This time, GMA names herself climate czar

President Arroyo has named herself chair of the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change (PTCC), which she reorganized to make it more effective in implementing measures to mitigate the effects of global warming in the country.

Mrs. Arroyo issued Executive Order 774, dated Dec. 26, 2008 but announced at Malacañang only on Wednesday. Last week, she named herself the anti-narcotics czar to curb drug abuse and trafficking in the country.

In her EO, she said climate change will have “catastrophic effects if immediate and sufficient action to curb industrial emissions and forest loss is not taken.”

“While our country’s emissions remain much lower in per capita terms than those of industrialized nations, our country’s recent growth and development have been accompanied by a rise in damaging emissions from fossil fuels,” the President said.

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UN chief tells world: we need a Green New Deal

POZNAN, Poland – The world must avoid backsliding in fighting global warming and work out a “Green New Deal” to fix its twin climate and economic crises, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday.

“We must re-commit ourselves to the urgency of our cause,” Ban told about 100 environment ministers at December 1-12 U.N. talks in Poland which are working on a new climate treaty but have been overshadowed by worries about recession.

“Yes, the economic crisis is serious,” he said. “Yet when it comes to climate change, the stakes are far higher. The climate crisis affects our potential prosperity and peoples’ lives, both now and far into the future.”

“There can be no backsliding on our commitments,” he said of efforts to shift from fossil fuels toward renewable energies.

Ban urged leadership on the climate from U.S. President-elect Barack Obama and from the European Union. An EU summit ending Friday will try to break the bloc’s deadlock on a plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a fifth by 2020, compared to 1990 levels.

He appealed for a modern, global environmental equivalent of U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1930s “New Deal,” which lifted the United States out of the Great Depression….

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