Science and Environment

Duterte threatens climate pact withdrawal

Giovanni Nilles - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – President Duterte warned anew that he would withdraw from the global climate change agreement if funds totaling $200 billion are mismanaged.

He reiterated that he would still allow coal power plants in the county because coal is still the cheapest fuel and, with a little help from modern technology, would be the safest.

“My misgivings on climate change – it was a Cabinet decision. It was not only me who decided, we voted on it. But if you really read… in between the lines, it said it’s a binding agreement and all members must agree to it. Binding – you have to have exact obedience – but there are no sanctions for violations,” Duterte said.

The Chief Executive believes that small and developing nations like the Philippines should be given enough leeway to develop economically before being pressed to bring down carbon emissions to a minimum.

He expressed doubt that the pact, signed in Paris, would be able to achieve anything if nations like the US, China and Russia would fail to abide by the deal.

“The US was not a signatory to the Kyoto protocol… they did not sign and now they come up with an idiotic thing on climate change – well and good if it’s good for the community,” Duterte said.

The fund, he said, is not something to be given away whenever a country is hit by a calamity like what happened to Tacloban City during Super Typhoon Yolanda three years ago.

“You don’t get paid because you suffer. It’s a common fund you can borrow to start building whatever gadget and everything to promote in a minimal thing your carbon emission. So, that’s the problem. Who gets the deal here?... You know how big nations go around international treaties,” he added.

The President said the country still needs coal plants to power its economy, pointing to the inadequacy of electricity that on several occasions led to day-long outages.

Even with the coal plants, the country produces minimal carbon emission when compared to that of bigger and developed nations, he said.

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