Philippines turns over chairmanship on Climate Vulnerable Forum to Ethiopia

admin   •   August 15, 2016   •   2787

File photo.

File photo.

Today, the Philippines has formally turned over to Ethiopia the presidential seat on Climate Vulnerable Forum or CVF.

CVF is composed of 43 developing contries that work together to advance environmental issues at the international level.

In her opening speech earlier at the forum, Committee on Climate Change and Finance Chair Senator Loren Legarda, stressed the need for countries to fight climate change.

She says the global warming limit should be reduced to 1.5 degress celsius from 2 degrees celsius as stated in the Paris Agreement.

This can be achieved through lessening carbon emissions that cause global warming.

According to Dr. Mannava Sivakumar of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the conditions of agricultural sector have worsened and food supply and production was reduced.

Sen. Loren Legarda says, developing cuntries like the Philippines, though, not being one of those major emitters of global greenhouse gases, are still heavily affected by industrial activies of bigger nations.

The senator also says wealthier countries should abide the agreement to extend help to countries that are affected by climate change.

“It is indicated in the policy agreement that industrialized and developed countries should give technical and financial help because they are the major cause of global warming, changing climate. That is clear in the policy agreement,” Legarda said.

With Ethiopia now heading the Climate Vulnerable Forum, Sen. Loren Legarda is hopeful that it will continue the steps taken by the Philippines in giving voice to developing counties in matters concerning the environment. — Joyce Balancio / UNTV News & Rescue

Global warming causing ‘irreversible’ mass melting in Antarctica says scientist

UNTV News   •   February 19, 2020

Global warming was leading to an “irreversible” mass melting of the Antarctic ice and purging carbon from the atmosphere was the only solution to slow the process, an Australian climate scientist told Reuters on Wednesday (February 19).

Recent human activity has intensified global warming, which could result in a mass melting of Antarctica, said Zoe Thomas, a research fellow at the University of New South Wales who was part of an international team of scientists that recently published a paper on Antarctic ice melting.

The study showed the world could lose most of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which rests on the seabed and is fringed by floating ice, in a warmer world.

“What we’re seeing with the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is that this starting of the melt, once we reach a certain threshold, will continue despite our efforts to stop it,” she told Reuters.

The hottest temperature ever recorded in Antarctica of 18.3 degrees Celsius (64.94 degrees Fahrenheit) was taken at a research base there on Feb. 6. If hotter temperatures were to sustain they could cause an extreme global sea level rise.

“This will gradually displace people as it goes,” Thomas said. “We know this is already happening in small island communities and this will just continue to happen gradually as more and more houses are being inundated at high tide, then at normal tide and then even at low tide.”

Thomas said that the only thing that would slow down the ice melting was if economies across the world began de-carbonising themselves.

Many advanced economies have pledged to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 though Australia is largely seen as dragging its feet on the issue despite recently suffering one of its worst bushfire seasons ever. (Reuters)

(Production: Cordelia Hsu)

Mont Blanc glacier feared to be on brink of collapse

Jeck Deocampo   •   September 25, 2019

Italian authorities in the northwest region of Courmayeur, Aosta closed roads and evacuated mountain huts on Wednesday (September 25) after experts warned that part of a glacier on Mont Blanc could collapse.

According to officials, about 250,000 cubic meters of ice threatens to come down in the form of ice avalanches from the Planpincieux glacier along the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif, after technical structures of the Safe Mountain Foundation registered an acceleration in the displacement rate of the glacier that has reached a speed of 50-60 centimeters per day.

The Mayor of Courmayeur, the nearest town and a major ski resort, decided to close roads in the Val Ferret on the Italian side of Mont Blanc and mountain huts in the Rochefort area were evacuated as a precaution.

According to local authorities, there was no threat to residential areas or tourist facilities but residents have been informed of the possible scenarios in case of collapse.

The rise of global temperatures due to global warming is causing mountain glaciers to melt and the retreat of polar ice sheets.

The problem is affecting the Mont Blanc massif, Western Europe’s highest mountain range, containing eleven major independent peaks, each over 4,000 meters in height. (REUTERS)

(Production: Antonio Denti, Fabiano Franchitti)

Reduce meat consumption to curb global warming — U.N. report

Marje Pelayo   •   August 9, 2019

Global meat consumption must fall to curb global warming, reduce growing strains on land and water and improve food security, health and biodiversity, a United Nations report on the effects of climate change concluded on Thursday (August 8).

Although the report stopped short of explicitly advocating going meat-free, it called for big changes to farming and eating habits to limit the impact of population growth and changing consumption patterns on stretched land and water resources.

Plant-based foods and sustainable animal-sourced food could free up several million square kilometers of land by 2050 and cut 0.7-8.0 gigatonnes a year of carbon dioxide equivalent, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said.

The IPCC met this week in Geneva, Switzerland to finalize its report which should help to guide governments meeting this year in Chile on ways to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Land can be both a source and sink of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming, and better land management can help in tackling climate change, the IPCC said.

But it is not the only solution and cutting emissions from all sectors is essential to quickly curtailing global warming.

Since the pre-industrial era, the land surface air temperature has risen by 1.53 degrees Celsius, twice as much as the global average temperature (0.87C), causing more heatwaves, droughts, and heavy rain, as well as land degradation and desertification.

Human use directly affects more than 70% of the global, ice-free land surface and agriculture accounts for 70% of freshwater use, the IPCC added in the report.

Agriculture, forestry and other land use activities accounted for 23% of total net man-made greenhouse gas emissions during 2007-2016. When pre- and post-production activity in the food system are included, that rises to up to 37%.

Last year the IPCC’s first special report warned that keeping the Earth’s temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit), rather than the 2C target agreed under the Paris accord, required rapid change across society.

The IPCC warned of more disruption to global food chains as extreme weather becomes more frequent due to climate change and said environmental costs should be factored into food.

It projects a median increase of 7.6% in cereal prices by 2050, meaning higher food prices and an increased risk of hunger.

While an estimated 821 million people are undernourished, changing consumption habits have already contributed to about 2 billion adults being overweight or obese.

While forests can soak up heat-trapping gases from the atmosphere, desertification and deforestation can amplify warming due to the loss of vegetation cover and soil erosion.

Measures to cut emissions, such as the production of biofuels, biochar – made from biomass – as well as planting trees, will also increase demand for land conversion.

Reducing deforestation and forest degradation could result in a reduction of 0.4-5.8 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent, the report said. (REUTERS)

(Production: Marina Depetris)

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