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RP listed among 12 most at risk to climate change
By FIL C. SIONIL
December 16, 2009, 5:47pm
COPENHAGEN – The participation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the two-day 15th Conference of Parties (COP) on Climate Change here will be highlighted by calls for funding to 12 countries “most at risk” due to global warming, including the Philippines.
The President will push for financial assistance from highly-developed economies anchored on a study by the United Nations (UN)-led Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which showed that the Philippines will be drastically impacted by global warming.
Mrs. Arroyo, who arrived here mid-afternoon Wednesday, will be the 17th out of the 28 speakers lined up during the first day session this Friday.
While here, the President will also take the opportunity to meet with the Filipino community numbering 7,000 to 8,000, mostly professionals.
Of the five climate threats identified by the IPCC study, the Philippines is most vulnerable to strong weather disturbances.
“The Philippines leads the list of nations most in danger of facing frequent and more intense storms,” it said.
The series of strong typhoons that hit the country since late September, notably Ondoy and Pepeng, were testimonies to this effect. Up until today, thousands of families who were rendered homeless by floods spawned by the storms are still in evacuation centers and are expected to spend their Christmas holidays there.
The other economies at great risk to climate change are China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Haiti, Honduras, Fiji, Moldova, Madagascar, Samoa, and Tonga.
Delegates to the conference are looking at financing packages aimed to support developing economies mitigate the effects of climate change. The Philippines, for one, is banning the importation of freon, a coolant gas, starting this coming year.
On a per capita basis, the World Resources Institute said Qatar is the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gas at 55 tons per head followed by the United Arab Emirates at 38.8 tons, Kuwait at 35 tons and Luxembourg at 27.5 tons. The United States ranked 7th at 23.5 tons closely followed by Canada at 22.6 tons.
The 27 countries comprising the European Community have a combined emission of 10.3 tons, lower than Japan’s 10.5 tons.