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WORLD NEWS: CRUNCH TIME AFTER ALL-NIGHT CLIMATE TALKS IN PARIS


DECEMBER 10 -A woman takes a picture of a globe at the COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference Monday, Dec. 7, 2015 in Le Bourget, north of Paris. The Paris conference is the 21st time world governments are meeting to seek a joint solution to climate change. The talks are focused on reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, primarily by shifting from oil, coal and gas to cleaner sources of energy.  (AP Photo/Christophe Ena) LE BOURGET, PARIS, FRANCE - Weary envoys from 195 nations battling to forge an accord to save mankind from disastrous global warming emerged Thursday from all-night talks facing an imminent deadline with deal-breaking rows still unresolved. More than two decades of bruising international diplomacy have failed to produce such a pact, which would require the world’s energy system to cut back on burning coal, oil and gas that releases planet-warming gases. The 195-nation UN talks in the French capital have been billed as the last chance to avert worst-case-scenario climate change impacts: increasingly severe drought, floods and storms, as well as island-engulfing rising seas. After nine days of tense negotiations, French Foreign Minister and conference host Laurent Fabius released a draft Wednesday of the final accord to be used as the basis for final negotiations. Fabius has set an ambitious deadline of Friday for the deal to be reached, and negotiators met through the night to debate the text at a sprawling conference venue in Le Bourget on the northern outskirts of Paris. “We are progressing well. We spent the whole night on it again,” Fabius said on Thursday morning. “In the afternoon I will propose a new text that takes into account everything I have been told. I hope, I hope that tomorrow we will have finished.”  But Fabius announced no breakthroughs in any of the biggest arguments — primarily between developing and developed nations — that have derailed previous UN efforts to forge an accord. They include over how to pay for the costly shift to renewable energy, and how to compensate the developing nations who are feeling the biggest impacts of climate change but have emitted the least greenhouse gases. Red lines Embarking on a final session of the marathon talks on Wednesday night, a host of nations from all sides of the disputes voiced their entrenched positions. “Many options cross our red lines,” Luxembourg negotiator Carole Dieschbourg, representing the European Union, told other delegates. One of the key battle lines is what cap on global warming to enshrine in the accord, set to take effect in 2020. Many nations most vulnerable to climate change want to limit warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.5 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels. However several big polluters, such as the United States, China and India, prefer a ceiling of 2C, which would allow them to burn fossil fuels for a while longer. Barbados’s Environment Minister, Denis Lowe, representing a bloc of Caribbean nations among the most vulnerable to rising sea levels, told the late-night session 1.5C was non-negotiable. “We will not sign off on an agreement that represents the certain extinction of our people,” Lowe said. Many other ministers echoed their nations’ long-held positions. Still, most also said the draft was an acceptable blueprint to work from, and they were prepared to continue negotiating. Billion-dollar deal-busters One of the biggest potential deal-busters remains money. READ MORE...

ALSO 200 nations together almost there: Landmark global climate deal looms


DECEMBER 13, 10:30 am -France has presented what it calls the "final draft" of a potentially historic global agreement to fight climate change to international negotiators. PHOTO FROM BUSINESSWORLDNEWS Le Bourget, France – Negotiators from around the world appear to be closing in on a landmark accord to slow global warming, with a possible final draft to be presented Saturday for a last round of debate at talks outside Paris. The draft, completed after late-night negotiations, is being translated from English into the United Nation’s five other official languages and will be presented at a special meeting of international delegates at 11:30 a.m. (1030GMT), according to two French officials. The officials, not authorized to be publicly named in discussing the negotiations, would not elaborate on the contents of the draft. The last draft of the accord, released Thursday night, did not resolve several key issues, including how rich and developing countries would share the costs of fighting global warming. If the 190 nations gathered in Paris agree to an accord, it would be a breakthrough after more than two decades of UN efforts to persuade governments to work together to reduce the man-made emissions that scientists say are warming the planet. Melting glaciers, rising seas, and expanding deserts linked to such climate change are threatening populations around the world. Negotiators emerged from meetings late Friday with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, the host of the talks, amid an air of optimism that had been lacking just hours earlier. “We are pretty much there,” Egyptian Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy, the chairman of a bloc of African countries, told The Associated Press late Friday. “There have been tremendous developments in the last hours. We are very close.”  A negotiator from a developed country was equally positive. “I think we got it,” said the negotiator, who was not authorized to speak publicly as the talks were not over yet. READ MORE...

