an alliance to pursue climate change control initiatives at state levels.

With PA commitments being voluntary, a country’s resolve is aligned with one of these :

(a) Rationally and morally committed. These will be disciplined countries that will do their utmost, sometimes way in access of their commitments. These are countries that will be innovative. Scandinavian countries lead the charge.

(b) Toe the line. Other than mitigating climate change, these countries understand that refusal to cooperate means likelihood of being shunned of investment opportunities both in and out of the country.

(c) Lip service. These countries put on a show of high commitments, but have no political will to bear the economic costs of meeting their obligations.

Which category does Philippines belong? The 3rd part of this trilogy tries to answer the question.

Environmental sustainability movement

The environmental sustainability movement is a tsunami rolling across the entire planet. There is no stopping it because sane people understand there is no alternative. The initiatives are driven by world organizations, governments, environmentalist organizations, and corporations.

Consumers demand supply chains act on it. This is something that shows up in all consumer surveys.

The majority of large corporations now carry environmental sustainability activities in their corporate report card. At corporate levels, no environmental sustainability initiative can ever succeed without internal top management recognition of the need. That this need is being recognized is evident in the various groupings that have sprung up with the objective of pursuing some sustainability goals and to set examples for others to emulate. Whether this is driven by heart-felt moral obligation, or simple marketing maneuvers under consumer market pressure, is irrelevant. An example is the RE100, a grouping of some of the biggest and most influential companies in the world, which sets for itself datelines to achieve energy neutrality. Some of these companies are Hewlet Packard, Coca Cola, Apple, Windows, Ikea, Development Bank of Singapore, Fujitsu, Commerzbank, Commonwealth Bank, Elion Resources Group, Gatwick Airport, etc. There is not a single Filipino company in RE100 nor other similar groupings.

Global Warming Primer

The energy from the sun reaches Earth in a few forms, one of which is invisible light. This is known as the infra rays in the electromagnetic spectrum. We cannot see infra rays, but we can feel them in the form of heat. Infra is important because it warms the planet. The infra radiation dissipates out into space and thus balance is maintained in nature. Man’s activities cause tremendous Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, especially after the advent of the Industrial Age. These GHG trap the heat in their atomic structure preventing it from bouncing out into space, thus causing a greenhouse effect.

There are many GHG, the 6 major ones being – carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, perfluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride. GHG is commonly referred to in carbon dioxide equivalent – CO2E.

The Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius was the first to sound the alarm on climate change way back in 1896.

Carbon footprint

This is the amount of GHG released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organization, or community. Reducing the carbon footprint is the underlying basis of controlling global warming.

Carbon credits

The way to address global warming is by reducing GHG emissions and increasing energy efficiency. Carbon credits is a mechanism by which GHG emission is controlled. This is bascially how it works :

For GHG emissions:

A project is implemented under certain standards which allow it to emit less GHG than it ordinarily would. It earns credits for the effort. A GHG emitter has to cut down on his emission but is unable to do so. Emitter buys the credits from the project owner to set-off the emission that he is unable to cut down. Overall there is GHG reduction represented by the credits earned by the project because it emitted less GHG by adopting certain standards.

For renewable energy (RE):

Consumer buys energy which is transmitted by the grid.  RE (also known as clean or green energy) and energy from fossil-based generators (known as brown energy) are all negative electrons moving in the copper wires. There is no difference. So how is a consumer going to buy RE from the grid? RE projects implemented under certain standard earns credits for power pumped into the grid. Consumer buys the RE credits (which can be from anywhere in the world). The consumer is deemed to have procured RE from a grid source represented in the credits. Overall, there is no GHG emission reduction. But the consumer has enabled certain quantity of RE to be pumped into the grid.

A complicated process is necessary to enable the carbon credits mechanism.

1. Project originators :

Carbon credits come about from carbon projects originated by :

  • Emitters who want the credits from these projects for their own use.
  • Those who organize the development but not ownership. A brand new business has opened up for upstart smart entrepreneurs who understand the intricacies of the market and funding sources. They organize these projects and seek compensation in consultancy fees and look towards carbon credits as a revenue source.
  • Project owners who build and operate.

2. Carbon projects :

Carbon projects are business initiatives which receive funding because it helps either (a) in GHG emission reductions, or (b) they are Renewable Energy (RE) projects. (a) encompasses a wide range of projects, such as waste management infras, reforestation or afforestation, methane gas capture, carbon sequestration, etc.

