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World | National

Duterte inks Paris climate deal, Palace sends pact to Senate for concurrence

Reuters file photo of President Rodrigo Duterte
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a historic agreement bringing nations to undertake the ambitious effort of combating climate change and adapt to its effects, including extreme weather disturbances like violent storms that have been affecting the Philippines in recent years. 

Deputy Executive Secretary Meynard Guevarra on Wednesday delivered to Senator Loren Legarda the Instrument of Accession signed by  Duterte ratifying the Paris Agreement, including a formal letter-request to the Senate for its concurrence.

Legarda, chairman of the Senate Oversight Committee on Climate Change and principal author of the Climate Change Act.  said she would immediately file a resolution urging the Senate for its concurrence on the ratification of the Paris Agreement.

“Once we fully ratify, we become part of the succeeding meetings about the Paris Agreement. It is to our advantage that we are in the talks so we can converge with our fellow vulnerable nations on how we should move forward and compel big GHG emitters to do their fair share,” said Legarda. 

“Our ratification will send a strong signal of our continuing commitment to work with the rest of the world in ensuring the survival of this generation and the generations to come, and the ability of the Earth to sustain life,” she added.

Legarda expressed optimistic and confidence that the Agreement would be concurred by the Senate since there were multipartisan calls from all sector and political groups for its ratification.

“We hope that this kind of support continues,” she said.

Legarda said that if the Senate concurs in the ratification of the agreement, the Philippines would have access to about $100 billion in climate change funds by 2020.

“In the meantime they have $10 million, that is not very big for the whole world but a big step for climate change (adaptation),” Legarda said.

The Paris agreement’s main aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Also, the deal aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change. 

In July 2016, Duterte said he would not honor the climate deal, saying the pact was blocking the progress of developing countries like the Philippines. 

“We have not reached the age of industrialization. We are going into it. But you are trying to (cite) agreement that will impose limitations on us. We maintain the present emission. That’s stupid,” the President said last year. 

In November, after a long discussion with Cabinet members, the chief executive made a change of heart and expressed his willingness to support the agreement.