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Science-Based Multi-Sector Initiatives Needed to Address Climate Change

The Philippines ’ Vice-Chairperson Secretary of the Climate Change Commission is advocating for science-based multi-sector action to help the country deal with climate change and the ongoing onslaught of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. He urged all key stakeholders, including national government agencies, local government units, private industry, and civil society, to work together to achieve the country’s climate-resilient and sustainable pandemic recovery.

The cohesion and coherence of our actions and ways forward will define the speed and success of our country’s recovery towards genuine growth and inclusive development.

– Climate Change Commission Vice-Chairperson Secretary

He firmly believes that such recovery must be science-based and backed up by decisive action aimed at ensuring a greener and healthier future for future generations of Filipinos. Acknowledging the importance of multi-sector action on the issue, he agreed that climate change has already wreaked havoc and COVID-19 haD triggered a domino effect. This has destabilised the interconnected system of human life, the environment and economic stability. Continuing with business as usual in combating global warming and Covid-19 was not an option as that both challenges necessitate the creation of a better normal for the country.

“We cannot go back to business as usual,” he said. “We want to embrace practises that will place equal importance on economic, social, and environmental well-being not only for the now but for tomorrow. We do this not through speculation but on decisions and policies founded on science.”

Science-based interventions will help protect the gains made by the country in dealing with climate change and Covid-19. However, it was important, in responding to the health, climate and environmental crises, that actions do not reintroduce the vulnerabilities that existed previously.

Human activities such as fossil fuel-based power generation, according to experts, are among the sources of GHG emissions. They claimed that GHG emissions continue to accumulate in the atmosphere, trapping heat and causing global temperatures to rise, thereby changing the climate. Climate change’s impacts on the Philippines include an increase in extreme weather events, as well as sea level and temperature rise, they noted. Among the ways to reduce GHG emissions is to switch to clean energy.

Against this backdrop, a Philippine integrated property developer signed a partnership agreement with the Manila Observatory for the “High-Definition Clean Energy, Climate, and Weather Forecasts for the Philippines” Project – a data-driven system that uses automated weather stations (AWS) and high-performance computer modelling to provide clean energy and weather forecasts up to five days in advance.

The multi-stakeholder initiative is part of the company’s long-standing advocacy for disaster preparedness and resilience in the country through strategic partnerships and science-based information.

The Manila Observatory will generate daily weather forecasts and hourly forecasts for clean and renewable energy such as wind and solar energy up to five days in advance as part of the initiative. The 49 AWS instruments installed in the developer’s malls across the country provide real-time images of the atmosphere, allowing the Observatory to fine-tune its micro-forecasts for renewable energy and weather. Moreover, long-term climate change predictions in the Philippines from the 2030s to the 2090s will be made regularly to assist communities, particularly those that are more vulnerable to its negative impacts.

The Manila Observatory will then create risk maps and reports for specific geographic domains based on weather or climate-related hazards, as well as training materials for AWS operation and maintenance, annual reports, and other support materials.

“We need to respond to the climate emergency, and we want to do this by contributing to climate change mitigation, adaptation, and disaster risk reduction, according to our strength as a scientific institution,” said the Manila Observatory Executive Director.

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