ALSO To rousing cheers & tears: 195 nations seal historic Paris pact to stop global warming


DECEMBER 13, 2:57am -TWEET: Agence France-Presse ✔ @AFP #UPDATE World adopts historic Paris global #COP21 1:44 PM - 12 Dec 2015 France - To rousing cheers and tears of relief, envoys from 195 nations approved Saturday an accord to stop global warming, offering hope that humanity can avert catastrophic climate change and usher in an energy revolution. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius ended nearly a fortnight of grueling UN negotiations in Paris with the bang of a gavel, marking consensus among the ministers, who stood for several minutes to clap and shout their joy. "I see the room, I see the reaction is positive, I hear no objection. The Paris climate accord is adopted," Fabius declared. Turning to a little green hammer with which he formally gave life to the arduously-crafted pact, he quipped: "It may be a small gavel but it can do big things." The deal, to take effect from 2020, ends decades-long rows between rich and poor nations over how to carry out what will be a multi-trillion-dollar effort to cap global warming and deal with consequences already occurring. With 2015 forecast to be the hottest year on record, world leaders and scientists had said the accord was vital for capping rising temperatures and averting the most calamitous impacts from climate change. Without urgent action, they warned of increasingly severe droughts, floods and storms, as well as rising seas that would engulf islands and coastal areas populated by hundreds of millions of people. The crux of the fight to limit global warming requires cutting back or eliminating the use of coal, oil and gas for energy, which has largely powered prosperity since the Industrial Revolution began in the 1700s. The burning of those fossil fuels releases invisible greenhouse gases, which cause the planet to warm and change Earth's delicate climate system. Ending the vicious circles requires a switch to cleaner sources, such as solar and wind, and improving energy efficiency. Some nations are also aggressively pursuing nuclear power, which does not emit greenhouse gases. Ambitious global warming limit The Paris accord sets a target of limiting warming of the planet to "well below" 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) compared with the Industrial Revolution, while aiming for an even more ambitious goal of 1.5 C. To do so, the emissions of greenhouse gases will need to peak "as soon as possible", followed by rapid reductions, the agreement states. READ MORE...

ALSO Jubilee of Mercy year: New, free marriage annulment process takes effect


DECEMBER 12 -VATICAN CITY: With the launch of the Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis’ reforms to the annulment process have gone into effect, giving more of a role to the local bishop, dropping automatic appeals, and ensuring that the process is free of charge. The new process is aimed at streamlining the system for granting annulments out of concern “for the salvation of souls” while affirming the longstanding Catholic teaching on marriage indissolubility. Originally announced in September, the changes went into effect December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception and the opening day of the Jubilee for Mercy. The changes were initially published in two motu proprio – or letters issued by the Pope “on his own initiative.” The documents were entitled “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” (The Lord Jesus, a meek judge), which deals with modifications in the Latin Rite’s Code of Canon Law, and “Mitis et misericors Iesus” (Jesus, meek and merciful), which outlines changes for Eastern Churches who, although in full communion with Rome, have historically had a different process. Both documents reflect many of the same changes, however instead of bishops, “Mitis et misericors Iesu” refers to Eastern patriarchs and eparchies. In a brief introduction, Pope Francis stressed that his adjustments “do not favor the nullifying of marriages but the promptness of the processes.” He said that he decided to make the changes in line with the desire of his brother bishops, who during last year’s extraordinary synod on the family called for the process to be “faster and more accessible.” Many have criticized the current process of obtaining an annulment for being long, complex and in some places, too expensive. Reform was also required due to “the enormous number of faithful who…too often are diverted from juridical structures of the Church due to physical or moral distance,” the Pope said, adding that “charity and mercy” require the Church as mother to draw close to her children who consider themselves far off. Among the more significant changes the Pope made were dropping the automatic appeal needed after a decision on nullity has been reached, as well as allowing local bishops to make their own judgments on “evident” cases of marriage nullity. Until now, once a decision had been made to declare a marriage null, the ruling was automatically appealed to another body, a practice many have blamed for unnecessary delays in the process. With Francis’ new changes, only one judgment will be needed. However, in the case that it is appealed, the Pope said that appeals can be done in the nearest metropolitan diocese, rather than needing to go to Rome. READ MORE...

