Philippines: Rising sea levels threaten 13.6 M Pinoys – Gore

Helen Flores and Alexis Romero The Philippine Star 15 Mar 16;

MANILA, Philippines - At least 13.6 million Filipinos living in coastal areas may have to relocate to higher ground due to the accelerating rise in sea levels brought by climate change.

This was the warning of environmental advocate and former US vice president Al Gore during the opening of the 31st Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in Pasay City yesterday.

Gore, founder of the non-profit Climate Reality Project, said sea levels are rising fast due to global warming.

“Sea level in the Philippines is projected to rise two to three times faster than the global average,” Gore said, adding this exacerbates the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters.

Scientists have blamed man-made climate change for the fast rise in sea level in the past 2,800 years.

Gore’s documentary on global warming titled “An Inconvenient Truth” helped earn him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

He made a lengthy presentation on the extreme weather events brought by climate change in different parts of the world, particularly in developing nations.

The three-day workshop was attended by at least 700 climate activists all over Asia.

Sen. Loren Legarda, the event’s keynote speaker, said she would file an energy efficiency bill in the 17th Congress, as part of the country’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions.

Legarda said she would monitor the enforcement of laws that promote de-carbonization, including the Clean Air Act, Renewable Energy Act, and the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act.

“We will track compliance with equally important laws that help us prepare for climate realities, including the Clean Water Act, Climate Change Act, the Environmental Awareness and Education Act, the People’s Survival Fund Law and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act,” Legarda said.

She said she would push for the progressive reduction of least-efficient coal-fired power plants and work toward banning their construction.

Despite its commitment to reduce carbon emissions, the Aquino administration has approved 21 new coal-fired plant projects in the past five years.

Gore urged sectors demanding government action on climate change to continue what he described as a “moral struggle” amid the Philippines’ continued support for coal-fired power plants.

He compared the climate movement to those who fought for the abolition of slavery, civil rights, and the right of women to vote, saying such advocacies faced stiff resistance before they succeeded.

Gore said the people should pressure their leaders to act on climate change despite efforts by skeptics to muddle the issue.

He said that while the Philippines has experienced a number of weather-related disasters in almost two decades, the country is still reluctant to use clean energy.

No comments:

Post a Comment