RP faces impact of natural disasters

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE Philippines faces the greatest risk from the adverse impact of climate change.

Thus bared President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her address at the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, even as she pushed for urging other developing countries for increased funding to enable poor nations to cope with the natural disasters, tropical cyclones and other results of climate change.

The President noted about a study of the United Nations showing the Philippines as one of the top 12 countries in the world which are vulnerable to hazards of climate change.

The President said that the Philippines faces more frequent and more intense storms as the impact of climate change worsens.

She observed that the the recent destruction from tropical cyclones Ondoy and Pepeng caused an estimated $4.4 billion in damage to the country’s most populous regions of Metropolitan Manila and urban centers in the Northern Philippines.

The President called on rich nations to curb greenhouse gas emissions and aid poor countries in coping with climate change.

“For an equitable outcome, developed countries need to lead in reducing emissions. A robust financial mechanism must also be established to meet the needs of the costs of adaptation for developing countries and for effective development and transfer of technology,” Arroyo said.

The unprecedented Denmark summit attended by about 119 heads of state and government who showed up to pressure negotiators to reach an accord on new measures to cut greenhouse emissions after 2012, when the first commitment period for binding targets under the Kyoto Protocol expires.

“It is time all countries of the world owned up to our collective responsibilities,” she stressed.

The President stressed that despite the Philippines’ low pollution levels, the government has set a goal to further reduce its greenhouse emissions, pointing out our only 1.6 tons per capita.

She committed to deviate by 20 percent from our business-as-usual emissions growth.

Records from the World Resources Institute, the Philippines contributes a minuscule 0.3 percent of the world’s carbon emissions despite the fact that it is the 12th most populous nation on earth.

“We come to Copenhagen in partnership with other nations to find a way to meet the harsh impacts of climate change and avert a global climate crisis,” the President said, pointing out the world cannot afford to leave Copenhagen without a deal and a deal based on common but differentiated responsibilities.