ALSO: 12 PROVINCES UNDER SIGNAL NO. 1, Signal No. 3 raised over 6 provinces due to Nona


DECEMBER 13 -Storm 'Nona' sparks alert on rains, floods, sea surges; Signal 1 over Samar provinces TYPHOON Nona (international name Melor) peaked in strength on the eve of its landfall over Samar and Bicol provinces on Monday, with winds near the center, reaching 140 kilometers per hour and gusts up to 170 kph. The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Sunday placed six provinces in the direct path of the typhoon under public storm warning signal number 3. These are Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon including Ticao island, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar and Samar. Seven provinces — Masbate including Burias Island, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Romblon and Southern Quezon, Leyte and Biliran — were placed under warning signal number 2. Signal number 1 was hoisted in Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro and rest of Quezon, Southern Leyte, Northern Cebu including Bantayan and Camotes Islands, Aklan, Capiz and Negros Occidental, Dinagat province and Siargao Island. PAGASA said it might shortly raise warning signal number 1 over the rest of Southern Luzon, Aklan, Capiz and Metro Manila, which would be affected by the typhoon’s outer cloud band although they have not been projected to be in the path of the eye of the typhoon. “The typhoon will be at its strongest on Monday or Tuesday,” PAGASA forecaster Robert Badrina said. The typhoon, which moved westwards at 19 kph, carried moderate to heavy rains within its 300-km diameter, PAGASA said. He said the typhoon would likely make landfall over Northern Samar on Monday morning and continue to cut westwards across the Samar and Bicol provinces until Wednesday. The typhoon will start to weaken after hitting land but is expected to remain a typhoon until it exits the landmass from Mindoro province on Wednesday or Thursday if it maintains its current track, according to PAGASA In the next couple of days after hitting land, it will start to weaken but will remain powerful as it cuts westwards. “It will make landfall Monday morning or noon,” Badrina of PAGASA said. READ MORE...

ALSO: El Niño reaching its peak; PNoy sets gov’t response


DECEMBER 11 -The weather bureau has warned that El Niño conditions could become stronger starting October and peak by November or December when the sea surface temperature in the tropical Pacific will become much hotter than average. Philstar.com/File El Niño indicators are now showing signs that the ongoing climate condition is approaching its peak, spawning the dry spell and drought throughout 63 provinces at least until the end of the year. Citing international climate prediction models, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the El Niño condition in the tropical Pacific stayed strong, with sea surface temperatures remaining close to record-high values. The El Niño is approaching its peak but may gradually weaken by February 2016, PAGASA said. The transition to neutral condition is expected by May-June-July 2016, it added. Due to the current El Niño episode, drought and dry spell conditions are expected to persist in 63 provinces in the country. DROUGHT VS DRY SPELL Drought is defined as three consecutive months of way below normal (60 percent reduction from average) or five consecutive months of below normal (21 to 60 percent reduction from average) rainfall condition. Dry spell is described as three consecutive months of below normal (21 to 60 percent reduction from average) rainfall conditions or two consecutive months of way below normal (more than 60 percent reduction from average) rainfall conditions, while dry condition is defined as two consecutive months of below normal rainfall condition or 21-60 percent reduction from average rainfall. Quezon, Albay, Camarines Norte, Antique, Northern Samar, Samar, and North Cotabato will likely experience drought, while Kalinga, Apayao, Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Quirino, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Aurora, Cavite, Rizal, Catanduanes, Bohol, Camiguin and Davao del Sur will likely experience dry condition. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Crunch time after all-night climate talks in Paris


A woman takes a picture of a globe at the COP21, the United Nations Climate Change Conference Monday, Dec. 7, 2015 in Le Bourget, north of Paris. The Paris conference is the 21st time world governments are meeting to seek a joint solution to climate change. The talks are focused on reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, primarily by shifting from oil, coal and gas to cleaner sources of energy. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

LE BOURGET, PARIS, FRANCE, DECEMBER 14, 2015 (INQUIRER) @inquirerdotnet Agence France-Presse 07:29 PM December 10th, 2015 - Weary envoys from 195 nations battling to forge an accord to save mankind from disastrous global warming emerged Thursday from all-night talks facing an imminent deadline with deal-breaking rows still unresolved.

More than two decades of bruising international diplomacy have failed to produce such a pact, which would require the world’s energy system to cut back on burning coal, oil and gas that releases planet-warming gases.

The 195-nation UN talks in the French capital have been billed as the last chance to avert worst-case-scenario climate change impacts: increasingly severe drought, floods and storms, as well as island-engulfing rising seas.

After nine days of tense negotiations, French Foreign Minister and conference host Laurent Fabius released a draft Wednesday of the final accord to be used as the basis for final negotiations.

Fabius has set an ambitious deadline of Friday for the deal to be reached, and negotiators met through the night to debate the text at a sprawling conference venue in Le Bourget on the northern outskirts of Paris.

“We are progressing well. We spent the whole night on it again,” Fabius said on Thursday morning.

“In the afternoon I will propose a new text that takes into account everything I have been told. I hope, I hope that tomorrow we will have finished.”

But Fabius announced no breakthroughs in any of the biggest arguments — primarily between developing and developed nations — that have derailed previous UN efforts to forge an accord.

