PH lost P506-billion due to natural disasters

Published November 2, 2021, 2:09 PM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Philippines incurred billions of pesos in losses due to climate-related hazards in over a decade despite contributing only a meager to global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Department of Finance (DOF) revealed Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021, that extreme weather driven by climate change cost the Philippines P506.1 billion, or approximately $10 billion, from 2010 to 2020.

The economic impact of extreme weather accounted for 98.2 percent of the country’s total estimated losses and damages during the 10-year period of P515.51 billion, around $10.6 billion.

“This staggering amount is equivalent to an annual average of P48.9 billion, which is about 0.33 percent of the annual average gross domestic product (GDP) of the Philippines,” the DOF said.

Located in the typhoon belt and the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines constantly experiences unavoidable losses and damage amounting to 0.5 percent of its annual GDP primarily from an increasingly unpredictable climate, the DOF said.

The Philippines is struck by around 20 tropical cyclones every year and an almost daily occurrence of seismic shocks. However, the country contributes only 0.3 percent of the planet’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

Being a climate-vulnerable country, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the Philippines has much at stake in reversing the devastating effects of global warming.

“As I have said on many occasions, I am determined to set the Philippines as an example for all nations in setting the standards for mitigating the impact of climate change. I want us to be a world leader in this area through our climate ambition,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez, who is chairman-designate of the Climate Change Commission (CCC), heads the Philippine delegation to the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26).

He is expected to be one of the leading voices from participating developing economies in asking Western countries that are largely responsible for the most greenhouse gas emissions to act now in significantly reducing their carbon footprints.

Dominguez also wants Western countries to make good on their commitments to extend the financing needed by climate-vulnerable countries to transition to a clean energy future.

“This is the 26th time that the COP will be meeting. Yet, little action has been taken. Nothing would please us more than seeing the countries that emitted and continue to emit the most greenhouse gasses to accept the responsibility of financing the transition to carbon neutrality,” Dominguez said.

The Philippines has committed to a projected greenhouse gas emission reduction and avoidance of 75 percent from 2020 to 2030 for the sectors of agriculture, wastes, industry, transport, and energy, as its National Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement.

 
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