PH can’t afford failure of Paris climate talks, says Legarda

December 1, 2015

THE PHILIPPINES cannot afford a failure of the Paris climate conference, Sen. Loren Legarda said Monday.

“If nations will not agree and commit to a climate deal that will limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, we will experience more of ‘Ondoy,’ ‘Pepeng,’ ‘Yolanda,’ [monsoon]-induced rains, and stronger episodes of El Niño,” Legarda, chair of the Senate committee on climate change, said in a statement.

Legarda cited a new study done by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) titled “Global Increase in Climate-Related Disasters” that looked at disasters from 1970 to 2013 and observed that if carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere continued to rise, natural hazard-prone countries like the Philippines would be hit hard.

The ADB study suggests that climate action needs to be a central component of national plans.

According to Vinod Thomas, coauthor of the study and director general of the ADB’s Independent Evaluation, “Policymakers and economic advisers have long held the view that climate action is a drain on economic growth. But the reality is the opposite: The vast damage from climate-related disasters is an increasing obstacle to economic growth and well-being.”

Legarda said the Paris climate conference was a crucial event for the future of humanity and of the world.

She said governments needed to examine energy use and how to use technology and innovation to reduce carbon emissions that heat up the atmosphere and cause disasters.

“The United Nations said economic losses from disasters are ‘out of control.’ We should reverse this situation,” Legarda said.

The UN climate conference, attended by world leaders, opened in Paris Monday to begin two weeks of talks aimed at clinching an agreement to stave off catastrophic climate change.

Source: Inquirer