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What (was) at Stake in Copenhagen? (21 Oct. 2009)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What (was) at Stake in Copenhagen?

The Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, where world leaders decided on the fate of humanity just recently concluded. What happens to the Philippines if the outcome is less-than-favorable? Read on to find out.

Earth’s second-largest archipelago, the 7150 isles of the Philippines form the apex of the Coral Triangle, the world’s most productive undersea food factory – able to annually generate 40 tonnes of seafood per square kilometer – more than enough to provide food for every Filipino.

Sadly, the country is amongst those least-prepared to adapt to changing climates – as the lessons of Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng have demonstrated. Millions of people may have to migrate from coastal regions to less-vulnerable inland areas and the ability of the country’s natural resources to provide food and livelihood might greatly diminish as more destructive climate shifts continue to assail the archipelago.

The Future Begins in Copenhagen

From 7 to 18 this  December, environmental ministers and officials met in Copenhagen for the United Nations Climate Conference to craft a successor to the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012. The conference ran for two weeks and will in all probability, decide the fate of many archipelagic nations.

COP15 is the official name of the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit — the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The COP is the highest body of the UNFCCC and is made up of environment ministers who meet yearly to discuss and facilitate climate-related developments. Over 15,000 officials, advisers, diplomats, campaigners and journalists are expected to attend COP15, to be graced by heads of state from almost 200 nations. The most significant outputs from COP15 should be the following:

1. Significant reduction of greenhouse gases for industrialized countries.
2. Specific emissions caps for developing countries.
3. Financing for climate adaptation measures, especially in developing countries.

The Decisions Will Affect Millions

WWF, the world’s largest and most respected conservation organization, is calling for the continuation of the Kyoto protocol in industrialized countries as well as a decisive protocol in Copenhagen – which should legally bind all major emitters. Should talks break down, then more frequent and destructive climate events will surely assail climate-vulnerable countries – especially the Philippine Isles.

The recent floods brought about by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng serve as grim testaments to remind the Copenhagen delegates that what they are discussing are not only piles of papers but documents which will decide the fate of millions of people. The US, considered the highest carbon emitter in history, must set an example for other countries in committing to substantial reductions in carbon emissions and to set up a global fund for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

As the world’s leading environmental solutions provider, WWF sent Copenhagen representatives to ensure that the right decisions are made. For what’s at stake is not land, nor money, nor power. At stake is the survival of our people.

WWF (World Wildlife Fund for Nature) Release
21 October 2009 
(Reposted with permission, from http://www.wwf.org.ph/newsfacts.php?pg=det&id=171)

For more information please contact:

Yeb Saño
Climate Change and Energy Programme Director, WWF-Philippines
920-7923/26/31, 0917-807-9089

Gregg Yan
Information, Education and Communications Officer, WWF-Philippines


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