3. Standards :

These are the criteria and methodologies established by various bodies to ensure the project is environmentally sustainable. Unfortunately, there is no universal standard. The status is like the days of Betamax and VHF, but worse because of the proliferation of standards. All carbon projects abide by a preferred standard.

Some standards are more stringent than others. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) standard is the most stringent. CDM is a standard under the Kyoto Protocols which issues Certificates of Emission Reduction (CER). Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) is under The Climate Group which issues Voluntary Emission Certificates (VERs). In between, there are a host of other standards.

Different standards command different prices for the certificates they issue, with CERs being the highest priced due to its stringency, primarily. Projects under CERs has an “additionality” condition. This means the project must be a new one which came into being specifically because of the Clean Development Mechanism. It must not be a project which would have happened anyway.

4. Production:

Once the carbon project comes on stream, its output or production earns for the owners certain amounts of carbon credits. The plant outputs quantify the credits generated.

5. Certification:

The hallmarks of the quality of carbon credits are third-party certification. The plant’s outputs are verified and audited by a third party who then issues carbon credit certificates. This ensures quality of the carbon credit under the relevant standard. The type of certificate depends on the standard that the project is based.  Information recorded are source, owner, certificate serial number, project, standard, certification body, vintage and value.

Carbon credit certificates for CO2E abatement are the CERs (CDM standards) and VERs (VCS standards). For RE projects, RECs (Renewable Energy Certs) is more or less the original term — there is a proliferation of terms under different standards.

6. Carbon credits :

A lot of literature refers to carbon credits as the rights to set-off emissions. This is technically incorrect. Carbon credits are simply the tradeable certificates which are rights to the attributes represented by the instrument. Some are used in set-offs, some are not – as explained in 10 (Carbon credits market).

The price of a carbon credit is a function of their attributes, standards, supply and demand.

What are attributes? There is a qualitative and a quantitative aspect. The qualitative part is the benefits arising from the carbon project, such as job creation, and other social and economic benefits. The quantitative aspect depends on whether it is :

(i) a renewable energy project – in which case it is the green energy pumped into the grid;

(ii) a GHG emissions reduction project – in which case it is the CO2E abated. This requires some explanation.

A carbon project involving CO2E emission reduction requires firstly a computation of a baseline emission. This is an estimate of CO2E that would have occurred had the project been undertaken using the same technology or methodology in the country. For example, in the Philippines, waste disposal is by landfills which lead to methane gas build up. Using science-based computational models, the CO2E emission is calculated. This is the baseline emission. Now imagine the new project is using hot plasma technology. The CO2E emission of this new plant is computed. The difference is the CO2E emission abated. Hence, because of the implementation of carbon credit standards, the new plant emits less CO2E than it otherwise would have. So the new plant earns carbon credits for  the quantity of waste handled.

Carbon credits are in effect, an accounting mechanism to track grid-sourced renewable energy and CO2E abatements.

Now is a good time to see the differences between these 2 types of carbon credits.

7. Carbon credit registry:

Carbon credits are recorded in registries which are operated by state, agencies under the different standards, or independent corporations. The registers are open and easily accessible.

The registry is the depository of the certificates. The system is basically run scriptless. Holders maintain accounts at the registry which offer online platforms for trading and profile management.

As with standards, there is a proliferation of registries as businessmen seize opportunities to make money. Climate Resource Exchange is one such registry set up in Singapore a couple of years ago.

8. Tracking systems:

These are systems set up to track the life cycle of each and every certificate, from issue, to change of ownership through trading, and finally, retirement. The purpose is to maintain authenticity of certificates to avoid duplicity.

Registries are linked to respective tracking systems and carbon credits cannot be traded across registries linked to different tracking systems. Blockchain technology seems a logical future development that will do away with existing tracking systems.

9. Carbon credit trading:

Carbon credits are financial instruments and they are traded as such. Some of these are quoted in certain exchanges. Trading carbon credits is a transfer of the rights to the attributes represented by the instrument from one holder to another.

Who are the parties? – emitters who buy to meet compliance or voluntary sustainability goals, speculators, or holders of the certificates who want to cash out.

Where are trades conducted? – Over the counter (OTC – Emitters direct arrangement with project owners), registry platforms, or stock exchanges.

