PH adds only 0.3% to gas emissions but faces P506.1-B losses due to climate change | Inquirer News

PH adds only 0.3% to gas emissions but faces P506.1-B losses due to climate change

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 04:59 AM November 03, 2021

Delegates sit during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 1, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman

MANILA, Philippines — While the Philippines’ greenhouse gas emissions remained relatively low, its vulnerability to climate change would inflict losses amounting to P506.1 billion, or about $10 billion, in the next 10 years, according to the Department of Finance (DOF).

The department said it based that estimate on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) covering the period of 2010 to 2020, which showed that climate-related disasters shed P515.5 billion, or about $10.6 billion, from the economy during that time.


‘Fiscal position’

These huge losses were not proportional to the mere 0.3 percent that the country contributed to global greenhouse gas emissions, said the DOF, whose chief, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, heads the Philippine delegation in the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, which began on Sunday and ends on Nov. 12.


In a report by the Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC), the economic team led by Dominguez flagged “the country’s exposure to natural disasters as a major source of downside risks for the national government’s fiscal position.”

The report, titled 2022 Fiscal Risks Statement, and due to be published soon, quoted the DOF as saying that in 2020 alone, damage worth P74.75 billion (approximately $1.49 billion) resulted from “disasters, including three consecutive typhoons.”

The previous year, the DOF said “a single tropical cyclone—Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ (international name: Kammuri)—recorded the most damages (sic) with a total of P6.6 billion (approximately $132 million), of which P2.9 billion (approximately $58 million) and P3.7 billion (approximately $74 million) pertain to infrastructure and agriculture… respectively.”

Joint report

In August, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) issued a joint report that also underscored the risks faced by the country as a result of climate change.

The report said “sea-level rise is happening at an above-average rate for some parts of the Philippines, exposing up to one million people to flooding from rising sea levels by 2070 to 2100.”

Most vulnerable to climate change is the agriculture sector, the lenders said, as they noted that “increased flooding and the increased likelihood of droughts could impact agricultural land [and] contribute toward decreased agricultural productivity.”


“Many of the climate changes projected are likely to disproportionately affect the poorest groups in society and may exacerbate this trend,” the report said. “For instance, heavy manual labor jobs are commonly among the lowest paid while also being most at risk of productivity losses due to heat stress. Poorer businesses are least able to afford air conditioning, an increasing need given the trend toward dangerously high temperatures.”

“Poorer farmers and communities are least able to afford local water storage, irrigation infrastructure and technologies for adaptation,” the report added.

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Based on calculations by the World Bank and ADB, “[i]n the next 50 years, the Philippines has a 40-percent chance of experiencing losses exceeding P1.73 trillion and a 20-percent chance of experiencing losses exceeding P2.74 trillion.”


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