They include over how to pay for the costly shift to renewable energy, and how to compensate the developing nations who are feeling the biggest impacts of climate change but have emitted the least greenhouse gases.

Red lines

Embarking on a final session of the marathon talks on Wednesday night, a host of nations from all sides of the disputes voiced their entrenched positions.

“Many options cross our red lines,” Luxembourg negotiator Carole Dieschbourg, representing the European Union, told other delegates.

One of the key battle lines is what cap on global warming to enshrine in the accord, set to take effect in 2020.

Many nations most vulnerable to climate change want to limit warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.5 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

However several big polluters, such as the United States, China and India, prefer a ceiling of 2C, which would allow them to burn fossil fuels for a while longer.

Barbados’s Environment Minister, Denis Lowe, representing a bloc of Caribbean nations among the most vulnerable to rising sea levels, told the late-night session 1.5C was non-negotiable.

“We will not sign off on an agreement that represents the certain extinction of our people,” Lowe said.

Many other ministers echoed their nations’ long-held positions.

Still, most also said the draft was an acceptable blueprint to work from, and they were prepared to continue negotiating.

Billion-dollar deal-busters

One of the biggest potential deal-busters remains money.

READ MORE...

Rich countries promised six years ago in Copenhagen to muster $100 billion (92 billion euros) a year from 2020 to help developing nations make the costly shift to clean energy, and to cope with the impact of global warming.

But how the pledged funds will be raised still remains unclear — and developing countries are pushing for a promise that the amount will be ramped up in future.

Meanwhile, rich nations are insisting that developing giants work harder to tackle their greenhouse gases, noting that much of the world’s emissions come from their fast-growing economies.

Most nations submitted to the UN before Paris their voluntary plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions from 2020, a process that was widely hailed as an important platform for success.

But scientists say that even if the cuts were fulfilled, they would still put Earth on track for warming of at least 2.7C.

One of the remaining battle fronts in Paris is a debate over when and how often to review those national plans, so that they could be “scaled up” with pledges for deeper emissions cuts.

But some developing nations insist they should not be pressured into deeper cuts.

Despite the hurdles, long-time observers said a deal could be reached in Paris.

“Our sense is that almost everything we need for an ambitious, equitable agreement is still in play,” Jennifer Morgan, global director of the climate program at the World Resources Institute, told reporters.

“But there is clearly an immense amount of work to be done in the coming hours.”

Previous UN climate conferences have extended well past their scheduled finishing times, meaning talks could extend into the weekend.

However Fabius has said he is determined for the Paris talks to end on Friday.

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MANILA BULLETIN

Landmark global climate deal looms by AP December 13, 2015 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share3


France has presented what it calls the "final draft" of a potentially historic global agreement to fight climate change to international negotiators. PHOTO FROM BUSINESSWORLDNEWS

Le Bourget, France – Negotiators from around the world appear to be closing in on a landmark accord to slow global warming, with a possible final draft to be presented Saturday for a last round of debate at talks outside Paris.

The draft, completed after late-night negotiations, is being translated from English into the United Nation’s five other official languages and will be presented at a special meeting of international delegates at 11:30 a.m. (1030GMT), according to two French officials.

The officials, not authorized to be publicly named in discussing the negotiations, would not elaborate on the contents of the draft. The last draft of the accord, released Thursday night, did not resolve several key issues, including how rich and developing countries would share the costs of fighting global warming.

If the 190 nations gathered in Paris agree to an accord, it would be a breakthrough after more than two decades of UN efforts to persuade governments to work together to reduce the man-made emissions that scientists say are warming the planet. Melting glaciers, rising seas, and expanding deserts linked to such climate change are threatening populations around the world.

Negotiators emerged from meetings late Friday with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, the host of the talks, amid an air of optimism that had been lacking just hours earlier.

“We are pretty much there,” Egyptian Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy, the chairman of a bloc of African countries, told The Associated Press late Friday. “There have been tremendous developments in the last hours. We are very close.”

A negotiator from a developed country was equally positive. “I think we got it,” said the negotiator, who was not authorized to speak publicly as the talks were not over yet.

READ MORE...

In a bid to encourage agreement, French President Francois Hollande will join the special meeting Saturday and give a speech alongside UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to show “the importance of deciding and now adopting the draft text,” Hollande’s office said.

The talks were initially scheduled to end Friday and then Fabius wanted a final draft accord by early Saturday. UN climate conferences often run over time, because of the high stakes and widely differing demands and economic concerns of countries as diverse as the United States and tiny Pacific island nations.

This accord is the first time all countries are expected to pitch in – the previous emissions treaty, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, only included rich countries and the US never signed on.

