U.N. sets out massive benefits from air pollution action in Asia

admin   •   October 31, 2018   •   3807


FILE PHOTO: Smoke billowing from the steel plant in Tangshan, Hebei Province, China on March 2017 | REUTERS

Asia could reap massive benefits in health, environment, agriculture and economic growth if governments implement 25 policies such as banning the burning of household waste and cutting industrial emissions, according to a U.N. report published on Tuesday (October 30).

Air pollution is a health risk for 4 billion people in Asia, killing about 4 million of them annually, and efforts to tackle the problem are already on track to ensure air pollution is no worse in 2030, but huge advances could be made, the report “Air Pollution in Asia and the Pacific: Science-based solutions” said.

The report’s 25 recommendations would cost an estimated $300 billion-$600 billion annually, a big investment but loose change compared with a projected $12 trillion economic growth increase.

Helena Molin Valdes, head of Climate and Clean Air Coalition Secretariat at U.N. Environment, said there was an increasing political openness to taking action on air pollution and the report reflected three years of discussions with governments.

The report estimates its recommendations would cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent compared to a baseline scenario, potentially decreasing global warming by one-third of a degree Celsius by 2050, which would also be a contribution in the fight against climate change.

One billion people would enjoy high air quality, while the number exposed to the worst pollution would be cut by 80 percent to 430 million. Premature deaths would fall by a third. — Reuters

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Philippines hailed as Asia’s leading beach and dive destination

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines has been hailed as ‘Asia’s Leading Beach Destination’ by the World Travel Awards 2021.

The other nominees are India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. The country also bested other contenders for Asia’s Leading Dive Destination, leading against Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat welcomed the said recognition and expressed her gratitude towards the government and the citizens who continue to promote the country’s tourist attractions.

“We share this recognition with our tourism stakeholders, local government units, partner agencies, and all Filipinos who have been helping us promote our country’s attractions, products, and culture,” she said.

This is the fifth time the country has been recognized as Asia’s Leading Beach Destination, and the third time as Asia’s Leading Dive Destination. AAC

First ‘green lane’ for seafarers in Asia now open in the Philippines

Marje Pelayo   •   July 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The country has opened the first “green lane” for seafarers in Asia to allow the free movement of seafarers and personnel across borders.

The Philippine Green Lane Joint Circular, which took effect upon signing on Thursday (July 2), was created by the Philippine government to ensure that seafarers are accorded speedy and safe travel, subject to health protocols mandated by the Philippine government.

It intends to provide safe and swift disembarkation and crew change during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for both Filipino and foreign seafarers whether inbound, outbound or transiting.

The Joint Circular will also facilitate the creation of controlled travel corridors to open the Philippines for people-to-people and economic exchange and stimulate the country’s economy amidst its ongoing bout against the pandemic.

The signing ceremony was held at the Department of Foreign Affairs office led by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin together with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and representatives from the Department of Health Bureau of Quarantine among other officials.

Stock markets in Asia tumble amid coronavirus fears

UNTV News   •   March 9, 2020

Markets in Asia plunged in the early hours of trading on Monday (March 9) as oil prices dropped by over 20% amid mounting concerns over the economic fallout of the coronavirus scare.

In Japan, Tokyo’s Nikkei stock average fell 4% and the yen spiked as investors flocked to the safety of the Japanese currency.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was hammered by the panic selling, falling by over 4% cent in the early morning trading before gaining back slightly to 25,207.70 as of 0347G, a loss of 3.59%

In South Korea, stocks opened lower with the Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) down 58.88 points or 2.89 percent to 1,981.34 points as of 0005GMT.

Francis Lun, CEO of Hong Kong-based Geo Securities, described the situation as a “once in a decade” stock market crash.

“So buckle your seat belt and hang tight because it will be a rough life. It will be roller coaster ride,” said Lun, who predicted a further downward trajectory for major markets globally as infections spread.

The accelerating outbreak has stoked violent swings in markets around the world. Many investors say there is little clarity on what trajectory the virus will take and how effective government measures will be, making it difficult to gauge how much economic damage has already been baked into asset markets. (REUTERS CONNECT)

(Production: Daewoung Kim, Akira Tomoshige, Aleksander Solum, Joyce Zhou, Xihao Jiang)


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