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ASEAN calls on first world countries to fulfill commitment on climate change adaptation

by UNTV NEWS   |   Posted on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his opening remarks during the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit plenary at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on November 13, 2017, declares that the plenary session will be the avenue for them to continue their discussions on how to further consolidate their efforts and shared aspirations toward an ASEAN Community that is rules-based, people-oriented, and people-centered. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reiterated the role of first world countries in mitigating the impact of climate change and how countries severely affected by the global phenomena can adapt to its effects.

During the 31st ASEAN Summit, the regional bloc issued a joint statement calling upon developed countries to “honor and fulfill their existing mitigation commitments.”

Geri-Geronimo Sanchez, the chief of the Hazardous Waste Management section of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said part of the joint statement will be read in the ongoing 23rd session of the conference of parties in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany.

The commitment includes financial support amounting to US $100 billion annually under the convention.

In a joint statement, ASEAN member-states said climate change policies must strengthen the ASEAN rapid response capacity on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction under the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response.

The regional bloc also urged developed countries to provide means of implementation in order to enhance sustainable management as well as conservation of biodiversity, ecosystem and landscapes.

It also calls on the parties to enhance support for the ongoing efforts on promoting low carbon and climate resilient ASEAN cities. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue

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Australian bushfires destroy buildings during heatwave

by UNTV   |   Posted on Monday, January 8th, 2018

Bushfires destroyed buildings and threatened lives as a heatwave hit three Australian states with temperatures in excess of 40 degree Celsius on Saturday.

Several structures were burning on Saturday afternoon as a fire raged out of control on the outskirts of Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne.

“The warnings are being issued and people to access those warnings and to continue to access those warnings is the important thing, because it’s a dynamic environment and obviously we are providing timely, relevant and tailored information to allow community members to make decisions about their safety. So, the important thing is to stay attuned to the systems where the warnings are being published,” said Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley.

More than 50 fires were reported across the state and power was lost to 400 homes.

Emergency warnings were issued in both Victoria and the state of South Australia where another fire in the rural southeast forced residents to seek shelter in buildings because the roads were too dangerous to evacuate.

Meanwhile, Sydney has experienced its hottest weather in 79 years with temperatures in the region hitting as high as 47.3-degree Celsius.

Severe fire warnings were issued for the greater Sydney area and total fire bans were put in place across the city.

About 7,000 properties across New SouthWales were left without electricity, partly because of the heat.

Experts have warned that land and sea temperatures have been affected by climate change, leading to more extreme weather conditions.

Monday’s forecast for Sydney, perhaps unsurprisingly, is for more hot weather – and some rain later in the day. — Reuters


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France’s Macron announces 12 non-binding commitments towards a decarbonized economy

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, December 14th, 2017


At the end of a climate summit organized by France two years after the Paris accord was signed, French President Emmanuel Macron announced 12 non-binding commitments, from a $300 million pledge to fight desertification to accelerating the transition towards a decarbonized economy.

“Today, we have begun to recapture the ground a bit in this battlefield, because concrete decisions were taken, because we were rightly pushed to take these commitments,” said Macron.

Public and private financial institutions pledged to channel more funds to spur the transition to a green economy and investors said they would pressure corporate giants to shift towards more ecologically friendly strategies. Macron said companies who were not “in the club” must be “named and shamed.

Among the commitments, more than 200 institutional investors with $26 trillion in assets under management said on Tuesday they would step up pressure on the world’s biggest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to combat climate change.

“This is not a choice between our planet and prosperity. We choose both. Actually, we can ensure that we are protecting the planet, by investing in the technology of the future,” said UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

“Let’s be aware and take concrete actions. We all have our own way of stopping climate change, but only if we unite our actions, there will be a better place for all, for the polar bears and for us. Let’s make the planet great again. Thank you,” said Eva, an American girl living in Paris.

Meanwhile, the World Bank announced that it would no longer finance upstream oil and gas projects after 2019, apart from certain gas projects in the poorest countries in exceptional circumstances, drawing praise from environmental groups.

“To ensure that we are aligned with our support to their countries to meet their Paris goals, today we are announcing that the World Bank group will no longer finance upstream oil and gas after 2019,” said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

However, the summit leaves no headline promise that will likely reassure poor nations on the sharp end of climate change that they will be better able to cope. — Reuters



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BOC’s computer system upgrade to help increase revenue collection

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

MANILA, Philippines – World Bank will fund the $200-million computer system upgrade of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

BOC Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said the Bureau’s computer system needs improvement that will reach the global standard.

“It will be a computer system that will be on par with the other countries, not only in ASEAN but also with the World Customs Organization. It will be a top of the line system,” Lapeña said.

Commissioner Lapeña believes this project will help eradicate corruption in BOC and increase revenue collection.

“If we can have that automation, It will help a lot, improve our revenue collection a lot. Trade facilitation will be there because when the data enter an office, it will enter into all other offices, it can be used. So less human intervention. So many things will be corrected if we will have full automation,” Lapeña said.

Meanwhile, Lapeña also boasted of the Bureau’s revenue collection in October which reached P42-billion.

He said this has been the highest monthly collection in the history of BOC.

“But under my time, we have met iyong (the) monthly target, above the monthly target. If we will just correct the procedures now–no benchmarking, ‘tara’ will be reduced or eradicated. Eliminate corruption, then we should be able to hit our target next year,” Lapeña said. – Leslie Longboen | UNTV News & Rescue

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