How Climate Change Affects Philippines
Over the years, the Philippines has experienced several disasters—from the least to the most extreme weather events like the typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), one of the deadliest tropical cyclones ever recorded which left the country with over 6,000 deaths and billion-worth of damages. In fact, Global Climate Risk Index 2015 listed Philippines as the most affected country by disasters in 2013, following the tropical cyclones during that year.
According to Carrington (2016), researchers found that typhoons are intensified by the warmer coastal seas which enable their wind speed to increase rapidly. Moreover, Hannam (2015) reported that in the said research, the increase in the typhoon’s strength is likely caused by Climate Change which causes the warming of the sea surfaces.
Every year, the country experiences eight (8) to nine (9) tropical cyclones with the remaining ten (10) entering the Philippine waters, leaving the country with millions to billions worth of damages to properties and a high rate of casualties. This alarms not only the Government of the Philippines (GoP) itself, but the ordinary Filipinos who are greatly affected by it.
Buildings Impact on Climate Change
Climate Change is attributed to human activities. In 2007, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission increased by 70% between 1970 and 2004. GHGs produced from human activities like burning of fossil fuels are then trapped into the Earth’s surface in a process called greenhouse effect that causes the increase of Earth’s average temperature.
The commercial and resident sector is one of the biggest contributors of GHG emissions. Over the years, buildings have compose 39% of the GHG emissions globally. The high emission of GHG, mostly of carbon dioxide (CO2) in this sector is caused by the fossil fuel combustion used for generating electricity for homes and businesses.
UNEP (2009) reported that the building sector of the U.S consumed 40 quadrillion Btus of energy in 2005 which costed over $300 billion. According to USGCBC, it is projected that CO2 emissions from buildings will significantly increase faster than other sectors with emissions from commercial buildings as the fastest by 1.8% by 2030. Green buildings have a lifespan of more than eighty (80) years and they will continuously produce CO2 emissions which in turn, will inevitably contribute to the warming of the Earth’s surface.
Green is healthy
Over the years, the concept of green reverses the common practice in constructing commercial buildings. Experts describe green building as environment-friendly because they are built with sustainable materials that reduce the negative impacts in the environment as well as built in an array of methodologies which reduce not only the operational costs, but also the energy consumption once occupied by the building’s stakeholders.
Unlike the typical commercialized buildings, according to USGBC, building green buildings consider additional factors such as energy and water use, indoor environmental quality, material selection, and its effects on the site. In U.S, green buildings which achieved LEED certification were seen to consume less than 50% of energy and 40% of water than non-green buildings and in fact, they diverted more than 80 million tons of wastes from landfills.
Currently, the preference of building green buildings is increasing. In 2013, Salazar reported that 30% of the multinational companies (MNCs) in the Philippines prefer certified green buildings for their headquarters. Enrique Soriano, professor at Ateneo Graduate School said that the demand for green buildings has grown eight times in the market globally. This proves that most corporations do not only prioritize their profitability, but also the safety of their stakeholders as well their buildings’ impact to the environment.
Initiating Green Buildings as Climate Change Warriors
Our president, Dean Barone, said, however, that most Multinational Corporations require LEED certification in their building which can now be done in the Philippines. This is why our team members attended the Climate Reality Project Leadership Training held in Manila on March 2016. The Climate Change Reality Project aims to fight the impact of Climate Change which is in line with our objectives as a team of sustainability professionals.
We know how the Philippines suffer from the impacts of Climate Change and this inspires us to continue with our initiative of promoting sustainability through the environment-friendly buildings. The Climate Change Reality Project gathers leaders across the globe into a dynamic group of world-changers by providing them training in climate science through forums that focus with the issues on the climate.
Former U.S. Vice President, Al Gore invited Dean to mentor the future Climate Reality leaders in in Houston, Texas, Denver, Colorado, Seattle, Washington and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dean is presently a Board Member of the Climate Reality Project – Business Working Group with Josh May and Maria Brinck. He is also the Chapter Chair of the Houston, Texas Chapter.
Let us help you achieve your sustainability goals
It’s up to you to know more about sustainable buildings where your stakeholders can work, perform and feel at their best. Begin with your green initiative now!
673 Boni Avenue. 2nd Floor Unit E
Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
1998C Army Drive
Dededo, Guam 06929
Barone Design Group International
16206 Capri Drive, Suite 100
Houston, Texas 77040