By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
An international report released on Thursday revealed that the Philippines came in second to Japan as the country most affected by climate change in 2018.
The Global Climate Risk Index 2020 published by international environmental think tank Germanwatch analyzed to what extent countries and regions have been affected by impacts of weather-related loss events, such as storms, floods, and heat waves, among others. The most recent data available for 2018 and from 1999 to 2018 were taken into account.
“Countries like Haiti, Philippines and Pakistan are repeatedly hit by extreme weather events and have no time to fully recover. That underlines the importance of reliable financial support mechanisms for poor countries like these not only in climate change adaptation but also for dealing with climate-induced loss and damage,” David Eckstein of Germanwatch said in a statement.
Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the Philippines-based Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities said “those who are least responsible for the problem, are the ones who are suffering the most.”
Yeb Saño, executive director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said the Philippines is “in a state of climate emergency for decades now.”
“We call on the Philippine government to formally acknowledge this emergency situation and act with the utmost urgency and defend the interests of its people in the face of climate injustice,” he said.
“We need urgent action if we are to address the root causes of the climate crisis and achieve climate justice for our people. This would only be possible if tackling climate change and its impacts on the lives of Filipino people is given top priority by government and placed at the center of policy- and decision-making on local and national levels,” he also said.
Greenpeace is calling on President Duterte to issue a Climate Emergency Declaration.
“In recognition of this climate emergency, the Philippine government should lead the demand for industrialized nations to ratchet up their emissions reduction ambitions in order to limit global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius,” Saño said.
“Our own government must also ensure the country’s rapid and just transition to a climate-friendly development through a massive uptake of renewable energy solutions, the phase-out of coal-fired power plants and a stop to all coal and fossil fuels expansion,” he added.