Environmentalists to Duterte: reconsider Paris agreement

GreenPeace Philippines is urging President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider his proclamation on Monday that he will not honor the Paris agreement, which the country signed in December last year.

Climate and energy campaigner Reuben Muni said that the President not being the signatory in the pact is not an excuse not to honor the treaty.

“He (Duterte) has a point but it does not mean that we will not do anything because we are on the forefront of climate impact,” he said.

In the agreement, the Philippines  has committed to reduce its carbon emissions by 70% by 2030. The previous administration proposed the 30-30-30-10 energy mix, which will come from coal, natural gas, renewable energy and fuel oil, respectively.

Environmental groups have called for the president’s administration to establish industrialization and economic development without the dependence on fossil fuels and instead pursue the use of renewable energies.

Despite understanding Duterte’s “demand for greater responsibility from top polluter countries to cut their carbon emissions,” Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment believes that the country’s industrialization can still be achieved even if the Paris agreement is followed.

Mary Ann Lucille Sering, former vice chair of Climate Change Commission, said that if the country will not ratify the agreement, it will not restrict the Philippines’ actions, but it could affect the archipelago’s credibility.

“We might lose out on grants. That is free money. It’s not a loan. It will impact solar investments,” she said.

In 2015, the Philippines, along with 195 other countries joined pledging at the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference, to keep the global temperature from rising.

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