Press Release
November 20, 2012

Legarda calls for Green Climate Fund as World Bank
says global temperature could reach 4 degrees

Alarmed with the World Bank study which showed that the global temperature could reach 4 degrees Celsius, Senator Loren Legarda today said that there is an urgent need to operationalize the Green Climate Fund.

"We urged industrialized nations to put up funds for the green climate fund commitment in the wake of the warming climate, wetter months, and more intense rainfall. The changing climate will have its worse effects on the poor, it will make the poor poorer," said Legarda, the United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific.

The Senator noted the World Bank report that highlighted the worse impacts of a 4-degree Celsius global temperature, which is likely to happen if nations would not comply with their commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Such warmer climate would increase sea level by up to 3 feet. Furthermore, water scarcity and decrease in crop yield would aggravate hunger and poverty.

"Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, said that she does not see the Green Climate Fund operational in January, as earlier predicted and promised, due to the Eurozone crisis and the sluggish US economy. But we remind industrialized nations that they have a historical responsibility to assist countries that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change," said Legarda.

During the 17th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Durban, South Africa, there were 35 industrialized countries that agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012, but it is said to cover less than 15% of global emissions, which could warm the world to 3.5 degrees Celsius, dangerously way above the 2 degrees acceptable limit.

Legarda warned that about 30% of all species will face a high risk of extinction if global mean temperatures exceed 1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Furthermore, due to changes in temperature, rain fall and sea level, crop yield is estimated to decline by 19% in Asia toward the end of the century and rice yield in the Philippines would decline by 75%. A 2 to 4-degree Celsius rise in global temperature will lead to a 3% decline in global GDP.

"Here in our country, we have successfully ushered the passage of the People's Survival Fund Law, and we hope it will be funded in the 2013 General Appropriations Act. But beyond our respective countries, the world must act more swiftly, more wisely, and more decisively to build resilience to disasters. Reducing disaster risks is a matter of high importance to the world now, especially to developing countries where disaster risks abound, and to the poor and the marginalized who are most affected by disasters," Legarda concluded.

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