Quoted in exchanges: Spot, Futures, Options, Swaps. The volume for Offsets has grown exponentially to $35.5b tons in 2017. It is a huge market which explains the interest of many financial markets to want to capture a slice of it. There is no known info on the volume of RECs.

10. Carbon credit market:

There are 2 markets — the compliance market and the voluntary market.

(a) Compliance markets operate under what is called the ‘cap and trade’ regime. The government sets a limit for CO2E emission for Scope 1 emitters. If the quota is breached, the emitter has to procure the necessary numbers of CERs to set-off the excess CO2E. Almost all emitters will breach these quotas because old plants, for example coal-fired power generators, find it impossible to switch technology. If there is no set-off, the emitter is subject to a punitive tax.

To illustrate, a coal-fired generator (Scope 1 emitter) overshot his CO2 quota by 10 tons. He procures 10 CERs to set-off the excess. So his excess is contra off by CO2E abated by someone else somewhere in the world. Overall, there is emission prevented of 10 tons.

Certain states in the US have in place the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). This requires the power generators to have a certain percentage of the energy produced by renewable energy. Fossil-based power generators of course have no choice but to procure RECs to set-off the renewable energy portion that they are unable to produce.

There is some confusion here with the term ‘set-offs’ introduced under RPS. This is important to understand because the Philippines also uses a version of RPS. In this case relating to RE, there is no reduction of CO2E emission. The procurement of RECs simply means the enabling of certain amount of RE pumped into the grid.

(b) In voluntary markets, emitters procure RECs or VERs to meet their environmental sustainability goals.

Where governments do not impose compliance requirements, they usually implements a  carbon tax.

11. GHG Emitters:

Greenhouse Gas Protocol Org classified emitters into 3 scopes. The classifications are foundational to strategic thinking about reducing emissions.

  • Scope 1: Direct emissions from use of owned or controlled sources, such as fossil-based energy generation plants, farmers who use slash and burn techniques, or use of landfills in waste management that causes methane gas formation.
  • Scope 2: Indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy – basically all energy consumers.
  • Scope 3 : All indirect emissions resulting from the consumption of goods and services.

12. Carbon credit retirement:

Owners use carbon credits by retiring them. Carbon credits are born to be retired. The retirement is recorded in the Registry. Once retired, it cannot be traded or re-used by anyone.

Retirement by set-off : A Scope 1 emitter retires carbon credits to set-off against emission quotas either under compliance requirements, or to meet voluntary sustainability goals. It’s emission is set-off against the reduction of emission by source producer of the carbon credit. The procurement of CERs and VERs helps some projects somewhere in the world to use standards and technologies that emits less CO2E than they would normally have.

Every CER and VER set-off and retired means 1 ton of CO2E emission has been prevented.

Retirement for claims of RE: Scope 1 and Scope 2 emitters retire RECs to meet compliance requirements, or for bragging rights of meeting energy neutrality. Their use of RECs helps pump certain amount of RE into the grid by some project generator somewhere in the world. Energy neutral is a term used to mean that the energy consumed is matched by same amount of RE generated somewhere.

Every REC retired means 1 mWh of RE has been pumped into the grid.


Two pronged approach to decarbonization by making polluters pay and incentivizing RE development, as well as voluntary environmental sustainability, create a demand by emitters for carbon credits which in turn funnel capital to seek out carbon projects. There has been a quantum leap in RE development. There is also a huge jump in carbon projects in Less Developed Countries (LDCs). The bottom line is that the carbon credits mechanism serves its purpose of driving capital from rich countries to where they are needed. It thus promotes social and economic development in LDCs. Since infras are lacking in LDCs, those countries that are smart enough capitalize on the availability of such sustainable capital. The Philippines is missing out on good opportunities with the current political situation being a big deterring factor.

There are those who question if it’s too little too late and view global warming with extreme apprehension. It is difficult to be optimistic in the face of rising sea levels and weather that seems to go wacko. Nevertheless I like to conclude on an encouraging mood. We have been here before. In the second half of the twentieth century there was the threat of acid rain caused by too much sulphur dioxide emission. The worldwide anxiety caused by the threat then was no less similar to what we face today with global warming. The problem was eradicated by the 1990s by similar technical and political processes we now apply to GHG emission.


65 Responses to “Electrification and Decarbonization – what’s going on”
  1. karlgarcia says:

    Things I was excited about, but not anymore.

