Climate advocates blame US for ‘Yolanda’

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MANILA, Nov. 6, 2014 — Climate advocates held a protest rally on Nov. 4 at the U.S. embassy in Manila, blaming the U.S. and other Annex 1 countries for global warming that has allegedly brought about super typhoon Yolanda and other natural calamities.

According to Gerry Arances, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) national coordinator, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions by the US and other Annex 1 countries has serious impact on climate, noting how the US’ current GHC emissions fall below the required scale to limit global mean temperature rise to 1.5°C.

The Philippines is set to commemorate the first anniversary of super typhoon Yolanda’s land fall in the country on Nov. 8. (File photo)

Adapting to climate change

Pursuant to the climate convention, Annex 1 countries, also known as industrialized countries, should provide developing countries with climate finance for projects and programs geared towards adapting to GHG effects, said Lidy Nacpil, PMCJ national convenor.

Nacpil noted that a negotiation in Warsaw immediately followed Yolanda, seeking to start charting a loss and damage mechanism to “provide financial accountability on climate impacts.”

The US will “continue to be partly responsible” for future strong typhoons that will pass through the Philippines unless it takes immediate and massive measure to reduce its GHG emissions, Arances said.

According to Nacpil, the Green Climate Fund (GCF) was established to bankroll developing countries’ global adaption to climate change, she said. The GCF is expected to raise $100 billion by 2020.

Renewable energy

Despite naysayers, climate change has been validated by new scientific evidence, Arances said. The volume of GHG released into the atmosphere in recent decades is highest recorded in history.

In the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)’s latest report, the volume of GHG emissions have surged since the pre-industrial era, propelled largely by economic and pollution growth, causing climate change, PMCJ said.

The climate advocates charges the US as the number one source of GHG. About half of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere during a 261-year period, from 1700 to 2011 took place in the past 40 years.

Annex 1 countries are responsible for 83 percent of the total global GHG emissions from 1800 to 1988, with 33 percent from the US and 26 percent from the European Union, the group said, quoting the IPCC Assessment Report 2.

Energy-related GHG emissions require reduction by 10 to 20 percent per year to hit zero between the period of 2035 and 2045 to avoid further climate damage, which means 100 percent transition to renewable energy, Nacpil said.

Over 70 percent of GHG emissions during the four decades was due to industrial activities and fossil fuel use. (Oliver Samson)

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