THE European Union (EU) is calling on all Filipinos to help raise awareness about climate change and its effects to the people and the environment.

Ambassador Alistair McDonald, head of the European Commission’s delegation to the Philippines, said climate change would be a great risk to the country.

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“No man is an island and climate change will not spare anyone -- rich and poor, north and south. We must do something now since adapting to climate change later will certainly be much costlier than taking actions now,” McDonald said during a forum on climate change adaptation strategies held recently at Xavier University Little Theatre.

McDonald emphasized that it is urgent to sharply reduce global emissions of greenhouse gasses because the climate has been badly affected by hazardous carbon dioxide.

He also called on Filipinos to conserve energy to lengthen the Earth’s life.

He said the Philippines, with its 7,109 islands, are at risk on climate change, may it be from rising sea levels or an increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events with resulting impacts on agriculture, employment and on major cities.

The EU is seeking increase close relationships with Asia through economic integration and deepening of political cooperation. The relationship between the EU and the Philippines is a long standing one, which has broaden and deepened remarkably in recent years. Both are at the forefront of a global campaign to address the impact of climate change.

On the adaptation front, McDonald said EU has launched a wide range of initiatives, particularly in support to the Philippines.

He said this time, EU has allocated 12 million Euro or about P800 million for environmental activities in the Philippines such as disaster preparedness.

McDonald said a large part of the funding would be indirectly or directly allocated for climate change.

“By giving fund to the Philippines, I hope that there will be a positive response for the benefit of our children’s children,” McDonald said.

He added that EU would substantially increase the amount this year to focus on new generation of disaster reduction projects and the formulation of a specific climate change program.