    Plasma gasification, Refuse Derived Fuel, Land fill mining, methane collection in landfills.

    Landfill mining can make you recover soil, metal, plastics, paper,etc.
    But soil management is costly.
    There is no cleaning tech fast enough to clean recovered stuff, what do you do use a fireman’s hose clean soiled paper.
    Not enough recyclers and manufacturers to accept your recyclables.
    I am still hopeful that soil management and the cleaning tech would be cheaper one day, because we need to recover space.

    Methane collection overlaps with landfill mining.
    Everytime there is a new batch of garbage, you keep on the digging soil and dumping garbage.
    Because of the frequent dig and dump, how can you collect enough methane.

    plasma gasification is so expensive.
    It’s end product CO2 and H20 or syngas is not really carbon neutral.
    Unlike its promise to reduce electricity costs by half, they can only produce minimal power, not because of the lack of garbage, but of transportation and fuel costs aside from the costly landfill mining if ever they do that.

    Refuse Derived Fuel cannot be a coal substitute in coal plants because it will just destroy the equipment.
    It is just used here in the Philippines for manufacturing cement.(less than 5% rdf to 95% coal)

    if it is just use for manufacturing cement, then the cement industry must adapt to the plastic concrete Eco brick used by green Antz builders and Nestle.

    There is another type of Eco-bricking and that is to stuff plastic into bottles, but unless it is used for building, you can only use it indoors for make-shift chars and furniture store.

    • karlgarcia says:

      Auto-correct and word guessing software makes life harder.

    • chemrock says:

      Landfill — all those problems you mentioned — there would be no problems if there were no landfills in the first place.

      Methane collection (capture is the right word to use) — no landfills, no methane. But methane collection remains an important in other areas — methane produced in some industrial activities, natural methane from peat – this is a big problem in Indonesia.

      Plasma gassification — I think this remains the best viable solution. With hot plasma there is no odour, no toxic ash, lots of commercially usable by products – fuel for energy, cooking, and heating, chemicals for plastics, non-toxic ash for reclamation etc. CO2 conversion to CO (although I don’t know how they get rid of CO. I know CO unlike CO2, has a very short life span of only about 2 months). High plant cost was a major problem previously, but now new technology has enabled plants with much smaller footprints. Lower infra cost, small footprint, no odours, no toxic wastes — all these means these plants can be located near communities, means less transportation cost and near to raw materials (the garbages). Because the plants are within communities, it is easy to set up distributed energy plants to electrify the community. All goodies.

      • karlgarcia says:

        Thanks for turning my negativity to positive vibes.

        No more new landfills and the cost of removing all the dumps and landfills maybe offset by its removal.

        There are many ways to recycle all you need is support from private sector and lgus.

        WTE in communities is one big NIMBY cases, inviting a writ of kalikasan closure suit.
        Sorry, for the negativity again.

        Gatchalian from the plastic and mining royalty says WTE is almost impossible here.
        Maybe small scale is the answer.


        • chemrock says:

          I think the status quo remains. No town mayor will want to disrupt the cushy dealings garbage disposal brings. Philippines is the only place I know where collectors pay the municipalities for the right to clear the garbage. Lots of hands to grease in order to scavenge and earn nickels from the garbage.

          Technology has allowed WTE plants to be down-scaled and affordable.

          • The garbage business in Southern Italy, I have heard, is also a major source of income for the various Mafia groups there. Naples at times has been full of garbage in the streets, seems it was due to some unclarified terms of business. Interestingly the island of Sicily, original Mafia island, is very clean while Naples which is further north often is dirty they say – Calabria no idea I have neither been there nor have any news except they have done a Europe-wide raid on the N’Drangheta which is not Vulcan or African but Calabrian in origin.

            • Garbage collection is a separate municipal company in Munich..

              Nonetheless there have been occasional scandals of employees at the recycling stations doing business on the side – after all scrap metal for example can be lucrative one hears..

          • edgar lores says:

            Huh? Garbage collectors pay to collect? Filipinos are so rich they throw away the valuable stuff?

            In Oz, they have kerbside waste collection days every 6 months. This is where people put out big, heavy stuff that won’t fit in the garbage bins. Furniture, electrical appliances, accessories, toys, etc. Many Filipinos make rescues Repairmen drive around looking for salvageable stuff.

            I understand they do this in Singapore as well.

