Blog Action Day 09: Don’t Just Talk Do Something!

Typhoons, floods and extreme weather events regularly make headlines… the impacts are likely to become more intense over time.”

On December 6, 2009,  a United Nations (UN) Climate Summit, more popularly known as the Copenhagen Summit will be held by world leaders to talk about climate change and the possibility of having a policy that will take care of the environment.

According to Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change during his talk in Bangkok last September 29, 2009.  One of the key elements of a Copenhagen deal is increased support for developing countries to step up their efforts to deal with climate change impacts. He said that was one of the key messages from the Climate Change Summit of more than 100 Heads of State and Government convened by the UN Secretary-General in New York last September.

“The Summit also made a clear call for an outcome in Copenhagen that will significantly scale up financial and technical resources to enable developing countries to shift their economies to a low-emissions future.”

WHY DEVELOPING COUNTRIES?

Because climate change is not just an environmental issue.   Mr Boer believes that if we don’t enhance action now, climate change will seriously damage economies, infrastructure, food production, the availability of water and people’s health and livelihood.

“Clearly, climate change is a development issue and can only be successfully addressed if it is treated as such. It is about building climate-resilient societies. It is about steering economic growth into a green, low-emissions direction. It is about enabling developing countries to pursue their goals of economic growth and poverty eradication through sound, sustainable development that will literally not wash away.”  Mr Boer stressed.

“This region is characterized by a wide variety of socio-economic situations in different countries. But countries have something in common as well: they are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Typhoons, floods and extreme weather events regularly make headlines in this part of the world. The Philippines are the most recent, tragic example. The impacts are likely to become more intense over time. Dealing with emergency situations, reducing disaster risks and increasing climate resilience is a necessity for this region.”

EMISSION REDUCTION

Emissions Reduction — A method for reducing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of factories, power stations and residences.

Greenhouse gases are gasses that trap heat in the atmosphere.   Most common sources are CO2 (carbon dioxide), CH4 (methane), N20 (Nitrous Oxide) and Fluoridated Carbons.

  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2): Carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal), solid waste, trees and wood products, and also as a result of other chemical reactions (e.g., manufacture of cement). Carbon dioxide is also removed from the atmosphere (or “sequestered”) when it is absorbed by plants as part of the biological carbon cycle.
  • Methane (CH4): Methane is emitted during the production and transport of coal, natural gas, and oil. Methane emissions also result from livestock and other agricultural practices and by the decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills.
  • Nitrous Oxide (N2O): Nitrous oxide is emitted during agricultural and industrial activities, as well as during combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste.
  • Fluorinated Gases: Hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride are synthetic, powerful greenhouse gases that are emitted from a variety of industrial processes. Fluorinated gases are sometimes used as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances (i.e., CFCs, HCFCs, and halons). These gases are typically emitted in smaller quantities, but because they are potent greenhouse gases, they are sometimes referred to as High Global Warming Potential gases (“High GWP gases”).

President Arroyo bragged that the Philippines has a very low emission of 1% but that data was since 1999.  As a citizen of this country I am very much aware and guilty at the same time knowing that we are emitting more than what this old data says.

For one, the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act 0f 2000 or Republic Act 9003 is not implemented properly.  Honestly, has any of us known or seen a facility for waste segregation after its collection from its source like household and establishments?  No matter how we try to segregate our waste, our garbage collectors will mixed them all together in their dump trucks.

WHAT CAN WE DO AS AN INDIVIDUAL?

We all know that we can’t rely and depend on our government to just do something for us.  Private initiative is more powerful than what these world leaders can do for us and our environment.  Instead of depending on our world leaders to take the lead and take action, we as an individual should make the stand of not just talking but doing!

We can do this by lessening our personal carbon footprint or the impact we do to the environment. We should always be mindful of the things we do.  You can compute your carbon footprint here.

Since we all know that CO2 is a big contributor to greenhouse gasses that warms up the earth’s surface we should lessen activities that will contribute more to emitting such gasses.   What are these activity?  Anything that involves burning of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas and coal); burning of solid waste and improper disposal of solid waste,  and deforestation cutting down trees and relentless use of wood products.

We all should lessen our use and dependency on oil and gas as they are major source of methane and methane emission.   If it’s possible for us to use public transport or do a caravan the better. It’s high time that we go back to the use of bicycles.  Methane emissions also result from livestock and other agricultural practices and by the decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills.

The 2010 Presidential/ National election is just a months away.  We should all be mindful about the person we will elect as our leader.  He/she should be someone who does not have any personal interest and relation to dump sites and dump site owners and oil companies or else he/she will not support the low-emission future all world leaders aim at the Copenhagen Summit.  This is my post for Blog Action Day 09: Climate Change!

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