Senator Loren Legarda today reiterated her call for the nation to pursue green, sustainable and resilient development to prevent a “bleak and environmentally degraded future” that an Asian Development Bank study revealed.
Legarda, the United Nations Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for Asia-Pacific, cited information from ADB’s Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2012, which showed that the fast rate of urbanization in Asia has been causing environmental degradation with the rise in pollution, more slum areas, and greater economic and social inequalities.
The Senator explained that other notable data in the ADB study include the alarming increase in carbon dioxide emissions that could rise to 10.2 metric tons per capita by 2050 with the lack of intervening actions to reverse the trend.
“As a nation, we have been engaging industrialized nations, through the annual climate change talks, to cut down on their greenhouse gas emissions. And while we wait for their positive response, our government must undertake a concrete strategy to pursue a green and disaster-resilient development path,” Legarda stressed.
“Our government must design and implement a diversification of our energy systems. We have to explore and continue to develop hydropower, geothermal and wind power as renewable energy sources. We must engage the private sector to invest in clean new technologies, adopt energy efficiency measures and re-engineer corporate social responsibility to reflect the joint values of achieving business sustainability through building disaster-resilient local communities,” she pointed out.
Legarda further noted that the ADB study also revealed that with increasing urban population, over 700 million people in Asian cities could be at risk of coastal flooding and inland flooding.
“We must heed the call for green, sustainable and resilient development. Our nation’s economic development plan should consider the impacts of climate change so that it would actually contribute to the country’s overall progress and not in the worsening of disaster risks,” she explained.
“We must link disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation to national and local development planning by building homes, schools, and hospitals that are safe and secure amidst natural hazards; designing and constructing roads, bridges and other infrastructure that help spur economic growth with disaster risk reduction in mind; and recovering and rebuilding from any disaster impacts with building-back-better-and-greener as objective. Disaster risk reduction essentially means genuine development—development that is sustainable and economic growth that is resilient,” Legarda concluded.***