After a final draft is presented, delegations are expected to spend a few hours studying it before it goes to a plenary meeting for eventual adoption.

Prime Minister Enele Sopoaga of the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu was upbeat.

“The signals that have come to me give me encouragement that we are going to have a very … comprehensive and strong agreement in Paris,” Sopoaga told the AP.

Liu Zhenmin, deputy chief of the Chinese delegation, was more cautious. Asked by the AP whether the draft would be the final one, he said only if “it’s more or less acceptable.”

ASSUMING RESPONSIBILITY

Earlier Friday, Liu stood firm on his nation’s demand that developed countries should assume most responsibility for the costs and argued against an agreement that sets too-tough goals for weaning the world off using oil, gas and coal – the biggest source of carbon emissions.

The US and European countries want to move away from so-called “differentiation” among economies and want big emerging countries like China and India to pitch in more in a final climate deal.

Liu told reporters that issue is “at the core of our concern for the Paris agreement.” He said he wants different rules for different countries “clearly stipulated” in the global warming pact.

China is among the more than 180 countries that have submitted emissions targets for the new pact but is resisting Western proposals for robust transparency rules that would require each country to show whether it’s on track to meet its target.

Liu also argued against sharply limiting the number of degrees the planet warms this century, because that would involve huge lifestyle and economic changes.

“We need heating. We need air conditioning. You need to drive your car,” he said.

Indian Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar also said differentiation was the biggest dispute and accused developed countries of not showing enough flexibility in the talks.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has been in France for five days straight, trying to iron out differences with developing countries. He said he’s “hopeful” for an accord and has been working behind the scenes to reach compromises.

Fabius said the world would not find a better moment to reach a global climate deal.

“All the conditions are met to reach a universal, ambitious agreement,” he said.

BATTLE LINES

The quest to forge an effective worldwide pact dates back to 1992, when the UN climate arena was set up.

But the process has been dogged by labyrinthine fights, especially over the issue of burden-sharing.

Developing nations have insisted rich countries must shoulder the lion’s share of responsibility for tackling climate change as they have emitted most of the greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution.

But the United States and other rich nations say emerging giants must also do more.

They argue that developing countries now account for most of today’s emissions and thus will be largely responsible for future warming.

Rich countries promised six years ago in Copenhagen to muster $100 billion (92 billion euros) a year from 2020 to help developing nations make the energy shift and cope with the impact of global warming.

But how the pledged funds will be raised is still unclear – and developing countries are determined to secure a commitment for increasing amounts of money after 2020, when the pact would come into force.

The latest text refers to the $100 billion as a floor, which the US and other developed nations are resisting as they fear they would effectively be signing a blank check.

Another remaining flashpoint is how to compensate developing nations that will be worst hit by climate change but are least to blame for it.

COMPETING GOALS

Ahead of the talks, most nations submitted voluntary plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions from 2020, a process widely hailed as an important platform for success.

But scientists say that, even if the cuts were fulfilled, they would still put Earth on track for warming of at least 2.7C.

Nations most vulnerable to climate change have also lobbied hard to limit warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.5 degrees Fahrenheit) compared with pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

However several big polluters, such as China and India as well as oil producing-giant Saudi Arabia, prefer a ceiling of 2C, which would allow them to burn fossil fuels for longer.

Negotiators remain divided over when and how often to review national plans so that they can be “scaled up” with pledges for deeper emissions cuts. (With a report from AFP)


GMA NEWS ONLINE

195 nations seal historic Paris pact to stop global warming Published December 13, 2015 2:35am Updated December 13, 2015 2:57am LE BOURGET,


TWEET: Agence France-Presse ✔ @AFP #UPDATE World adopts historic Paris global #COP21 1:44 PM - 12 Dec 2015

France - To rousing cheers and tears of relief, envoys from 195 nations approved Saturday an accord to stop global warming, offering hope that humanity can avert catastrophic climate change and usher in an energy revolution.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius ended nearly a fortnight of grueling UN negotiations in Paris with the bang of a gavel, marking consensus among the ministers, who stood for several minutes to clap and shout their joy.

"I see the room, I see the reaction is positive, I hear no objection. The Paris climate accord is adopted," Fabius declared.


TWEET: Agence France-PresseVerified account ‏@AFP "It may be a small gavel but it can do big things" : Fabius closes talks with a bang #COP21

Turning to a little green hammer with which he formally gave life to the arduously-crafted pact, he quipped: "It may be a small gavel but it can do big things."

The deal, to take effect from 2020, ends decades-long rows between rich and poor nations over how to carry out what will be a multi-trillion-dollar effort to cap global warming and deal with consequences already occurring.

