Latest IPCC report a warning to abandon fossil fuels especially for Asia, PH
With sobering findings newly released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), sustainability think-tank Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) said pulling the brakes on fossil fuel expansion is the imperative that climate actors from government and finance sectors need to hastily act on to keep the goal of limiting global temperature rise to no more than 1.5°C by the end of the century still possible.
On Monday evening, IPCC published its Working Group II’s contribution to the 6th Assessment Report, which offers the latest and most thorough scientific understanding of current and future manifestations of the climate crisis; dire economic, social, and physical impacts affecting most vulnerable communities and ecosystems; and disproportionate capacities for climate change adaptation globally.
“The IPCC paints a gloomy picture of hunger and poverty for many populations, energy vulnerabilities, wipe-out of entire ecosystems, and death and displacement of millions yearly. All these are happening here and now, and are bound to get worse as climate actors, especially governments and financiers, continue to ignore the urgent need for radical reductions in the use of dirty energy. This latest report is a warning that we need to end the age of fossil fuels far sooner than those backing the coal, gas, and other dirty industries care to admit,” said Gerry Arances, Executive Director of CEED.
This is particularly true for Asia, Arances said, which is hailed as both the last bastion of coal and, increasingly, the hub for LNG and fossil gas development globally.
“Fossil fuel-based development in Asia is no development at all, not when the well-being of people, environment, and economies is the price to pay. Asia needs to abandon coal rapidly and for good while averting a looming gas lock-in, and that could only happen if no finances are fed into fossil fuel projects to get them running. Banks and other financiers, be it domestic or international, still supporting such projects are culprit to the suffering of Asian peoples,” said Arances.
The latest report also identifies the Philippines as among the countries that will continue to experience intensifying extreme weather, food insecurity and ailing biodiversity, and in need of measures to improve power sector climate resilience as an economy reliant on foreign fossil fuel supply and therefore vulnerable to geopolitical shocks and disturbances. The Department of Energy (DOE), however, recently reported that nearly 90% of all new energy capacity they intend to add to the national mix in the next 5 years will still be from coal, gas, and oil.
“The Philippine government, with DOE at the helm, needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with a transition plan to get renewables supplying at least half of the power needed by our homes and industries by the end of this decade. That is the only clear solution to supply and price woes rampant in a fossil fuel based energy sector, and the only responsible plan of action for government leaders to take if they are to prove that their pledge of service to climate-vulnerable Filipinos is not empty talk,” he added.
PHOTO: A Borrowed Planet – Inherited from our ancestors. On loan from our children. by Alisa Singer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change