Under the auspices of the United Nations, world leaders will meet in Copenhagen this December to make decisions that will affect the generation to come. They hope to carve a new international agreement on the reduction of green-house gas emissions to address climate change. This deal includes what sort of green and clean technologies should be used and how they could be easily accessed.
However, the upcoming event lacks serious discussions among developing countries. The apathetic response is perhaps due to more pressing political and economic problems at hand or lack of proper information about climate change or indifference towards the advanced countries which, in fact, blamed on the rising level of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere and for failing to abide by the previous agreements.
In the arena of battle against climate change, nobody should remain a spectator. A synchronized action to address climate change by all countries – to play a role – is critical, especially so with the developing and poorest countries where the effects of climate change are more diverse and devastating.
Take our country for example. Even without the knowledge of scientific realities of climate change, we can easily analyze the real climactic condition based on our local experiences.
The devastation caused by typhoons “Ondoy”, “Pepeng”, “Quedan”, “Ramil” is not yet totally cleaned up with victims still suffering from illness and loss of lives and properties, and yet, we are now bracing for another super typhoon, “Santi”. We also expect the same for next year, a spill-over of typhoons during the dry months of January to February. The rhythm of the seasons is greatly altered. As a result, fruit trees skip their bearing seasons and farmers, suffering from infertile lands, could not anymore determine what particular month is favorable to planting and always wary of pestilence. Year after year more Filipinos are going hungry and it seems famine is inevitable. While rivers are contracting due to siltation and dwindling forest in the watershed areas, tides are rising and inflicting damages to coastal communities. Styrofoam and plastic bags litter our surroundings. Aside from having no other recourse from using these non-biodegradable items, we have not instilled the habit of recycling and reusing. These are only few of the facts we can lend to the urgency of measures for climate change. Unmitigated, it will continue to breed more sufferings.
Of course there are some, sort of, measures that intend to reduce our carbon emissions and energy consumption: the introduction of “smart meter” by MERALCO to cut energy consumption, the enactment of the bio-fuel law that would lessen our dependency on fossil fuel in the future, the use of biogas as fuel and soot-covered CO2 meters in Metro Manila. But there are still areas to push for development to improve the condition of our environment and the lives of our people and reduce our dependency on expensive energy sources.
Apart from failing to vigorously promote sustainable practices in agriculture and fishery, we certainly lack investment on solar power that will cut dependency of rural areas on expensive metered power and, technology on waste management that can be easily adapted to any community setting. On top of these, our government, not lacking in green agenda by virtue of the Philippine Agenda 21, does not venture on green investment and hammer out policies that does not sacrifice environment in the altar of any development ventures, especially logging, large-scale mining and mono-cropping plantations that employ chemicals proven to have greater risk to the environment.
We cannot argue against lack of resources, inequalities of income or limited technology to address climate change. We have to sensitize people to the issue especially those who lack access to information. As our national elections draw near, the issue should be a political one for us to choose leaders who regard environment issues such as climate change on top of their priorities.
– dani conejar