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Climate Change News

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FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. Several individuals and environmental groups bring their anti-coal struggle to the Supreme Court. All photos by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Several environmental groups and individuals on Friday, June 30, filed a case with the Supreme Court (SC) against the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for neglecting their duties as "vanguards of energy security and environmental sustainability."

This is the "first ever case on coal" in the Supreme Court against the two government agencies, according to the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), one of the petitioners in the case.

The PMCJ, together with other individuals and groups, filed a 65-page petition for continuing mandamus, with application for a temporary environmental protection order.

Read more: Environment groups file case vs DENR, DOE over coal plants proliferation

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POP CULTURE. Actor and YesPinoy Foundation chair Jose Sixto "Dingdong" Dantes III. All photos by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – How can we involve more people in the ongoing conversation on disaster preparedness?

This was a question raised on the first day of the Agos Summit on Disaster Preparedness on Friday, July 7.

One of the summit's speakers, Bryan McClelland, suggested that maybe it's time to incorporate climate change and disaster preparedness into pop culture.

"What if these topics can be incorporated into our telenovelas? What if real issues that we deal with are incorporated into things that people are already watching and talking about anyway?" McClelland, founder of socio-ecological enterprise Bambike, said during a panel discussion on Friday.

McClelland cited a study in Brazil that showed the effect of telenovelas on their viewers. After watching a battered female character fight back and get out of an abusive relationship, the viewers felt empowered and were able to save themselves from similar situations.

"So the power of pop culture and media is very, very strong especially here in the Philippines. So maybe we can kind of open these topics of conversation up into the platforms we're familiar with: your daytime television, your social media platforms, making maybe some of our pop culture influencers more influential for the things that actually matter."

He added, "If the media you're already consuming starts to address these issues, you're going to start to perk up and pay attention because role models in TV can also be role models in real life."

Read more: Teleseryes, social media, and other platforms for disaster preparedness

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MANILA, Philippines – "Are we just going to be victims, or can we be agents of change?"

During the first day of the Agos Summit on Disaster Preparedness on Friday, July 7advocates talked about the role of vulnerable sectors in the movement for climate action and disaster resilience.

Climate Change Commission's Rina Atienza said that while women are the most vulnerable demographic when it comes to climate change, it's also women who are leading the change in addressing the effects of climate change.

"The world is looking at us. Climate change is a global issue with local implications. Are we leaders or victims?" Atienza asked, urging also the men to "be part of this feminist solution."

Read more: What's the role of vulnerable sectors in disaster preparedness?

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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is one of the countries frequently struck by typhoons, earthquakes, and other disaster. But Filipinos can help reduce the impact of these unfortunate events on human lives.

Senator Loren Legarda, a climate change advocate, shared at least 9 adaptation measures that individuals, as well as the government and the private sector, can take to mitigate risks.

Legarda said climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction management should go hand in hand to protect people’s lives.

“For every $1 you invest in disaster risk reduction, you actually save up to $7 of losses. That is scientifically proven. Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction should go together. It should not be one or the other,” Legarda said on the 2nd day of Rappler’s AGOS summit on disaster preparedness held on Saturday, July 8.

“When we invest in disaster risk reduction, we reduce the risks of the adverse impacts of climate change,” she added.

Read more: Legarda shares 9 ways to reduce disaster risks, impact on lives

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'DISASTER IMAGINATION.' Science Undersecretary Renato Solidum Jr discusses 'disaster imagination' at the Agos Summit on Disaster Preparedness. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – "If not for disaster imagination, your preparedness may not be appropriate."

This was the statement of Renato Solidum Jr, Department of Science and Technology undersecretary for disaster risk reduction and climate change, during his speech at the Agos Summit on Disaster Preparedness on Saturday, July 8.

According to Solidum, while disaster preparedness is important, people will only be convinced to prepare after they have internalized what can happen to them and their family in times of disasters.

"We need [imagination] for disaster preparedness. We need to have science-based – not only based on experience – hazard and risk scenarios for extreme events like earthquakes, super typhoons, tsunamis, storm surges, and big volcanic eruptions," he added.

But Solidum emphasized that risk imagination needs to be applied not only at the local level, but also at the regional and national levels.

Read more: Disaster imagination: 3 steps toward disaster preparedness

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G20 countries manage to avoid a total bust-up with Donald Trump over climate change, leaving the door open for Washington to return to the Paris Agreement.

AT THE SIDE. US President Donald Trump takes his place for the family photo on the first day of the G20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, on July 7, 2017. Photo by Saul Loeb/AFP

HAMBURG, Germany – G20 countries have managed to avoid a total bust-up with Donald Trump over climate change, leaving the door open for Washington to return to the Paris Agreement – but at the cost of risky concessions.

Read more: G20: Compromise on climate change, but at what cost?

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Of the top 20 cities with the largest projected increase in annual flood losses between 2005 and 2050, 13 are in Asia.

Read more: FACTBOX-Floods, reef loss, and migration: Asia's future on a hotter planet

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'Those of us who want to step forward on climate need to know how our actions can have the greatest possible impact.'

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MIAMI, USA – Researchers in Sweden have identified the top 4 things people can do to reduce their carbon footprint, but warned on Tuesday, July 11, these steps are rarely promoted in the public sphere.

Read more: Top 4 ways to shrink your carbon footprint are often overlooked

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While the Philippines has a healthy number of legislations that target climate change, these are weakly implemented, lawmakers said on Saturday.

Read more: Lawmakers: Implementation of PHL climate change laws weak

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Typhoon season is underway in the Philippines, and some officials warn the funds for handling calamities may not be enough.

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MANILA, Philippines – Are there enough funds for disaster management in 2017?

During the Agos Summit on Disaster Preparedness, Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda expressed frustration over the budget of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

"The [calamity fund] for 2017 – from the [National Expenditure Program] to the House and out of the [bicameral conference committee] – was cut down from P40 billion to P15 billion," he said last Saturday, July 8.

Under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) or national budget, a total of P15.7 billion has been allocated for the DRRM fund, a P23-billion decrease from the P38.9-billion allocation in 2016.

The law states that funds for disaster management activities should be sourced from the DRRM fund to respond to urgent needs during emergency situations. (READ: Where can you access disaster funds?)

Read more: Does the Philippines have enough funds to deal with disasters?

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