            • The kerbside waste collection used to be the way in Germany. In our early Bonn years, the three men of the house (father, brother and me) went around looking for stuff we could use at home, as we had little money then. We went early to pre-empt the professional flea market vendors who drove around in trucks to get the good stuff, and the teenage vandals who had their idea of fun kicking in the stuff that was left – before the trucks in the morning came to take everything with them.

              No more Sperrmüll in Germany as far as I know, you now have to take the stuff by car to the collection points and put it into separate, huge bins yourself. There are areas for heavy home electronics (washing machines, refrigerators etc.), for metal, for wood.. all of that. There are at times people in cars (often Southeastern European types, not to stereotype but that is how they look) waiting in front and asking for stuff, though I have not seen any for quite a long time. 15+ years ago I gave a group some old chairs and they looked happy.

            • chemrock says:

              “Filipinos are so rich they throw away the valuable stuff?”
              Hardly. It’s all unwanted stuff.
              No human being should be left to eke out a living as a scavenger. But alas, this happens in many countries. Philippines is the greatest recycler. In Philippines it is R-R-R-R — Reduce Reuse Recycle and Resold. Every thing that can have some value is picked, including half-eaten Mcdonald drumstick, paper cups, styrofoam food package, etc.

              In Singapore we all have 2 trash bins — one normal trash, one re-cyclable items. For landed properties, these trash cans on wheels are placed outside the premises. Normal trash is collected daily, re-cyclable trash is collected by a different company less regularly. For twigs, branches and gardening stuff, it’s picked up once a week. For big thingies like discarded furniture, we call up and a number and pay to get them collected. For buildings, workers use motorised trollies to bring the trash from each building to a nearby bin site. Bin sites are localised – a few buildings to a bin site. Dumpsters pick up from these bin sites everyday. Since bin sites are within communties, they are cleaned everyday. They are mostly like Mcdonald’s garbage collection points — very clean.

              For biggies that we want to throw away but still in good condition — some will sent it to the Salvation Army which runs a second hand goods store. For newspapers, most folks will pile them up and a regular raggabone oldies comes along regularly to it off the folks. Me I always just pass the old newspapers to the guy. Why deny a guy a few pennies.

              Are there pickers in Singapore? Unfortunately, yes. One disheartening scene in Singapore is the common sight of very old folks, some bended ones, who pick trash. But they only collect tin cans and cardboards – these are easily saleable and pay for their meals. It’s a crying shame and we Singaporeans are at odds with the govt who refuse to do better in their re-distribution policies.

              • Garbage in Munich..

                three type of garbage cans (collectively per apartment block):

                – black for normal garbage (“rest” garbage they say here)
                – blue for paper garbage (newspapers, paper packaging etc.)
                – brown for biological garbage (compost, old fruits etc.)

                neighborhood garbage bins for recycling: (in central areas)

                – glass bins (one for white glass, one for green glass, one for brown glass)
                – plastic bin (a lot of the stuff used for packaging)
                – old clothes
                – metal/aluminum

                recycling points in stores, as per law:

                – recycling cans and bottles via a machine that reads barcodes and returns money
                – stores that sell batteries and lightbulbs have bins for old batteries and lightbulbs

                .. and yes, there are also old and homeless people in Munich who scour public trash bins for bottles and cans that they can get 25 cents for each at the next store. Or public parks and the river. Just to make 5€ you have to carry a heavy bag of 20 bottles, imagine that..

              • chemrock says:

                It’s interesting how different cities try different ways to solve the same problem. Unfortunately there are many cities that neglect this. In some cities, the neglect is so bad that we can see dead rivers run through them. Dead rivers have black water, slow flowing, and unsightly floatsam. I have seen this in Jakarta and Manila.

                In the old days when Singapore was third world, the Singapore River was dying. We embarked on a resusitation effort and the river survived. Today there are fishes and this bridge that spans across the river was painted by Filipina artist Pacita Abad in 2004.

              • Two things I think of reading that:

                1) some years ago, a Filipina scientist held an interesting presentation in Munich for a group of Filipino scholars and scientists (and one layabout called Irineo) where she described how they were measuring the people using public transport in Singapore, also where they came from and where they went, in order to plan in advance for new lines or for adding capacity to existing lines. Using combinatorial optimization of the kind NHerrera once mentioned here. Pity how much Filipino talent goes elsewhere. Not surprising why they leave the land of Dengvaxia scares, the land that time forgot, the land that defunded DOST Project NOAH.

