PNG can combat climate change, says expert


CLIMATE change poses serious threats to the environment but also provide opportunities for Papua New Guinea to invest in technologies and industries to combat it, an expert says.
World-renowned scientist, conservationist, explorer and chief councillor at the Australian Climate Council Prof Tim Flannery said this when addressing a Port Moresby Chamber of Commerce and Industry breakfast yesterday.
He spoke on the effects climate change would have on the business community and society as a whole.
“Climate change, especially the impacts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, affects ecosystems like coral reefs, the alpine ecosystems where animals like tree kangaroos are vulnerable to extinction, food sources like fish and global food security,” Flannery said.
He said industries in PNG like mining contributed to the emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and would get worse over the next 50 years.
Flannery said there were biological and chemical ways of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere which PNG could use.
“Biologically, people can plant more trees to promote reafforestation, which PNG has the potential to do,” he said.
“Engage in soil carbon projects that store carbon in the ground and do aqua-culture or farming like seaweed.”
Flannery said chemical means to combat climate change included use of silicon rocks, carbon-negative concrete and technology to do direct capture of carbon dioxide to make plastics and other materials.
“PNG has the potential to engage in the US$10 billion (K31bil) seaweed farming project that can help to combat climate change and generate economic benefits for the country,” he said.