Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje has hailed the enactment of a law promoting the creation of “green jobs” or employment activities that contribute substantially to preserving the quality of the environment.

“This law will shore up support to our commitment to the Paris Agreement to work with the United Nations and other countries against global warming,” Paje said, referring to Republic Act (RA) 10771, or the Philippine Green Jobs Act of 2016, which President Aquino signed into law on April 29.

“It cements our pledge to pursue policies that would make communities climate change adaptive and resilient,” he added.

The Paris Agreement is the new global climate accord dealing with greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. It was negotiated and adopted by representatives of over 190 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in December 2015.

The agreement was opened for signature on April 22, Earth Day, and has so far been signed by 177 countries, including the Philippines. President Aquino had designated Paje to sign the Paris deal for and on behalf of the Philippines at the UN Headquarters in New York City.

RA 10771 defines “green jobs” as employment that contributes to preserving or restoring the quality of the environment, be it in the agriculture industry or services sector.

It includes those that help protect the ecosystems and biodiversity, reduce energy, material and water consumption through high efficiency strategies, decarbonize the economy, and minimize or avoid generation of all forms of waste and pollution.

The law grants businesses special tax deductions from their taxable income and duty-free importation of capital equipment on top of the fiscal and non-fiscal incentives already provided for by existing laws, orders, issuances and regulations of the government to encourage them to help generate and sustain “green jobs.”

It will also not diminish or limit the incentives granted by prevailing laws like the Philippine Clean Water Act (RA 9275), the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000 (RA 9003), and the Philippine Clean Air Act (RA8749).

According to Paje, RA 10771 is expected to “propel the delivery of the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution to reduce by 70 percent our GHG by 2030 compared to 2000 which will come from the waste management sector.”

“In the long-term, this will greatly benefit countries like the Philippines which are most vulnerable to climate change,” he added. ###