                2) Iloilo city was successful in cleaning its river. No wonder Duterte hates them so much.

  2. karlgarcia says:

    Another thing about the environment

    They say bring your own metal straw and reuse your condiments is a solution to eliminate the single use plastic.

    So you enter a restaurant with your own plates straws,cups,utensils.
    What’s next, bring your own folding chair and table?
    As if transportation is so easy.
    How does Batman fit everything in his utility belt?

  3. edgar lores says:

    1. Thank you for this primer on electrification and decarbonization.

    2. I am sorry to say that Australia belongs to the Lip Service category.

    2.1. In 2010, Julia Gillard (Labor Party) implemented a three-year fixed carbon price as part of a carbon emissions trading scheme.

    2.2. In 2014, Tony Abbott (Liberal Party) abolished the carbon pricing scheme. He introduced an “Emission Reduction Fund” which uses taxpayer money to pay polluters who claim to have successfully cut emissions.

    2.3. Just last week, students went on strike to protest government inaction on climate change. Prime Minister Morrison, who recently replaced Turnbull, said, “We don’t support the idea of kids not going to school to participate in things that can be dealt with outside of school.”

    2.3.1. A year 10 student replied, “If you were doing your job properly, we wouldn’t be here.”

    3. I applaud my country’s youth.

    • karlgarcia says:

      That is what the youth are doing dealing with it outside of school.

    • chemrock says:

      Thanks for sharing Aussie status. I’m surprised you put it under Lip service cat. I have no knowledge of the Aussie scene, except that I read somewhere Filipino DOE mention Philippines adopts Aussie electricity system.

  4. karlgarcia says:

    I do not get this explanation of why biomass can be carbon neutral.

    “Biomass and biofuels made from biomass are alternative energy sources to fossil fuels—coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Burning either fossil fuels or biomass releases carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas. However, the plants that are the source of biomass capture a nearly equivalent amount of CO2 through photosynthesis while they are growing, which can make biomass a carbon-neutral energy source.”

    Let us say an imaginary place where they do not use fossil fuels to generate power and use only biomass, since plants capture the amount of CO2 burnt while growing( still a living thing), they are now condidered to be carbon neutral?

    Come on! Carbon monoxide. smoke,etc are still pollutants.
    I am now skeptical of the Carbon neutrality concept if we talk about biomass.
    I am for reforestation and ocean cleanup because the forests and the oceans are the source of oxygen.
    But nothing can happen if we question everything.
    I remember Pablo questioning
    How will you gather the energy from wind at the night, the time the wind blows the hardest if not for batteries.
    How will Solar energy be useful at night time if we can not store energy in batteries.

    I know batteries at end of life is a matter of disposal and polluting our ground water and air. Funny that we use end of life for things that don’t live
    So the answer is neutralizing carbon and not eliminating it?

    Emission from power and manufacturing plants( the type where no photosynthesis happens) must be reduced.
    How can you actually filter pollutants?.

    For trucks and Public vehicles, the government was well intentioned in phasing out fifteen year old vehicles, the truckers threatened that the will shut down the economy for one week, the admin answered to go ahead and they will use cargo barges and transer all the traffic to Cavite.

    No matter where you transfer the containers by barge or by rail there will always be trucks with empty returns.

    So DOTR is back with the road worthiness
    and emmission tests( accredited fly by nights)

    Same with imported second vehicles used for farming,and others.
    You can’t just remove them, even if the manufacturers threaten to leave.

  5. chemrock says:

    “I do not get this explanation of why biomass can be carbon neutral.”
    Carbon neutral means whatever CO2 emitted is neutralised by CO2 prevented somewhere else. Biomas involves the burning of wood/twigs.leaves etc. CO2 is emitted. However, the fuel here is renewable. New plants or new news take place and these absorb CO2 during photosynthesis. This assumes there is no deforestation.

    CO2 emission in plants can be captured, ie not released into the environment. There are currently 2 interesting development going on.
    1. Technology for CO2 conversion. Not there yet, but there is vast resources poured into research in this area.
    2. Sequestration of captured CO2. This involved the entrapment of CO2 in very deep caverns under the Earth.

    DOTR phasing out of the old jeepneys and trucks — I don’t know about trucks, but for jeepneys, I think the stakeholders understand the need and are quite willing to go along. What they disagree with is the high cost of new jeepneys which makes a doubling of fares necessary to make it viable for operators. I have spoken to some people in the vehicle mfg side and they told me the proposed investments for new vehicles are way too high.

