I know this forum is about how we Filipinos are adopting to climate change, but I think looking at other models will allow us to see how others are coping up. And with it we would know what we should do as a nation.
I'm currently in Beijing on a business trip. Today I had the chance to travel around Beijing to get a glimpse of what Beijing could offer. But I'm not going to talk about the beauty of Beijing, what I want to talk about is how they are coping up with their pollution problem.
Travelling from Manila to Beijing will give you a culture shock, not because you may be the last person who doesn't understand the language, but because the climate in Beijing is far different from Manila. Just before we landed at the airport I got a chance to glimpse down and I saw how beautiful Beijing from above. I did not see the squatter colonies that you will normally see when your plane touchdown in NAIA. In Beijing there is none of those. However what really bothered me is the thick fog (smog?) that covered the whole of Beijing. That is just a glimpse of how big the pollution problem is in Beijing.
When I woke up this morning I saw the sun shining but not as bright as it is in Manila. It is caused by the thick smog that cloaks the city from the heat of the sun. You can even look directly at the sun and don't get the usual eye strain.
Beijing is an industrial city, and China is one of certified industrialized nations. Almost all of the electronic gadgets you will see and touch have the "Made in China" seal, albeit in part. China became an industrialized nation, but it seems to me that the efforts that they are doing to curtail the expected by-product of their success, smog, fog or whatever you call it, are not really enough to limit the emission of carbon dioxide at this time. Or are they getting there? Not sure. But how does Beijing (and China as a whole) cope up?
The government admitted about this issue and they realized that this could undermine social stability. And so, the government issued policies that would curb the pollution by restraining the industries that pollute the environment. They have imposed stricter penalties, they imposed other rules that may not be direct environmental policies, but policies that support the efforts to curb the pollution problem. This includes policy on transparency on environmental information, including coordination of government in different sectors or levels.
Meanwhile the citizens have to contend with wearing masks, especially for those who have lung problems. I read in one article that one school had to create a 'breathing dome' or 'pollution domes', practically a dome that is pressurized where sports activities are performed. At different levels the citizens are suffering.
Our government should look at where China went wrong, and what China is currently doing to make it right. China is a good case study for our government. They will need to look at the regulations, implementations and penalties that are currently imposed in China. The government needs to enact necessary laws that will ensure real growth in our economy, one that has lasting effect, and one that has the health of its citizens in mind.