ITU photo courtesy
The challenge of climate change, a major threat to international peace and security, did not escape President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s cerebrum when he addressed recently the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
For indeed, as climatologists say, the effects of climate change heighten competition for resources such as land, food, and water, fueling socioeconomic tensions and, increasingly often, leading to mass displacement.
In his speech before leaders of nearly 150 members of the UNGA, President Marcos Jr. called for a “united effort” among nations to address climate change, calling this “the greatest threat affecting our nations and our peoples.”
“There is no other problem so global in nature that it requires a united effort, one led by the United Nations,” he said in a speech that lasted over 20 minutes.
Despite the Philippines being one of the smallest contributors to CO2 emissions, Marcos said the country remained to be among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
“The effects of climate change are uneven and reflect a historical injustice: Those who are least responsible suffer the most. The Philippines, for example, is a net carbon sink, we absorb more carbon dioxide than we emit. And yet, we are the 4th most vulnerable country to the effects of climate change,” he said.
Marcos emphasized the need for nations to “correct” injustices by accepting their share of responsibilities.
He also enjoined industrialized countries to fulfill their obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement to “cut their greenhouse gas emissions, provide climate financing and technology transfer for adaptation for the most vulnerable, and developing countries to lead by example.”
“We look forward to concrete outcomes at the Conference of Parties in Egypt later this year,” he said.
Last June, Marcos said he was seriously considering his invitation to attend the UN Climate Change Conference’s 27th session of the Conference of the Parties in Egypt in November this year.
Marcos also vowed that the Philippine government would continue to do its part to avert what he described as a “collective disaster.”
“When future generations look back, let them not ask why we did not take this opportunity to turn the tide, why did we continue in our profligate ways, until it was too late? This threat knows no borders, no social class, nor any geopolitical considerations. How we address it will be the true test of our time,” he said.
In March 2017, the Philippines ratified the Paris climate pact — a worldwide effort to achieve a below 2-degrees Celsius increase in global temperatures.
The Philippines, which accounts for less than 1 percent of the world’s emissions, has committed to reducing its emissions by 70 percent by 2030.
This climate change is already happening: temperatures are rising, drought and wildfires are starting to occur more frequently, rainfall patterns are shifting, glaciers and snow are melting and the global mean sea level is rising.
The early 1980s marked a sharp increase in global temperatures. Many climate experts pointed to 1988 as a critical turning point when watershed events placed global warming in the spotlight., stressing the summer of 1988 was the hottest on record (although many since then have been hotter).
The potential future effects of global climate change include more frequent wildfires, longer periods of drought in some regions, and an increase in the duration and intensity of tropical storms.
More frequent and intense drought, storms, heat waves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and warming oceans can directly harm animals, destroy the places they live, and wreak havoc on people’s livelihoods and communities.
As climate change worsens, dangerous weather events are becoming more frequent or severe.
Experts say global warming is the largest threat to humanity and all the living organisms on the earth, major reason behind the fast melting of glaciers will result in rising sea levels which will result in the submergence of low-lying areas.
According to experts, It has changed the precipitation and seasonal pattern of the globe.
We have no reason not to believe.