With 2015 forecast to be the hottest year on record, world leaders and scientists had said the accord was vital for capping rising temperatures and averting the most calamitous impacts from climate change.

Without urgent action, they warned of increasingly severe droughts, floods and storms, as well as rising seas that would engulf islands and coastal areas populated by hundreds of millions of people.

The crux of the fight to limit global warming requires cutting back or eliminating the use of coal, oil and gas for energy, which has largely powered prosperity since the Industrial Revolution began in the 1700s.

The burning of those fossil fuels releases invisible greenhouse gases, which cause the planet to warm and change Earth's delicate climate system.

Ending the vicious circles requires a switch to cleaner sources, such as solar and wind, and improving energy efficiency. Some nations are also aggressively pursuing nuclear power, which does not emit greenhouse gases.

Ambitious global warming limit

The Paris accord sets a target of limiting warming of the planet to "well below" 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) compared with the Industrial Revolution, while aiming for an even more ambitious goal of 1.5 C.

To do so, the emissions of greenhouse gases will need to peak "as soon as possible", followed by rapid reductions, the agreement states.

READ MORE...

The world has already warmed almost 1 C, which has caused major problems for many people around the world particularly in developing countries, such as more severe storms, droughts and rising seas, according to scientists.

Environment groups said the Paris agreement was a turning point in history and spelt the demise of the fossil fuel industry, pointing particularly to the significance of the 1.5 C goal.

"That single number, and the new goal of net zero emissions by the second half of this century, will cause consternation in the boardrooms of coal companies and the palaces of oil-exporting states," Greenpeace International chief Kumi Naidoo said.

Enduring money battles

Developing nations had insisted rich countries must shoulder the lion's share of responsibility for tackling climate change as they emitted most of the greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution.

The United States and other rich nations countered that emerging giants must also do more, arguing developing countries now account for most of current emissions and thus will be largely responsible for future warming.

On the crucial financing issue, developing countries agreed to muster at least $100 billion (92 billion euros) a year from 2020 to help developing nations.

However, following US objections, it was not included in the legally binding section of the deal.

Ahead of the talks, most nations submitted voluntary plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions from 2020, a process widely hailed as an important platform for success.

But scientists say that, even if the pledges were fully honored, Earth would be on track for warming far above safe limits.

In an effort to encourage countries to improve their ambitions, the agreement will have five-yearly of their pledges starting from 2023.

Nations most vulnerable to climate change lobbied hard for wording in the Paris pact to limit warming to 1.5 C.

Big polluters, such as China, India and oil producing-giant Saudi Arabia, preferred a ceiling of 2 C, which would have enabled them to burn fossil fuels for longer.

Nicholas Stern, a former chief economist for the World Bank who has become a prominent global advocate of climate action, also hailed the deal.

"This is a historic moment, not just for us and our world today, but for our children, our grandchildren and future generations," Stern said.

"The Paris Agreement is a turning point in the world’s fight against unmanaged climate change, which threatens prosperity and well-being among both rich and poor countries." — Agence France-Presse


MANILA TIMES

New, free annulment process takes effect
December 12, 2015 10:34 pm

VATICAN CITY: With the launch of the Jubilee of Mercy, Pope Francis’ reforms to the annulment process have gone into effect, giving more of a role to the local bishop, dropping automatic appeals, and ensuring that the process is free of charge.

The new process is aimed at streamlining the system for granting annulments out of concern “for the salvation of souls” while affirming the longstanding Catholic teaching on marriage indissolubility.

Originally announced in September, the changes went into effect December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception and the opening day of the Jubilee for Mercy.

The changes were initially published in two motu proprio – or letters issued by the Pope “on his own initiative.” The documents were entitled “Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus” (The Lord Jesus, a meek judge), which deals with modifications in the Latin Rite’s Code of Canon Law, and “Mitis et misericors Iesus” (Jesus, meek and merciful), which outlines changes for Eastern Churches who, although in full communion with Rome, have historically had a different process.

Both documents reflect many of the same changes, however instead of bishops, “Mitis et misericors Iesu” refers to Eastern patriarchs and eparchies.

In a brief introduction, Pope Francis stressed that his adjustments “do not favor the nullifying of marriages but the promptness of the processes.”

He said that he decided to make the changes in line with the desire of his brother bishops, who during last year’s extraordinary synod on the family called for the process to be “faster and more accessible.”

Many have criticized the current process of obtaining an annulment for being long, complex and in some places, too expensive.

Reform was also required due to “the enormous number of faithful who…too often are diverted from juridical structures of the Church due to physical or moral distance,” the Pope said, adding that “charity and mercy” require the Church as mother to draw close to her children who consider themselves far off.

