Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 22) — National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto Pernia on Friday warned climate change poses risks to the agriculture sector’s growth and the country’s food supply.
“Climate change is only about to get worse with recent rapid increases in temperature. If we do nothing, this will impede our target of increasing agricultural productivity and ensuring food security,” Pernia said in the launch of the book, “The Future of Philippine Agriculture Under a Changing Climate: Policies, Investments and Scenarios.”
The country’s top economist pointed out that Philippine agriculture generates employment for 31.5 percent of the labor force.
“However, environmental hazards aggravated by climate change continue to pose significant risks to agricultural output and growth. In fact, as cited in the book, yearly losses between 2000 and 2016 include production losses and damage to farm equipment, and irrigation and road facilities of P17.37 billion,” Pernia added.
Pernia’s warnings are in line with the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming in September. The report warned that climate-related risks such sea level rise, food and water supplies, security, and health issues will be worse if the Earth’s temperature increases by 2 degrees Celsius.
He hopes NEDA’s Climate Change Strategy to reduce energy and water consumption, as well as curb its own carbon emissions, will motivate other government agencies to implement their own policies.
“While this may be considered small in scale, we believe that influencing behavior at the individual level leads to more long-term positive impacts. Micro efforts lead to macro effects,” Pernia said.
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