Climate Change Impacts

Philippines is the third most vulnerable country to climate change according to the 2017 world risk report. Impacts of climate change in the Philippines are immense, including: annual losses in GDP, changes in rainfall patterns and distribution, droughts, threats to biodiversity and food security, sea level rise, public health risks, and endangerment of vulnerable groups such as women and indigenous people.

Philippines to lose 6% GDP anually by 2100 

The latest IPCC Assessment Report concluded that climate change will create new poor between now and 2100. Poverty breeds disaster vulnerability, and those who have least in life risk like most.

Based on a study by the Asian Development Bank on the economics of climate change, the country stands to lose 6% of its GDP annually by 2100 if it disregards climate change risks. This same study found that if the Philippines invests 0.5% of its GDP by 2020 in climate change adaptation, it can avert losses of up to 4% of its GDP by 2100—clearly a short-term investment with a long-term eight-fold gain.

Major rainfall changes in patterns and distributions 

A 2011 PAGASA report suggests a decrease in rainfall by 2020 in most parts of the country except Luzon. As far as extreme rainfall is concerned, however, the number of days with heavy rainfall (e.g., greater than 200 mm) is expected to increase with global warming by the year 2020 and 2050.

Threats to natural ecosystems

Approximately 1 million hectares of grasslands in the Philippines are highly vulnerable to climate change in the future. Most grasslands in the uplands are prone to fires particularly during extended periods of dryness and lack of rainfall during summer.

Coral Loss
The 2016 Low Carbon Monitor Report foresees that 98 percent of coral reefs in Southeast Asia will die by 2050, practically an extinction by the end of the century if current global warming trends will continue. The IPCC projects that by years 2051 to 2060, the maximum fish catch potential of Philippine seas will decrease by as much as 50% compared to 2001-2010 levels.

Declining rice yields
An analysis of temperature trends and irrigated field experiments at the International Rice Research Institute shows that grain yield decreased by at least 10% for each 1°C increase in growing-season minimum temperature in the dry season.

More intense droughts
Global warming exacerbates the effects of El Niño the most recent of which was experienced in the country from 2015 to 2016. The Department of Agriculture estimated that 413,456 farmers have been directly affected by El Niño-associated drought and dry spells during the last El Niño period.

Higher sea level rise
Observed sea level rise is remarkably highest at 60 centimeters in the Philippines, about three times that of the global average of 19 centimeters. This puts at risk 60% of LGUs covering 64 coastal provinces, 822 coastal municipalities, 25 major coastal cities, and an estimated 13.6 million Filipinos that would need relocation.

Water scarcity
Climate change, rapid urbanization, and population growth drives water scarcity worldwide. A study conducted by the World Resources Institute predicts that Philippines will experience a 'high' degree of water shortage by the year 2040. The country ranked 57th likely most water stressed country in 2040 out of 167 countries. The sector that will bear the brunt of water shortage by that year is agriculture, a major component of the country’s economy and which currently employs x% of the country's workforce.

Labor productivity declined
According to a 2016 United Nations study, climate change-induced heat in the workplace is projected to render 1% loss in working hours by 2025, 2% by 2050, and 4% by 2085.

More public health emergencies
Higher temperatures also trigger the surge of diseases such as dengue, malaria, cholera, and typhoid. In 1998, when the Philippines experienced the strongest El Nino phenomenon to-date, almost 40,000 dengue cases, 1,200 cholera cases, and nearly 1,000 typhoid fever cases, were recorded nationwide.

More women endangered and killed
A paper released by the World Health Organization (WHO) examining gender, climate change, and health, stated that the impacts of natural hazards such as droughts, floods and storms affect more women than men, and tend to affect women at a younger age. Climate-sensitive and gender-specific health impacts affect women disproportionately than men.