Consciously Coming to Copenhagen

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I told myself that if I won the raffle for Wind Europe 2019 I’ll come to Copenhagen and just spend part of my holiday trip there.

As of 31 October 2019, I won.  Wow, already booked my flight to Copenhagen via SAS on the 26th from Paris, will be a bit late, though. I will also be late on the 25th since I just flew in from Taipei on that morning.

I had to make major itinerary changes.  Luckily, it was also Paris Climate Finance Week and I have to attend to two (2) events on the 25th and the 29th.  However, this is part of my birthday week and celebration weekend. Crazy mix of business and pleasure. I am now only left with visiting Paris with just 2.5 days from November 30 and December 1. Will be flying back on December 2.  Huh! Maybe I should not come to the Climate Finance Day Event and just spend the day sightseeing. 

After the Air Conditioning Transition proposal for the NAMA Facility I feel  a strong urge to make changes, to work on renewable energy and more work on the energy transition or as the Germans say Energiewende and of course on climate finance.  I have no background on finance per se but I do have a strong background on GHG verification and ensuring the integrity of a ton of CO2eq mitigated.

Been listening to K-pop lately (long shot…), the last time I went to South Korea was on April 2014 for Myda’s birthday and as a side trip, I went to Songdo in Incheon to look for employment opportunities in the Green Climate Fund or GCF.  I never really fully understood the purpose of the GCF until I worked for GIZ which has been very keen on getting a GCF project.  The process was extremely similar to the call for proposals of the NAMA Facility funded by the German Environment Ministry and the British Ministry of Trade.  I am not sure if I had written about it in detail but we did participate on the 6th Call of the NAMA Facility which was an intense whirlwind I had this year.

It was crazy,  beating deadlines and soliciting commitments from our project partners. I don’t know if we could make it again, it takes a lot of integrity on our part, to prove ourselves beyond our idealistic principles of natural refrigerants in terms of coefficient of performance, safety and of course conformity assessment to international standards.  Sometimes though I feel like I don’t belong to this global program.  I love what I do but somebody at the North Sea seemed to be calling me. OK let’s go to Copenhagen, just try. We’ll see.

 

 

Big Brands, Big Data

Working on a sectoral  Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory on a national scale is extremely frustrating. Transparency remains the biggest issue. There are so many private sector data that are accurate and complete but is not reflected because of barriers set by these big corporations.

How come I’m not working on my career path as a GHG Auditor? Because…the issue is complicated. After taking my oath to maintain Independence, Ethical conduct, Fair presentation and Due professional care… I’m not really working on it because there is no demand.

 

Energy efficiency is deeply personal

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A year since I wrote something here. Just finished supporting a Level 2 ASHRAE energy audit for a really big hospital, the one where I was born.  I didn’t expect how much enmeshed I have been in cooling and energy efficiency for the past three years since I was assigned the C4 project. Maybe Mr. Hicks was right, I’m quite passionate about this.

It has been 19 years since I first set foot in the AIM basement as an innocent fresh graduate during the transition from the CFC-11 phaseout to HCFC-123  in the early 2000s. Encountering the words ducting, compressors, chilled water, air handling units, fan coil units and of course refrigerants. I was just tasked to document the process into a procedure as part of the ISO 14001 management system but never did I foresee that one day, I can explain, support and justify the process to ASHRAE auditors on how the system works and how it can be further improved… even suggesting for district cooling as an ultimate solution…but don’t get your hopes high, they may only recommend unitary splits. Hydrocarbons?

Why did I get here? Was it fate or was it the deep rooted pain brought about by my distorted life of male dominance and misogyny.  I never really talked about it, but maybe I still have not settled, cried and move on. I still can’t use the word “forgave”. It is still haunting me. It has been 19 years since the electrical pilferage incident, I felt it was the ultimate betrayal, may be its child abuse, electricity is no simple matter but you need to deal with it in the utmost integrity.

I have not forgiven anyone, because no one realized it was extremely painful and hurtful. I have hated myself in the process and immersed myself in learning how it works and why not knowing can make you extremely selfish and corrupt. And I hate the fact that I was born into it and I had no choice. I firmly believe I don’t belong where my personal life is settled. No one can choose your parents, your siblings and not loving yourself enough can lead you to choose the wrong people in your life.

Not knowing and not loving your building can lead you to choosing the wrong air conditioners and just waste up energy in the process.  Its ironic how people condemning coal fire powered plants are not really looking at the demand side of how much people waste or even steal electricity just to waste it.  I still have not moved, I may need counseling.

 

Biggest task not fully understood

Nobody really understood what I was doing from July to December 2015. I just got back from my maternity leave not really wanting to do management system audits. I was extremely frustrated, nothing is happening, but since January 2015, I have been reviewing documents, procedures, guidelines, contractual requirements on the health, safety, security and environment (HSSE) for the fabrication of seventeen (17) modules for delivery to the Yamal LNG project. I was also locally managing a contractual arrangement with BV Russia.

Unsafe acts blasts from the past

I could not believe I’m back here again, but more safe and more hi-tech. Its stressful organizing hands-on training, no this is not my first time, but my second. The last one was in 2010, still working at the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) where I  was fortunate enough to manage capacity building projects on energy  and climate change  from the Philippine Council for Industry and Emerging Energy Research of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCIEERD) which was Methane to Markets (M2M) back then and  of course with the Department of Energy (DOE) whom I now partner with the Cool Contributions fighting Climate Change project.

What was the difference? Basically, health and safety and we’re more serious about it. I have so many frustrations working for BV not really using my training on occupational health and safety, but I was so fortunate that I can finally use whatever training I have had on safety and health on fighting climate change. Sometimes, things are just a perfect fit, though it can be a bit stressful…when its only you who know and not much contribution from others, not really getting their hands dirty. The video above was so dirty working on an anaerobic biodigester in a microscale pig-farm and so rowdy and noisy. May be good for learning but not really the best conditions for a technical hands-on training.

Below is my recent assignment for GIZ, but the focus was on hydrocarbon air conditioners.  I have no idea why we had a very rowdy crowd up there, because I was young and rowdy myself, not really taking safety seriously…

Eureka Moment while in a Toxic Daze

Its Good Friday and in my free time, I was curious enough to read a copy of Casarett & Doull’s Toxicology.  Me, reading a medical, pharmacological book (purposively bad grammar)? Because it will soon be a requirement next semester when I take up Industrial Toxicology. I am even thinking twice about taking the course due to the expected workload in C4 because like Epidemiology 201, it will take significant amount of effort to reach a marginal grade. As much as possible, I would like to approach the upcoming challenge with some degree of preparation and take a mindset of hands-on application and experience which I have gained over some years of audit experience and of course the current task on working for C4.  It is just a matter of managing your time and the response of your brain to the load of information yet to come.

It is hard not put advocacy in the picture but things have become way too deep beyond the usual scope of climate policy, which I also think is too broad.  Toxicology is similarly a very broad science and will require a certain level of specialization, and I think such specialization will also be required in working on climate change.  I am very thankful that I am given an opportunity to use  chemical management in climate policy while working in C4, I tried to make that connection as early as possible, linking RA6969, the Philippine counterpart to the US EPA Superfund to a possible legal basis for a local F-gas control policy. Having some toxicology background may be of help in assisting the DENR in a future regulation through a chemical control order.

There is also a greater understanding that people generally value health impacts more than environmental impacts. It will take a while before impacts to the climate may be felt while losing a love one due to a toxic response is far more painful and can provide more value and importance.  Safety is not only about flammability,  but toxicity from acute to chronic may be of far more importance.