(You can support this open letter by SIGNING THE PETITION)
To the Honorable Members of the House of Representative and Senate of the Republic of the Philippines,
“The Clock is Ticking”
We would like to ask for your greater understanding on the urgency of DECLARING A CLIMATE URGENCY FOR THE PHILIPPINES.
According to a recent study, a fifth of the world’s major cities will face “unknown” climate conditions by 2050, as rising temperatures heighten the risks of drought and flooding.
Climate scientists at the Crowther Lab, a research group based at ETH Zurich, a science and technology university, analysed 520 cities across the world, including all capitals and most urban centres with a population of more than 1 million.
Globally, temperatures are likely to be 2.4C warmer on average – enough to kill nearly every coral reef and soar past targets set out in the Paris Agreement. Cities in tropical regions, which are likely to see the strongest impacts from climate change, will experience smaller changes in average temperature, the study said.
There will also be shifts in rainfall patterns, leading to more severe flooding and droughts, researchers said.
In another study, the Global Peace Index of 2019, the Philippines is the most susceptible country to hazards brought about by climate change. The study found that 47 percent of the country’s population is in areas highly exposed to climate hazards such as earthquakes, tsunami, floods, tropical cyclones and drought.
The Philippines was followed by Japan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Pakistan. Manila also placed 7th with most risk to a single climate hazard, while Vietnam topped the list.
We, members of Green Philippines (Aksyon Kalikasan) wishes to echo the call and our support to the analysis made by Tony La Viña, acting executive director of the Manila Observatory. As stated, the temperature in the country is expected to rise by 7 to 8 degrees Celsius. This changes are “very serious, existential threat.”
With these changes happening it means more Yolandas, droughts, loss of water. The problems we’ve already been facing in the past 10 years will multiply and we will not be able to cope with that.
DECLARING A CLIMATE EMERGENCY will allow our country a window of more or less 10 years in which we can try to avert the effects. Declaring a climate emergency will mean shifting to renewable energy and abandoning coal power plants “faster than we’re already doing.
We invite the members of the House of Representatives to join over 740 local governments in 16 countries, including Britain, in declaring a much needed Climate Emergency.
We ask you, our legislators, to open your hearts and to give a thoughtful and thorough consideration to this urgent task at hand. We need to act now in order to have a good chance to enjoy the right to a better future.
In behalf of Green Philippines (Aksyon Kalikasan),
Signed by the Members of the Board of Green Philippines (Aksyon Kalikasan) and the Members of the National Council.
- Institute for Economics and Peace, 2019. Global Peace Index 2019. http://visionofhumanity.org/app/uploads/2019/06/GPI-2019-web003.pdf
- ABS-CBN News, 2019. Philippines urged to declare climate emergency. https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/07/11/19/philippines-urged-to-declare-climate-emergency
- Jean-Francois Bastin, Emily Clark,Thomas Elliott, Simon Hart, Johan van den Hoogen, Iris Hordijk,Haozhi Ma, Sabiha Majumder, Gabriele Manoli, Julia Maschler, Lidong Mo, Devin Routh, Kailiang Yu, Constantin M. Zohner, Thomas W. Crowther, 2019. Understanding climate change from a global analysis of city analogues. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0217592
- CROWTHER LAB, 2019. Cities of the Future: Visualizing Climate Change to Inspire Action. https://crowtherlab.pageflow.io/cities-of-the-future-visualizing-climate-change-to-inspire-action#210424
Note: This Official Statement is approved by the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Green Philippines (Aksyon Kalikasan) and constitutes their official position.