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Activist: Climate change impact already hitting us

/ 07:55 AM June 19, 2013

MORE frequent and more intense storms are the direct impact of climate change.

And the Philippines is bearing the brunt of climate change impacts. In fact, the Global Climate Risk Index (GCRI) released this year ranks the country 4th in terms of climate change impact vulnerability in 2011.

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It was in 2011 that typhoon Sendong (Washi) hit previously typhoon-free cities of Cagayan de Oro cities, claiming 1,659 lives.

“So far we are feeling the effects of runaway climate change. In fact, gamay ra ang uwan, nag banaw na. [Just a little rain, we are already flooded.] We are experiencing it and we continue to experience it,” Aaron Pedrosa, secretary general of the Freedom from Debt Coalition Cebu.

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The Philippines tied El Salvador as 4th most climate change vulnerable countries in 2011.

On top of the list are Thailand, Cambodia and Pakistan. These countries also experienced floodings.

The GCRI measures climate change impact vulnerability in terms of death and economic losses.

Pedrosa, said Cebu is facing high risk of sea level rise. Cebu ranked 13th in the DENR list he said, while Cebu City is the 5th most vulnerable cities.

He took the occasion to express their opposition to the operation coal-fired power plants in the province and the proposal to build more coal-fired power plants here in yesterday’s 888 Forum at the Marco Polo.

Coal-fire power plants he said is the leading emitter of global warming Carbon Dioxide (CO2) gas.

Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) in 2010, Sendong (Washi) in 2012 and Pablo (Bopha) in 2012 are grim indicators of how destructive climate change can be, he warned.

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And things aren’t getting any better. Pedrosa cited the findings Mauna Lao Observatory, a laboratory based in Hawaii, USA, a premier atmospheric research facility that has been continuously monitoring and collecting data related to atmospheric change since the 1950s.

It has observed last May that concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has reached an unprecedented level of 440 parts per million (PPM), way beyond the threshold of 350 ppm as the threshold to support life on Earth.

He said that it is first time in three million years that we have reached this kind of level of CO2 in the atmosphere.

“The scenario na gi project sa mga scientists na 4 to 6 degrees Celsius increase in global temperature is far inevitable,” Pedrosa said. /Correspondent Christine Emily L. Pantaleon

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TAGS: Aaron Pedrosa, Freedom from Debt Coalition-Cebu, Global Climate Risk Index, Mauna Lao Observatory, Sendong
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