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Duterte urges wealthy nations to act vs climate change

Helen Flores, Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
Duterte urges wealthy nations to act vs climate change
“Just as COVID-19 has had an uneven impact on peoples, climate change has also exposed the varying vulnerabilities of countries around the globe. The risks and burden of a warming climate are simply not the same for everyone,” Duterte said in a recorded message before the United Nations General Assembly.
STAR / Joven Cagande, file

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte yesterday reminded wealthy nations of their “moral obligation” to support actions to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“Just as COVID-19 has had an uneven impact on peoples, climate change has also exposed the varying vulnerabilities of countries around the globe. The risks and burden of a warming climate are simply not the same for everyone,” Duterte said in a recorded message before the United Nations General Assembly.

“The greatest injustice here is that those who suffer the most are those the least responsible for this existential crisis,” he said.

Duterte warned the world has reached “a critical tipping point,” where failure to act will lead to “cataclysmic consequences for the whole of humankind.”

He said the Philippines has accepted its share of responsibility and will do its part to avert this collective disaster.

He said the country submitted its first Nationally Determined Contribution, with a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent by 2030.

Duterte said he also issued a moratorium on the construction of new coal power plants and a directive to explore the nuclear energy option.

“But this contribution will be rendered useless if the biggest polluters – past and present – choose to do ‘business as usual’,” he said.

“We therefore appeal for urgent climate action, especially from those that can truly tip the balance,” he said.

Duterte said developed countries must fulfill their longstanding commitment to climate financing, technology transfer and capacity-building in the developing world.

“Our world’s transition to a green economy must not be at the expense of developing countries’ economic vitality. It simply cannot be – or it would be another travesty of justice,” he said.

CCC abolition

Meanwhile, Sen. Imee Marcos said the Climate Change Commission (CCC) might face abolition in the absence of significant accomplishments for the past three years.

During the Senate budget briefing, Marcos, who presided over the hearing, told Climate Change Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman that “nothing is moving” in his agency, which is supposed to lead the policy-making body of the government tasked to coordinate, monitor and evaluate government programs and ensure mainstreaming of climate change in national, local and sectoral development plans toward a “climate-resilient and climate-smart Philippines.”

“This is strike three. For me, this is my third time to hear your budget, and nothing is moving. Isn’t it for a recommendation for abolition, or definitely for overhaul? Nothing is happening right,” Marcos said.

“I’m not threatening you but if they (senators) say under your watch which agencies can be abolished, how can I justify it?” Marcos added.

“I truly believe that climate change is the worst problem that we will be confronting in the next decade and yet nobody has applied for money, I think it’s impossible to believe,” Marcos said.

De Guzman vowed to submit documents necessary to support proof of accomplishments.

CLIMATE CHANGE
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