  6. karlgarcia says:

    Could not help but comment more.

    One of the major causes of deforestation aside from urbanization is wide-scale agriculture.
    Agriculture is blamed for water shortages as well.
    Israel has a solution for the water.
    To partially address deforestation, and lack of lands maybe back to my moonshot suggestion of zero landfills and dumps, after remediation use it for other purposes and if it can be reforested if the location is right

    • chemrock says:

      Good thing you mentioned Isreal.
      In the past couple of decades, something is happening in Isreal. Today, every product we use (they may be mass manufactured in China) but the technology and science behind it, almost all has a Jewish name behind it. They have re-engineered the land and today the little desert country is an exporter of agricultural product to the world. They are farming fishes in the dessert. It is now really a land flowing with milk and honey.

      Today, Isreal is using their new found expertise to share with the world. This has earned for the country many new friends.

      Nothing is impossible. The Isrealis are showing us.

  7. karlgarcia says:

    Just when you told us that Puerto Princessa is the only carbon neutral city here again, they now have WTE issues and concerns..


  8. karlgarcia says:

    We maybe the third worst ocean polluter, but at least we are doing something about it.


    “A partnership between Nestlé Philippines and Green Antz Builders, Inc., an innovative social enterprise based in Pulilan, Bulacan which produces alternative construction materials incorporating waste plastic laminates, is addressing an environmental issue while involving communities including schoolchildren in waste collection, and providing livelihood opportunities.
    Green Antz, which was established with Nestlé’s support, collaborates with corporations, LGUs and NGOs to establish Green Antz Hubs for the production of eco-bricks using waste plastic laminates which are cheaper to use and offer better insulation. Eco-bricks are much more durable than regular hollow blocks. The production of eco-bricks utilizes compression unlike hollow blocks which are made through moulding. Making eco-bricks involves a proprietary process which hollow blocks do not undergo, and the formulation incorporates a special construction additive which makes eco-bricks stronger, enabling plastic and cement to adhere together.”

    I heard the founder’s interview at ANC that he ran to his former employer, because the LGU shot down his proposal

  9. chemrock says:

    Hope the following 2 videos be of inspiration to policy makers.

  10. chemp, Thanks!

    This is great. I don’t really have anything to add, as karl has already listed most I would’ve covered.

    So I’ll just add this,

    it’s Gnostic Cosmology w/ a Christian twist, but essentially, that material (all material) in and of itself is Evil. Even w/out the luxury of Gnostic Cosmology (which i’m sure is much older than Christianity), Christian teaching all the way back to Jesus, were correct, have less, by having less you’ll have more,

    karl, re utensils and straws, many times in Mindanao all I had was a banana leaf and used my hand. Used my hand to drink too (just made sure no one was pooping up stream 😉 ). My point, humans have been eating and drinking w/out utensils.

    I don’t carry my own straw, but I do carry my own soup mug (also for coffee) most times. Right now, I’m experimenting with soup-based diet, no need for utensils if you can’t drink it, don’t eat it. Arabic yogurt soup, Shakriya in Syrian, is perfect.

    Don’t get me started with pre-biotic and pro-biotic, but my point if willing you can do without utensils.
    Did Jesus use utensils?

  11. Piloting in Munich.. other squares are being rebuilt that way too:

    ..four parking spaces with charging stations reserved for electric cars. Pretty empty as of now, but the incentive of parking space in the middle of the city is attractive..

  12. karlgarcia says:

    We committed to reduce carbon emissions by 70 % but some coal plants are yet to be built.
    How come the agricultural sector won’t contribute to the carbon emission reduction?

  13. karlgarcia says:

    There is hope. MIT has cost-cutted atmospheric CO2 sucking.


    Next MIT must invent a freeze ray and freeze green Antarctica and melting north pole.
    They must aloso study cost cutting measures for Boyan Slats ocean cleanup.

    There is no incentive such as Methane credits, so cows are free to belch and fart.

  14. LG says:

    Not just a fascinating read. The responses from the ‘regular, international panel’ are totally informing.

    Chemrock….Big thanks for the post. Till the third.

  15. karlgarcia says:

    The latest on coal plants and stranded costs.
    They are still (credit) worthy.


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