NGO to Duterte Cabinet: Unite against climate change
A nongovernment organization (NGO) on Friday asked the Cabinet of President Rodrigo Duterte to “present a unified front” against climate change.
The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities’ (ICSC) statement coincided with the taking effect of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The group said the rest of the Cabinet should support the Department of Foreign Affairs in its endorsement of the ratification of the agreement.
Duterte earlier said he will not honor the Paris Agreement because capping the country’s carbon emissions would restrict the economic growth of the nation. This prompted then Senate President Franklin Drilon to say that the Senate will not ratify the agreement, which was adopted by 195 countries, including the Philippines, in December 2015.
However, some lawmakers have expressed their support for the agreement and have called on Duterte to honor it.
ICSC said Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mike Sueño, Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., and National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Ernesto Pernia, who assured the President that the agreement will not affect the country’s development, already stated that they support the ratification of the agreement.
The Paris Agreement, which has already been ratified by more than 90 countries, has yet to be approved by the Senate. This is amid the Philippine delegation’s important role in leading climate-vulnerable countries during the last climate change negotiations, which led to the agreement that aims to cap global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The emission of greenhouse gases, brought about by human activities, has been linked to the warming global temperature and the resulting sea level rise.
“By ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement, the Philippines will maintain its voice of leadership and use the upcoming negotiations as a platform to seek far more urgent climate action,” said ICSC Executive Director Renato Redentor Constantino, referring to the upcoming climate talks in Morocco.
He argued that climate action will help spur job creation “as urban services, food supply, roads and highways, sea ports and coastal infrastructure are upgraded to make them more resilient to expected climate change impacts.”
Constantino said the Philippines should maximize its chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) next year by partnering with other Asian countries for climate action and investments on modern green technology./rga