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Friday, April 19, 2024

Worst thing for Earth? It’s climate change

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THE pandemic is not the worst thing that has happened to Earth in its most recent history, but a larger, more alarming catastrophe is brewing amid the chaos.

According to speakers at the BusinessMirror’s online Coffee Club, climate change has a greater impact on the planet than the Covid-19 global crisis.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) Chaye Cabal-Revilla said everyone should understand that climate change is real and it will not only create a huge negative impact on the planet today but for future generations to come.

“If we think that Covid-19 is the worst thing that has happened to us, it’s not. It will be climate change because with Covid-19 we have a chance of survival by locking down, vaccinations, or wearing facial shields or masks. But with climate stage, we have PM 2.5 pollution, category 5 storms, global warming-induced earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, we have nowhere to hide and we are all vulnerable,” she said.

Arlene Tan-Bantoto, who heads Nestle Philippines’ Communication and Sustainability office, agreed, saying that climate change is one of the greatest threats to life on earth with alarming and long-term effects.

“These include increasing temperatures, heat waves, and heavy precipitation, as well as melting ice and permanent frost resulting in rising sea levels. We are already experiencing these effects today,” she said.

Cabal-Revilla said people must have a “sense of urgency” in dealing with climate change. She likened it to a person with a terminal disease who chooses to change his lifestyle only when he is about to die.

“You have to have absolute change in the same way that we need to have absolute contraction for our carbon emissions,” she said.

Companies like MPIC and Nestle, the two leaders said, are embracing sustainability as part of their efforts to combat climate change.

Their efforts include investing in new technologies and resources to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the main goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

“Originally, the Paris Agreement of 2015 says that we have to be net-zero by 2050. But with the things happening now, we can’t wait until 2050, by that time it’s too late for us. So everybody has to make a decision for the environment,” Cabal-Revilla said.

She urged consumers to adopt a drastic change in lifestyle in order to support the collective initiatives to mitigate climate change, especially now that there is a global health crisis.

“The pandemic pushed us to work even harder and gave us the sense of urgency. We’ve actually doubled our effort,” she said.

Crispian Lao, the Commissioner and Vice Chairman of the National Solid Waste Management Commission, echoed these sentiments, saying that everyone must adopt a more holistic approach to bolster the fight against climate change is the implementation of a more holistic approach

“People talk about the three Ps of people, planet, and profit or triple bottom line or the three Es of environment, economy and social equity. It is important to blend all of these together. It cannot be standalone now if you look at sustainability,” he said.

This, according to Cabal-Revilla, involves the linking of sustainability into the advocacies or the corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts of companies.

“Sustainability is about impact for all,” she said. “Gone are the days that we just do plain CSR. We have to be able to measure and assess the impact of the things that we do.”

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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