WHAT will an increase of 1 degree Celsius in global temperatures mean for the Philippines?
In an exclusive interview, environmental advocate and former US vice president Al Gore gave a bird’s eye view of the projected impact in the Philippines should temperatures continue to rise despite the 2-degree limit in carbon emissions set by the Paris Climate Accord in December 2015.
At least 13.6 million Filipinos living in coastal areas may have to relocate to higher ground due to the accelerating rise in sea levels brought by climate change.
“Sea level in the Philippines is projected to rise two to three times faster than the global average,”
Gore said, adding this exacerbates the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters.
Mincing no words, Gore declared that 50 percent of all living species on the planet, including endemic birds in the Philippines, would be lost in a century “if we don’t arrest this dangerous trend.”
He was referring to the warming of the planet through the continued use of carbon dioxide (CO2), the chief contributor to greenhouse gases, that traps excess heat in the atmosphere which, in turn, triggers global warming.
“We are already reaching extremes that really should set off alarm bells,”
Gore cited the spread of the Zika virus as the latest of many relatively new microbial threats spawned by extraordinary heating of the planet.
“That should give us pause because the relationship with humanity and the disease-carrying microbe is mediated by climate. We have the upper hand when the nights are cooler, and of course immunities are different in tropics, subtropics (regions),”
Gore made a lengthy presentation on the extreme weather events brought by climate change in different parts of the world, particularly in developing nations.
The three-day workshop was attended by at least 700 climate activists all over Asia.
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