Let's go 10% by 2010!

Page - September 25, 2006
You don't have to be a celebrity to be a star! Just go for clean power!

A Greenpeace volunteer on top of a wind turbine in Ilocos Norte, around 500 kilometers north of Manila. The 25 megawatt wind farm owned and operated by Danish firm Northwind, is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. According to Greenpeace and the Global Wind Energy Council, the Philippines is poised to become the leading wind power producer in Southeast Asia with potential of up 70,000 MW of clean renewable energy from wind. The value of the global market for wind turbines is predicted to expand from the current 8 billion euros to an 80 billion euro market by 2020.

Global warming is real and its impacts will only get worse unless we embrace clean energy. Renewable power from the sun, the wind and modern biomass provides less than 1% of the energy needs of the Philippines today.

Climate change is already happening. It will only get worse unless we embrace solutions today.

Our world today is hotter than it has been in two thousand years. The 1990's was the warmest decade in history, and 1998 the warmest year. By the end of the century, if current trends continue, the global temperature will likely climb higher than at any time in the past two million years. Humanity is largely responsible for this change. The choices we make today will clearly decide the climate of the future.

For more than a century, people have relied on fossil fuels such as oil and coal for their energy needs, with coal being the dirtiest fossil fuel. Burning fossil fuels such as coal releases into the atmosphere massive amounts of the global warming gases such as carbon dioxide -the most significant greenhouse gas. The more we release carbon dioxide, the more we increase the "greenhouse effect" on our planet by trapping in heat and increasing global temperatures and creating catastrophic impacts on the planet's ecosystems - impacts that will hit developing countries the hardest.

There is strong evidence that extreme weather events - such as hurricanes, floods, droughts and heat waves - are increasing because of climate change. According to the Financial Initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the economic costs of global warming are doubling every decade. The cumulative number of people affected by disasters rose to two billion in the 1990s, up from 740 million in the 1970s. Virtually all of these millions were concentrated in poorer countries. Rising sea levels, melting glaciers, massive flooding, decline of agricultural yields, an increase in risk of species extinction and biodiversity loss - these are the other impacts that we may face if we don't act today to stop climate change.

Solutions to global warming already exist but they will not work unless we use them. Today, renewable power from the sun, the wind and modern biomass provides less than 1% of the entire energy needs of the Philippines. To stop global warming, we need to embrace solutions. We need to switch to renewable energy and to increase energy efficiency.