Twenty countries join global alliance to phase out coal by 2030

admin   •   November 17, 2017   •   5101

 

Since signing the Paris agreement in 2015, which aims to wean the world off fossil fuels, several countries have made national plans to phase out coal from their power supply mix before 2030, environment ministers said on Thursday.

The Powering Past Coal Alliance brings together many of these countries and others that will commit to phasing out coal, sharing technology to reduce emissions, such as carbon capture and storage, and encouraging the rest of the world to cut usage.

Coal is responsible for more than 40 percent of global emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

“Coal is literally choking out cities and our people. Around the world, we see close to a million deaths a year from air pollution created by burning coal. Not only is there a human cost, there is also a huge economic cost totaling billions of dollars a year,” Catherine Mckenna, Canadian environmental minister.

The alliance includes Angola, Austria, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, Fiji, Finland, France, Italy, Luxembourg, The Marshall Islands, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niue, Portugal, and Switzerland.

“Actually, I tried to ban in my country by a new law two new authorization to try to find fossil energy, and specifically coal, and we will ban production of electricity by 2022. The production of coal, so of course, we are close to you and congratulations for this coalition,” said French environment minister Nicolas Hulot.

The US States of Washington and Oregon, as well as five Canadian provinces, have also signed up.

The alliance, which is not legally binding, aims to have at least 50 members by the next U.N. Climate Summit in 2018 to be held in Poland’s Katowice, one of Europe’s most polluted cities.

But some of the world’s biggest coal users, such as China, India, the United States, Germany and Russia, have not joined. — Reuters

Philippines, Canada to sign labor agreement in May

Marje Pelayo   •   April 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has announced that the Philippines is entering into a labor agreement with Canada for the deployment of skilled workers, teachers, and culinary workers to the North American country.

Bello said the agreement, which is set to be inked in May, involves the protection of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) particularly concerning their personal belongings like passports and cellular phones.

Also, part of the agreement will include salary rate and working hours as well as insurance and rest days.

“Maganda itong development na ito na magkakaroon na tayo ng bilateral agreement para mabigyan ng sapat na proteksyon ang ating mga kababayan,” Bello said.

Secretary Bello noted that being the second-largest country by land area, Canada is currently underpopulated thus it needs additional workers.

Aside from Canada, labor agreements are currently on the negotiating table between the Philippines and other countries like Russia, China, and those in Eastern Europe specifically the Czech Republic, Romania, and Poland.

There is also high demand for caregivers in Israel, Bello said.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department is expecting approval on an additional budget from the national government for the repatriation of overseas Filipino workers since the P6.2 billion budget given to the agency has already been used up. -MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

PH issues import ban on poultry products from Denmark, Sweden, France

Marje Pelayo   •   March 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is temporarily banning poultry imports from four countries due to reported cases of the H5N8 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) virus.

In separate memorandum orders, the DA issued a temporary ban on the importation of domestic and wild birds and their products including poultry meat, day old chicks, eggs and semen originating from Denmark, Sweden, and France.

Also, a moratorium was imposed on any application of these three countries as an accredited importer of such products.

Likewise, the DA ordered a stoppage and confiscation of all shipments of the above stated commodities into the country by all DA Veterinary Quarantine officers or inspectors at all major ports.

The memorandum was signed by Agriculture Secretary William Dar and took effect on March 23.

Memorandum Orders

Philippines bans entry of passengers from Austria

Marje Pelayo   •   January 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Passengers coming from or have been to Austria 14 days prior to arrival in the country shall be prohibited from entering the Philippines.

This brings the total number of restricted countries to 28.

“The restriction for those coming from Austria will start at 12:01 midnight of January 10, and will be in effect until January 15,” said the Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Jaime Morente announced.

Earlier, the government imposed a travel ban on travelers from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, The Netherlands, Hong Kong SAR, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, Spain, and the United States.

The latest additions are Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan, and Brazil.

However, Morente clarified that Filipinos coming from said countries will be allowed entry, but will be referred to the airport’s one stop shop to “undergo an absolute facility-based 14-day quarantine period, notwithstanding a negative RT-PCR result.”

Those who will be merely transiting in the said 28 countries will not be required to undergo the 14 day quarantine, but will still have to undergo regular protocols for arriving passengers.

“They will be considered transiting if they merely stayed in the airport, were just there for a layover, and were not cleared for entry by immigration authorities in the said countries,” said Morente.

The expanded travel restrictions have been directed by Malacanang following the reported new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant from South Africa.

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