Palace: Duterte to consider environmentalists' call to declare 'climate emergency'
Palace: Duterte to consider environmentalists' call to declare 'climate emergency'
Alexis Romero ( - September 28, 2020 - 4:30pm

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte would look into the suggestion of environmental group Greenpeace Philippines to declare a climate emergency, Malacañang said Monday, as it stressed that addressing climate change is a priority of the administration.

Greenpeace Philippines has renewed its call for Duterte to declare a "climate emergency," saying it would encourage the society to talk about the "climate crisis" and promote "positive environmental and health outcomes."

It is pushing for an executive order that will put climate action at the center of policy decisions so the country can phase out coal and fossil fuel investments and move to a "low-carbon pathway." The group also floated the proposal last year.

"That will be a decision of the president. But the fact that the president included climate change in his speech during his first participation in the UN (United Nations) General Assembly highlights the fact that our president gives priority to the problem of climate change," presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing.

"That's on top of the agenda of our president and the president will consider this suggestion made by Greenpeace," he added.

Roque said the Philippines is one of the countries that may be worst-hit by the effects of climate change. Some parts of the country may sink if the problem is not addressed, he added.

In his speech before the UN General Assembly last week, Duterte called on nations to honor the Paris climate deal, saying people in developing countries like the Philippines suffer the most because of the impact of climate change.

The Paris climate agreement signed in 2015 aims to limit the rise in the global average temperature to “well below” two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Under the agreement, developed countries should help developing countries implement their climate mitigation and adaptation efforts. Signatories of the deal are also required to set carbon emission reduction goals.

President Duterte ratified the climate deal in 2017.

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