Excerpts from this blog entry came from the “HSBC Fragile Planet: Scoring Planet Risks Around the World” Report (April 2018).
All countries are being impacted by climate change but some are facing much more acute challenges than others. The “HSBC Fragile Planet: Scoring Planet Risks Around the World” Report cited the Philippines as the third highest ranking country vulnerable to climate change. India, followed by Pakistan ranked as the top two most vulnerable countries to climate change in the world. Countries from the Middle East, Latin America and Africa are also in this group. The report looked into which countries are most vulnerable to climate change – in terms of both the physical impacts and the associated energy transition risks – and which are better placed to respond to these pressures. It seems that the Philippines is not completely ready (Philstar Global, March 2018).
Climate change manifests through rising temperatures, can alter hydrological (water) cycles and exacerbates extreme weather events. In turn this means higher risks to energy, food and water systems, populations and the global economy. Over 2030 to 2050, the World Health Organisation (WHO) expects 250,000 additional deaths per year due to climate change.
Climate Change is Real
On the day that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that we only have 12 years left to prevent climate catastrophe, an American climate economist cited heavily in the IPCC’s report has been named one of the two winners of this year’s Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Sciences (World Economic Forum, October 2018).
Many critics agree that climate change is happening and will affect cities and countries around the world including the Philippines. It is located in the western Pacific Ocean, surrounded by naturally warm waters that will likely get even warmer as average sea-surface temperatures continue to rise.
To some extent, this is a normal pattern: the ocean surface warms as it absorbs sunlight. The ocean then releases some of its heat into the atmosphere, creating wind and rain clouds. However, as the ocean’s surface temperature increases over time from the effects of climate change, more and more heat is released into the atmosphere. This additional heat in the ocean and air can lead to stronger and more frequent storms – which is exactly what we’ve seen in the Philippines over the last decade.