Among the more significant changes the Pope made were dropping the automatic appeal needed after a decision on nullity has been reached, as well as allowing local bishops to make their own judgments on “evident” cases of marriage nullity.

Until now, once a decision had been made to declare a marriage null, the ruling was automatically appealed to another body, a practice many have blamed for unnecessary delays in the process.

With Francis’ new changes, only one judgment will be needed. However, in the case that it is appealed, the Pope said that appeals can be done in the nearest metropolitan diocese, rather than needing to go to Rome.

READ MORE...

He also decided that each diocese throughout the world will have the responsibility to name a judge or tribunal to process incoming cases.

The bishop can be the only judge, or he can establish a three-member tribunal. If a three-member tribunal is established, it must have at least one cleric, while the other two members can be laypersons.

Francis has also declared that the annulment process will be free of charge. Although the practice is already in place in many dioceses around the world, the new change makes it universal.

In his introduction, the Pope recognized that the streamlined process, particularly the new procedures surrounding the decisions made by bishops, could raise concern over the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage.

“It has not escaped me how an abbreviated judgment might put the principle of indissolubility of marriage at risk,” he said.

“Indeed, because of this I wanted that in this process the judge would be composed of the bishop, so that the strength of his pastoral office is, with Peter, the best guarantee of Catholic unity in faith and discipline.”

The Pope also explained that he wanted to offer the new process to bishops so it can be “applied in cases in which the accused nullity of the marriage is sustained by particularly evident arguments.”


INQUIRER

12 PROVINCES UNDER SIGNAL NO. 1: Signal No. 3 raised over 6 provinces due to Nona SHARES: 59 VIEW COMMENTS By: Dona Z. Pazzibugan @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 07:44 PM December 13th, 2015 Update


Storm 'Nona' sparks alert on rains, floods, sea surges; Signal 1 over Samar provinces

TYPHOON Nona (international name Melor) peaked in strength on the eve of its landfall over Samar and Bicol provinces on Monday, with winds near the center, reaching 140 kilometers per hour and gusts up to 170 kph.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Sunday placed six provinces in the direct path of the typhoon under public storm warning signal number 3.

These are Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon including Ticao island, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar and Samar.

Seven provinces — Masbate including Burias Island, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Romblon and Southern Quezon, Leyte and Biliran — were placed under warning signal number 2.

Signal number 1 was hoisted in Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro and rest of Quezon, Southern Leyte, Northern Cebu including Bantayan and Camotes Islands, Aklan, Capiz and Negros Occidental, Dinagat province and Siargao Island.

PAGASA said it might shortly raise warning signal number 1 over the rest of Southern Luzon, Aklan, Capiz and Metro Manila, which would be affected by the typhoon’s outer cloud band although they have not been projected to be in the path of the eye of the typhoon.

“The typhoon will be at its strongest on Monday or Tuesday,” PAGASA forecaster Robert Badrina said.

The typhoon, which moved westwards at 19 kph, carried moderate to heavy rains within its 300-km diameter, PAGASA said.

He said the typhoon would likely make landfall over Northern Samar on Monday morning and continue to cut westwards across the Samar and Bicol provinces until Wednesday.

The typhoon will start to weaken after hitting land but is expected to remain a typhoon until it exits the landmass from Mindoro province on Wednesday or Thursday if it maintains its current track, according to PAGASA

In the next couple of days after hitting land, it will start to weaken but will remain powerful as it cuts westwards.

“It will make landfall Monday morning or noon,” Badrina of PAGASA said.

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PAGASA renamed the typhoon Nona from Nonoy at the last minute early Saturday after the cyclone has reached the country’s territory.

PAGASA senior weather officer Rene Paciente was quoted as saying Science Secretary Mario Montejo ordered the change of the name since Nonoy resembled the President’s nickname, Noynoy.

Montejo reportedly did not want to associate the President’s name to a potentially damaging typhoon.

PAGASA assigns a local name to a typhoon according to a list that was prepared several years ago.

PAGASA is an agency under the Department of Science and Technology. AC


MANILA BULLETIN

El Niño reaching its peak; PNoy sets gov’t response by Genalyn D. Kabiling and Ellalyn B. De Vera December 11, 2015 Share0 Tweet0 Share0 Email0 Share22


The weather bureau has warned that El Niño conditions could become stronger starting October and peak by November or December when the sea surface temperature in the tropical Pacific will become much hotter than average. Philstar.com/File

El Niño indicators are now showing signs that the ongoing climate condition is approaching its peak, spawning the dry spell and drought throughout 63 provinces at least until the end of the year.

