The climate crisis is hitting poor countries hardest

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Greater evil is coming to the Philippines as the planet warms and temperatures rise.

November 16, 2022

Residents carry their pets to the safety of an evacuation center amid heavy rains brought on by Super Typhoon Noru in Marikina town, suburban Manila, Philippines, September 25. (Photo: AFP)

MANILA: The Philippines is the hardest hit country in Asia by the increasing frequency and intensity of typhoons unmistakably caused by climate change. The World Meteorological Organization says weather disasters in the Philippines have increased fivefold over the past 50 years. It’s painful but knowing the truth could set us free.

Warming oceans and rising sea levels are all impacting the Philippines. Roxas Boulevard will be underwater in 20 years. Mango and banana crops have been hit hard with mango production declining by 4%, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in 2022.

The 27th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) is taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, until November 18 and more than 100 heads of state are taking part.

For ten years, rich countries have been promising to reduce greenhouse gases, get out of fossil fuels and compensate poor countries, but most have never done so. Indeed, CO2 emissions have increased, a record of shameful lies. Companies have also lied by “laundering” their CO2 polluting projects.

Al Gore reveals at COP27 “that the top 14 individual polluters are all oil and gas fields and their associated facilities, although their emissions are ‘significantly underreported’ by 50%. Methane leaks and flaring were found to be three times greater than they reported to the UN. Methane is eighty times worse for the atmosphere than CO2.

In fact, all the oil companies have lied again and again and are still lying to the world and making billions in extra profits by selling oil and gas at inflated prices on which the world economy depends. The EU has passed a law requiring them to pay an additional “windfall profits” tax.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the world is on the road to a fatal accident with the foot on the accelerator for not stopping the burning of fossil fuels. In fact, the world has increased its production of deadly CO2 by 14%.

Rich country governments continue to provide financial subsidies to oil exploration companies. “The fossil fuel industry is killing us,” Guterres said, “and leaders are out of step with their people, who are demanding urgent climate action.”

The increase in emissions means that it will not be possible to keep the global temperature below 1.5 degrees of increase. The planet has warmed continuously over the past eight years and will continue to warm. We can expect more disastrous climatic events.

The climate crisis is getting worse, not better, and the planet is in convulsion. If you have any doubts about this, consider the following.

Thousands of experts and scientists report that 2022 is the worst year for climate disasters. The Philippines has experienced the worst series of super typhoons in living memory, causing flooding and devastation.

Pakistan has experienced a massive drought with 62% less rain and temperatures of 40 degrees centigrade. Then the incessant rains came and 33 million people had to flee because a third of the country was under water. One thousand five hundred people died.

China, the world’s worst CO2 producer, also experienced temperatures above 40 degrees that lasted 70 days, followed by flooding. Massive flooding has also devastated parts of South Korea with twice the average rainfall and the worst flooding in 80 years.

India had temperatures as high as 49 degrees. Many died on the hottest days in the 122 years since records began. Rainfall and drought decreased by 71%.

Huge forest fires raged across Europe with the worst drought in 500 years. Siberia and the United States also experienced their worst droughts in living memory.

Australia lost 3.5 billion Australian dollars (2.3 billion US dollars) due to massive flooding. Somalia is suffering from four years of devastating drought and thousands of people are suffering from famine. The low islands of the South Pacific go underwater.

Despite the call at COP 27 for billions of dollars to be paid in court for the damages caused by rich countries to the poor, the rich mostly make promises but little money despite the fact that they are in the origin of the climate crisis.

The Philippines are unlikely to be compensated for disasters and losses caused by more intense typhoons.

The Philippines adds CO2 to global warming from its current 28 coal-fired power plants. These have provided 44.5% of the total energy supply since 2015. Twenty-two new plants are approved by the government but are on hold due to public outcry against them and the Philippines’ commitments to the Paris Agreement aimed at reducing CO2 emissions.

There are few alternative renewable energy generation projects that provide electricity. Renewable and totally free sources of energy are available in the Philippines – hydroelectricity, solar panels, wind, geothermal and biomass – which can replace oil and coal. Investors should therefore focus on more renewable energy sources.

Guterres called for climate justice and said 2015 Paris Agreement promises for rich developed countries to give $100 billion to the poor in compensation and to mitigate climate change disasters have not materialized .

“I stressed the need to double [the] adaptation support to $40 billion a year by 2025,” said António Guterres, as agreed at COP26 in Glasgow last year. “Climate destruction is happening. People are suffering now.

What people everywhere can do is organize their communities so everyone starts tree nurseries in their backyards and when the rainy season starts they have community plantings in designated areas or with the Indigenous Peoples.

The Preda Foundation has records showing that it has planted (with the help of the indigenous Aeta people of Zambales) a total of 49,150 young mango trees and other fruit trees on their ancestral lands since 2002 and many more were planted before that date. These trees absorb at least 8.3 tonnes of CO2 every year. Anyone can join this ongoing project. Email to [email protected]

The natives are nature and forest lovers. They live in harmony with what is left of it. They were the hunters and gatherers before political logging families cut down rainforests, exported raw logs and sold them to rebuild Europe and Japan. The powerful families then claimed ownership of the denuded ancestral lands of the indigenous people and planted 3.2 million hectares with 325 million coconut trees, making them incredibly wealthy and powerful enough to rule the Philippines.

The destruction of the Philippine rainforests is a crime against the indigenous peoples but also against a stable climate for the Filipino people. The Philippines is increasingly affected as the planet warms and temperatures rise and rural areas become impoverished for millions of small farmers. The Philippines must phase out coal-fired power plants and switch to renewable energy sources.ucanews.com

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