Climate change to intensify Asia's misery, says scientist

Press release - 4 November, 2005
An explosive report released today by Greenpeace reveals how climate change will deepen the misery of Filipinos along with other Asians unless measures are taken to drastically cut the use of fossil fuels such as coal.

"Climate change will aggravate the misery  of an already over-burdened Filipino community," said Leoncio Amadore PhD, one of the Philippine's foremost meteorologists and author of the study "Climate Change Impacts in the Philippines: Crisis or Opportunity".   The study determined that increasing trends in temperature, sea level rise and extreme climate events in the Philippines are consistent with global trends.

Dr Amadore added that findings in the Third Assessment Report by the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have been manifested in the Philippines by extreme climate occurrence such as, floods, droughts, forest fires, and an increase in tropical cyclones in tropical Asia.

The severity of climate change is already bringing two of the world's mightiest rivers at the brink of collapse.  Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences say that environmental damage linked to climate change is pushing the Yellow River source into an ecological breakdown, threatening the lifeblood of 120 million people who rely on it for domestic as well as agricultural and industrial uses.  In the Amazon river region, one of the worst droughts ever recorded is damaging the world's largest rainforest, with wildfires breaking out, fresh drinking water becoming scarce and polluted and the death of millions of fish as the streams dry up.

The sector most affected by climate change, is agriculture and food security. The sharpest falls in agricultural production are experienced during strong El Niño events and after the occurrence of severe tropical cyclones.

"Climate change is not caused by developing countries yet the poorest people of Asia will bear the brunt of global warming," said Amadore.  "The same vulnerable countries in the region sadly are not well-poised to respond to such disasters.  Countries must combine both adaptive strategies such as disaster-preparedness programs and, continuous vulnerability assessments along with emission reduction measures such as displacing fossil power with renewables and energy efficiency."

"Renewable energy is starting to deliver the goods for millions of people worldwide. The wind resources of the Philippines and China are enormous.¹The potential for energy efficiency and conservation across the region is huge. Asia faces the choice of embracing ruin or opportunity," said Red Constantino of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.  Greenpeace also called on international funding institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank, to act commensurate to the scale of the problem by re-orienting financing away from coal and towards renewable energy.

Greenpeace's "Asia Energy Revolution Tour" of Australia, Hong Kong, Philippines and Thailand calls for an urgent break from coal and to promote a massive shift to clean, renewable energy. In the Philippines, Greenpeace is campaigning for the government to generate 10% of the country's energy supply from the sun, wind and modern biomass by 2010.

Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses non-violent creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

Other contacts: Red Constantino, Regional Energy campaigner, +63 917 524 1123 Athena Ronquillo, Greenpeace International Energy Campaigner + 63 9178131 562 Michael Kessler, Greenpeace International Communications + 63 915 945 0066

VVPR info: Copies of Regional Climate Change Impacts: Philippine Photos of Southeast Asian Drought available from: John Novis, Greenpeace International Photo Editor +31 6 53 81 91 21 Setting and its executive Summary can be downloaded at http://www.greenpeace.org/seasia/en/asia-energy-revolution/climate-change/philippines-climate-impacts Wind Guangdong. See: www.asiacleanenergy.org

Exp. contact date: 2005-12-19 00:00:00

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