2005 warmest year: government should help stop climate change now

Feature story - January 28, 2006
NASA scientists studying temperature data from around the world, agree that the year 2005 was the warmest year in over a century. Much of this is attributed to greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide, primarily brought about by the burning of fossil fuels.

Tribal families have resorted to eating highly poisonous root crop after a severe drought hit the Southern Philippines.

Voicing concerns over scientific findings that global warming has made 2005 the warmest year on record, Greenpeace today stepped up its calls on the Philippine government to take the necessary steps to reduce the country's CO2 emissions by stopping plans to expand dirty coal plants in the country and by implementing policies that will spur a massive shift toward clean renewable energy.

US space agency NASA said Tuesday that last year was the warmest recorded on the Earth's surface, surpassing 1998 as the hottest year(1). The rise is attributed to greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide, primarily brought about by the burning of fossil fuels.(2)

"Developing countries like the Philippines are among the least able to cope with the devastating effects of climate change. We should take care not to commit the mistakes of industrialized nations who have brought the world to the brink of ecological disaster due to their fossil fuel dependency," said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Climate and Energy Campaigner Jasper Inventor.

"Government should prioritize pushing for energy policies which veer away from harmful climate change-causing coal. Harnessing the country's renewable sources of power is both desirable and warranted," said Inventor.

Current renewable energy projects in the Philippines account for much less than 1% of the country's total power generation. Meanwhile, coal-fired power plants, which already account for 36% of the country's total CO2 emissions, continue to be built around the country. New and expanded polluting coal power being proposed or constructed in the provinces of Isabela, Iloilo, Cebu, Misamis Oriental, Pampanga, and Quezon are projected to further increase the country's CO2 emissions from coal by as much as 50%(3).

Greenpeace is calling on the government to help stop climate change by committing to a target of generating at least 10% of the country's energy supply from renewable sources such as solar power, wind energy, and modern biomass by the year 2010.

"Energy solutions are imperative. Time is not on our side. Globally, we need to bring total emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020 and then reduce them by 50% by mid-century," concluded Inventor.

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

For more information:

Jasper Inventor, Climate and Energy Campaigner, +63 917 3009567

Eileen Chi Co, Climate and Energy Campaigner, +63 917 5284087

Lea Guerrero, Media Campaigner, +63 916 3744969, +63 2 4347034 ext. 104

(1)"2005 Warmest Year in Over a Century" from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) site(http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/2005_warmest.html) (2) "2005 was warmest year on record: NASA," Reuters (http://go.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml type=scienceNews&storyID=10957395&src=rss/scienceNews) (3)Computed using the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network (SEEN) methodology (http://www.seen.org/pages/db/method.shtml.)

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