Tell it to SunStar: Heat wave and climate change

By Greenpeace Philippines campaigner Khevin Yu
Tell it to SunStar.
Tell it to SunStar.SunStar file photo

A new study by leading climate scientists found that the record-breaking intensity of the heat wave that struck the Philippines in April would have been impossible without climate change. The report also found that if the world warms to 2°C above pre-industrial global mean temperatures, extreme heat in the Philippines would further increase, and we can expect a similar heat wave to happen once every two years.

Another recent report confirmed that the streak of record global temperatures continued for 11 months in a row, with April 2024 as the hottest ever recorded. Furthermore, a recent poll found that hundreds of scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) expect global temperatures to rise to at least 2.5°C above pre-industrial levels this century.

Climate change is already staring us in the face. We’ve seen the tremendous impact that record-high temperatures have had on all Filipinos, especially on our most vulnerable sectors.] The scenarios laid out in this study of extreme heat becoming more intense and frequent as the climate crisis worsens are conditions that our current systems would simply not withstand.

Aside from heat waves, other extreme weather events like super typhoons are already putting a huge strain on our country and communities. The recent heat wave aggravated by the climate crisis gives us no space to recover as La Niña is expected to come immediately, compounding the already massive damages we’re still struggling to recover from.

Addressing current and future extreme weather events by implementing climate adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction measures are not enough to ensure a safe and sustainable future for Filipinos. Our government must stop delaying the transition to renewable energy. It must scrap its plans for fossil gas expansion, and demand payment from the biggest climate-polluting companies most responsible for the crisis we’re suffering.

We are calling on the Philippine government to make fossil fuel companies:

a. Acknowledge their disproportionate role in historical carbon emissions and commit to a just transition away from fossil fuels;

b. Stop all fossil fuel expansion; and

c. Pay up for the economic and non-economic losses and damages caused by climate impacts.

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