Philippines and Ethiopia lead global climate coalition to speed development

Ministers from countries forming the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and global thought leaders addressed the Philippine Senate on August 15 as they presented new research indicating development by emerging economies would be optimized if global temperature increase was held below 1.5C degrees.

The CVF held a weeklong event in the Philippines to mark the end of the Philippine CVF presidency and the official handover of CVF presidency to Ethiopia, the first African nation to chair the 43-member global cooperation body.

"The CVF has elevated the voice of the vulnerable under the Philippine presidency and we are certain the Ethiopian chair will lift climate action to an even higher sense of urgency. Our goal is to keep temperatures under 1.5C degrees to enable our countries to reap early the benefits of economic security, job creation and environmental safety," said Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman of the Philippines Climate Change Commission.

Dr. Shiferaw Teklemariam Menbacho, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change of Ethiopia, added that: "Under Ethiopian presidency of the CVF will be vocal, visionary, visible and vigilant in our work to limit the rise of global temperature to 1.5C degrees."

Climate change is widely accepted as the single most pressing issue facing the planet. The new findings, entitled the Low Carbon Monitor: Philippines, argue that a difference of 0.5C in global temperatures has enormous repercussions for the world's physical environment and for the frequency and severity of climate change impacts.

As compared with 2C of warming, limiting the temperature increase to 1.5C would reduce expected heat wave spells for tropical developing countries worldwide by about one third. It would also lower the risks of reduced yields of key crops, and substantially reduce the forecasted increase in extreme rainfall downpours and associated flooding. The research also indicates that limiting the rise to 1.5C results in the least economic losses, avoiding a substantial loss to the global economy by 2050.

Responding to the findings, Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Philippine Senate Committee on Climate Change, said: "Bending the global warming curve to 1.5C is a moral imperative, because it means saving the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people; it means upholding the human rights of the poor and vulnerable; it means ensuring the integrity of our ecosystems."

The CVF Low-Carbon Monitor is a global research on the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement adopted in Le Bourget, France last year. The study highlights the mitigation actions needed to help developing countries pursue low-carbon development. Conceptualized in 2011 at the CVF's Dhaka Ministerial Declaration in Bangladesh, the LowCarbon Monitor complements the CVF Climate Vulnerability Monitor, which details the impact of climate change and the needs for adaptation among CVF member-states.

Source: Philippine Information Agency