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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Australia invited as climate change partner; El Niño damage now at P1b

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President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday invited Australia to partner with the Philippines in terms of climate change efforts and the renewable energy industry, as he laid out the country’s comprehensive plans to boost the said sectors.

This developed as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that the effects of the El Niño phenomenon have caused more than P1 billion in agricultural damage across the country.

Last week, a reinsurance firm said the Philippines is the country suffering the highest annual economic losses from the impact of four major weather perils studied—floods, tropical cyclones, winter storms, and severe thunderstorms—at three percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) or about $12 billion (P673 billion).

The country is also “exposed to hazard intensification in the future,” according to reinsurance giant Swiss Re, a Zurich-based group, which acts as an insurer for insurers.

“We thus invite Australia to partner with the Philippines in our clean, green, and renewable energy industry and other emerging technologies, and introduce energy efficiency and conservation measures,” President Marcos said during the leaders’ plenary session at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit.

Mr. Marcos also reiterated the offer to host the Board of the Loss and Damage Fund in the Philippines before the assembled leaders,emphasizing the importance of inclusivity and ensuring that the voicesand experiences of the most affected countries are central in shaping urgent global climate policies.

The President emphasized the Philippine government’s proactive stance, both domestically and internationally, on climate change, recognizing the nation’s vulnerability.

He outlined the Philippines’ comprehensive plans to bolster these critical areas.

President Marcos underscored the concrete measures taken by the Philippines to reduce emissions through policies and initiatives that catalyze investments in the country’s abundant renewable energy sources.

He also welcomed the outcomes of COP28, held in Dubai the previous year, underlining the Philippines’ commitment to addressing climate change on a global scale.

President Marcos further urged Australia to continue its support for the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) beyond 2024.

In its latest situation update, the NDRRMC has logged damage worth P1.06 billion in 17,718.11 hectares of crop areas in the regions of Ilocos, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, and Zamboanga Peninsula.

Western Visayas has so far sustained the biggest amount of damage at P687.7 million, followed by MIMAROPA with P319.7 million, Ilocos with P54.4 million, Calabarzon with P2.75 million, and Zamboanga Peninsula with P717,527.

A total of 23,086 farmers and fisherfolk have so far been affected.

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