Citing international climate prediction models, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the El Niño condition in the tropical Pacific stayed strong, with sea surface temperatures remaining close to record-high values.

The El Niño is approaching its peak but may gradually weaken by February 2016, PAGASA said.

The transition to neutral condition is expected by May-June-July 2016, it added.

Due to the current El Niño episode, drought and dry spell conditions are expected to persist in 63 provinces in the country.

DROUGHT VS DRY SPELL

Drought is defined as three consecutive months of way below normal (60 percent reduction from average) or five consecutive months of below normal (21 to 60 percent reduction from average) rainfall condition.

Dry spell is described as three consecutive months of below normal (21 to 60 percent reduction from average) rainfall conditions or two consecutive months of way below normal (more than 60 percent reduction from average) rainfall conditions, while dry condition is defined as two consecutive months of below normal rainfall condition or 21-60 percent reduction from average rainfall.

Quezon, Albay, Camarines Norte, Antique, Northern Samar, Samar, and North Cotabato will likely experience drought, while Kalinga, Apayao, Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Quirino, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Aurora, Cavite, Rizal, Catanduanes, Bohol, Camiguin and Davao del Sur will likely experience dry condition.

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Meanwhile, areas that will experience dry spell are Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Mt. Province, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Laguna, Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Palawan, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Aklan, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Eastern Samar, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Basilan, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

While “below to way below normal” rainfall condition is expected in most parts of the country, Batanes will likely receive above normal rainfall.

The provinces of Cagayan, Biliran, Leyte, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental, Sarangani, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur and Metro Manila may expect near normal rainfall condition.

PAGASA said air temperatures this month are expected to be slightly warmer than normal in most parts of the country due to the prevailing El Niño.

The predicted ranges of temperature will be as follows: 13 degrees Celsius (°C) to 27.5oC over the mountainous areas of Luzon and 25.5°C to 35.5oC for the rest of Luzon, 25.0°C to 35.0°C over the Visayas, 17.0°C to 33.0 oC over the mountainous areas of Mindanao and 25.0°C to 37.0°C for the rest of Mindanao. The predicted temperature ranges in Metro Manila are 25.0°C to 35.0°C.

GOV’T READY FOR WORST

Malacañang said the government is gearing up its contingency measures to deal with the “worst possible” El Niño situation in the country early next year.

To stave off the impact of the El Niño phenomenon, President Aquino has ordered the Cabinet to prioritize measures on ensuring the stable supply of food, water and energy, among others, in the country.

The latest presidential directives were issued during a special Cabinet meeting held in Malacañang on government’s readiness to deal with the adverse effects of El Niño on farmlands and reservoirs, including drought.

“President Aquino directed the Cabinet to exert concerted efforts to mitigate the impact of El Niño and to prioritize the following: adequate supply of food and potable water, stable power supply, minimize health risks to citizens, and prevention due to increased humidity,” Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a Palace press briefing.

Coloma said the country will endure the “full effect” of the El Niño phenomenon in February and March next year with only 20 to 30 percent projected amount of rainfall.

Citing information from the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (DOST-PAGASA), Coloma said the projected worst case scenario may surpass the most severe El Niño conditions in 1997 and 1998.

“Preparations are in place deal with the worst possible El Niño scenario,” Coloma said.

While agencies have been directed to submit their budget requirements, Coloma assured that government funds are likewise adequate to bankroll the El Niño mitigation plan.

He said Budget Secretary Florencio Abad stated during the cabinet meeting that there is sufficient calamity fund allocation in the proposed 2016 national budget, apart from other sources of funding.

In the same meeting, the President directed the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the National Food Authority (NFA) council to increase the buffer stock of rice through importation and to provide support to farmers, fisherfolk, forest workers and other sectors vulnerable to El Niño. The assistance includes distribution of planting materials, cash-for-work program, and building of farm-to-market roads, small water impounding projects and other rural infrastructure, according to Coloma.

Coloma said the National Water Resources Board is coordinating efforts with concerned government units to heighten water conservation efforts. Additional water catchment areas as well as water, sanitation and hygiene facilities nationwide, will also be built.

The Department of Energy has also been directed to intensify the interruptible load program, deploy modular generation sets especially in Mindanao and expand the energy efficiency conservation program to lessen forced power outages, Coloma said.

He said the Department of Health would implement immunization for the elderly, provide psychotropic drugs and anti-fungal medicines and extend additional support through PhilHealth, public hospitals and health units.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Bureau of Fire Protection will acquire additional fire-fighting equipment and will work closely with the local government units to ramp up information and advocacy campaigns on fire safety and prevention, Coloma added.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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