(STAR) By Marvin Sy - President Arroyo leaves for Copenhagen, Denmark today for a four-day working visit, highlighted by her attendance at the 15th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The President is expected to push for the Philippines’ call for a deeper cut in greenhouse gas emissions of developed economies and long-term global cooperative action to address the alarming effects of global warming and climate change.

Malacañang revealed that the President will be accompanied by a lean delegation, headed by presidential adviser on climate change and former environment secretary Heherson Alvarez.

The Philippines will actively raise the concerns of mostly developing countries, which are expected to be the ones worst hit by the impacts of climate change.

As a result of warmer sea surface temperatures, stronger typhoons and cyclones are being seen all over the world.

According to a World Bank study published last July 2009, the Philippines leads the list of nations that are “most in danger of facing frequent and more intense storms.”

In her previous speeches on climate change, Mrs. Arroyo said that the impact of climate change on the Philippines is far greater than most other nations around the world.

“As a nation made up of over 7,000 islands, rising seas due to global warming take on a whole new meaning. Florida may lose some coastline, we lose a nation,” the President said.

The negotiations on the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action will push for the effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action now and beyond 2012.

On the other hand, the Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments under the Kyoto Protocol will discuss the future commitments of developed countries under the Kyoto Protocol which will expire in 2012.

The President will also push for the commitment of industrialized countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

Based on the scientific report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world is moving towards a tipping point of irreversible climate change, particularly if strong global action and commitment are not realized between now and 2020.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, there is an increase in temperature in the country at an average of 0.61 degrees Celsius over the last 55 years, from 1951 to 2006.

While in Copenhagen, the President is also expected to meet with some 8,000 Filipinos living and working in Denmark.

Mrs. Arroyo is scheduled to be back in Manila on Saturday.

China seeks intensified framework on climate change (The Philippine Star) Updated December 16, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - China maintains that the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) ongoing in Copenhagen, Denmark should further strengthen the full, effective and sustained implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Liu Jianchao said yesterday.

“COP15 should focus its efforts on making clear and concrete arrangement for mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer and financial support,” he said in a statement sent to The STAR.

He said that China will “work with all Parties actively and constructively to lock in gains already achieved in the negotiations, seek further common ground and exert our best efforts to make the COP15 an encouraging success.”

China has taken its own step towards that end by announcing voluntary emission reduction targets.

Last Nov.26, China announced that it would reduce the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP in 2020 by 40 to 45 percent compared to 2005 levels. China will also devote major efforts to developing renewable and nuclear energies to ensure that the consumption of non-fossil power account for 15 percent of the country’s total primary energy consumption by 2020.

China will increase the country’s forest area and stock volume by 40 million hectares and 1.3 billion cubic meters, respectively, from the level of 2005.

China’s National Climate Change Program includes mandatory national targets for reducing energy intensity by about 20 percent by 2010. The proportion of renewable energy, including large-scale hydropower, in primary energy supply will be raised up to 10 percent by 2010, and to 15 percent by 2020.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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