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Global warming more urgent issue than financial crisis-EU

Global warming more urgent issue than financial crisis-EU
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Global warming more urgent issue than financial crisis–EU
By : By Rhaydz B. Barcia Manila Times 30 November 2008 12:10 AM

The world is headed to irreversible and catastrophic changes if global warming results in an average rise in temperatures of more than 2 degrees Celsius, Europe’s top envoy warned yesterday.

“The Philippines given its geography is one of the countries particularly at risk from climate change, whether in terms of extreme weather like super typhoons, sea level changes or simply from the effects of a less certain climate on agriculture,” said Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to the Philippines.

More than the global financial meltdown, the threat of a global meltdown because of climate change is “the most pressing issue” today, he said.

“The global challenge of climate change [is a] more urgent matter than any other global meltdown,” MacDonald said during the awarding ceremonies of 2008 Climate Change Photo Contest sponsored by the EU.

“All of these issues are particularly in the spotlight at the moment but global warming is already causing changes in the world’s climate and these changes will become increasingly severe unless urgent action is taken to reduce carbon emissions,” he said at Ateneo De Manila University.
“The Philippines has a tremendous renewable-energy potential like vast untapped biomass such as bagasse, rice hull and wind energy resources,” MacDonald said.

“There is much that can be done in terms of energy efficiency and the European Union has been happy to work with the Philippines in supporting a number of initiatives in relation to renewable energy and efficient energy,” he said.

He said he has urged local environment and other officials who will attend an international conference on climate change in Poznan, Poland, this week to strengthen global efforts against global warming.

“If we are to stand a chance of keeping the temperature increase below the 2 degrees Celsius target, [greenhouse gasses] emissions from industrialized countries should be cut by 60 [percent] to 80 percent by 2050 as part of a multilateral agreement,” the envoy said.

The EU is already committed to reduce its overall emissions to at least 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, he said, adding it is ready to scale up this reduction to as much as 30 percent.
There were more than 100 entries in the 2008 Climate Change Photo Contest. Linus Escador of the Manila Bulletin bagged the top prize on the single image category with his piece “Baceso Tornado Aftermath.”

Other winners were Charlie Saceda, second prize, of the Philippine Star with his piece “Rescue;” Randall Cipriano, 3rd prize, with his entry “Wane;” and Pepito Frias, 4th prize, with his entry “Rising sea water.”

Honorable mention awards in the single photo category went to Linus Escandor with his entries “When the wind blows” and “Irosin Residents Agree to Leave Homes;” and Ramon Castillo’s “Frogs as indicator of environment health.”

Awards of excellence were given to Rhaydz Barcia of The Manila Times for “Aerial photo of denuded mountain somewhere in Camarines Sur;” Pacifico Jose Jr. for “Floating;” Bobby Timonera for “Medel’s cross;” Fernando Zapata for his “Frosted Salad;” Gregorio “Jhun” Dantes Jr., for “Water world;” Keith Kristoffer Bacongco for “Sea of Empty Waves;” and Vicente Jaime “VJ” Villafranca for “Monsoon Nights.”

For “Photo Story” category the top prize went to Gregorio “Jhun” Dantes Jr. for “Water world” and Maria Virginia Cruz for “Burning Planet.”

Honorable mention awards for photo story category went to Bill Willard Gange for “Typhoon Frank Flash Flood;” Maria Virginia Cruz for “Poisoned Solution;” and Vicente Jaime Villafranca for “Monsoon Nights.”

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