Press Release
July 23, 2010


Senator Edgardo J. Angara renewed his call to make renewable energy a key element in combatting climate change and pursuing the road to energy independence.

"The global economy is turning a green leaf with the emergence of clean-energy industries, with universities at its forefront. By 2014 futurist Dr. James Canton predicts that clean energy will be one of the biggest industries, with the market demand for wind energy reaching $48 billion, followed by solar at $40 billion, and fuel cells at $15 billion. This new economy continues to rise even amid economic downturn. Many governments have packaged a green economic stimulus, tying economic-recovery plans with promoting renewable energy (RE) and green jobs," said Angara who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance.

He added, "It's no surprise then that more students in developed economies such as the United States have become more interested in renewable-energy science. Although official enrollment statistics have yet to be released, curriculums and programs offered by universities and colleges offer a potent indicator of the demand side of education. The University of Ohio has introduced masteral degree programs in RE. Others such as Stanford, Yale and the University of Michigan offer joint degrees through their business and environmental schools. In the University of Virginia, sustainability studies have been integrated into engineering, architecture, business and other disciplines."

Angara said that by introducing environment-friendly curriculum and postgraduate studies in renewables, universities and colleges not only cater to the market demand for education, but also usher in the clean-energy industry. Courses in the environment complement a university's research programs in RE technologies. Possible research breakthroughs from these programs and a large talent pool of graduates keen on the environment often attract businesses. Graduates with green diplomas may even start their own eco-friendly businesses.

According to an AC Nielsen survey in 2007, Filipinos with Internet access bested 47 countries in global-warming awareness. In the same year, Social Weather Stations revealed that 76 percent of the Filipino population believes that global warming should be addressed. The survey further disclosed that education strengthens the response to global warming, as respondents who have higher educational attainment were more responsible to urgent action even if it involves significant costs.

"We've got to harness this high interest into action, and one of the best ways to start is to empower universities. Let's include them in our overall national green agenda. Creating green campuses will translate the Filipinos' keen awareness of global warming into careers that will not only propel the country toward the clean-energy industry, but also promote a sustainable and progressive development," added Angara.

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