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Duterte inks climate pact, urges Senate to ratify it

DESPITE his earlier misgivings, President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday signed the Instrument of Accession to the Paris Climate Change Treaty, which was delivered to the Senate for its concurrence. 

Duterte said he now supported the agreement that gives countries options on how to reduce their greenhouse emissions.

“Now, therefore, be it known that I, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, President of the Republic of the Philippines... hereby accede to each and every article and clause [of the treaty],” Duterte said in the Philippines’ Instrument of Accession. 

Senator Loren Legarda said Wednesday she would actively shepherd the Senate’s immediate concurrence on the treaty signed by Duterte.

Legarda, head of the Senate Committee on Climate Change and UN Global Champion for Resilience, received the Instrument of Ratification for the Paris Agreement from Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Meynard Guevarra. 

Once the treaty was fully ratified, she said, the Philippines would become part of the succeeding meetings on the Paris Agreement. 

“Our ratification would allow us access to the Green Climate Fund,” Legarda said. 

“This is what we have been waiting for―for the developed countries that are the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases to aid vulnerable, low-emitting nations like the Philippines.” 

Duterte asked Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and the other senators to ratify the treaty. 

President Rodrigo Duterte
Climate Change Vice Chairwoman Vernice Victorio said a Declaration will accompany the country’s Accession documents to “ensure that our national laws and priorities will be upheld”―a key factor that made Duterte signed the deal. 

Included in this Declaration is an assertion of the supremacy of Philippine laws and a statement laying the groundwork for the comprehensive review of the Philippines’ Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, which was submitted in October 2015.

“The review will include a wider consultation on the previously submitted conditional emission reduction pledge of 70 percent towards the development of the Nationally Determined Contributions and will take into consideration our capacity to implement such contribution, the support received from developed countries for climate action, and our development pathway,” Victorio said in a statement. 

The Philippines’ Intended Nationally-Determined Contribution to the Paris climate pact says the Philippines intends to reduce its carbon emissions by 70 percent by the year 2030, provided there is aid from the international community.

Climate Change Commission Chairman Emmanuel de Guzman welcomed Duterte’s decision to sign the agreement.

“I am overjoyed with the President’s ratification of the Paris Agreement. The Philippine delegation’s hard work to lobby the 1.5-degree climate goal during the Paris negotiations has finally paid off,” he said in a statement.

Topics: President Rodrigo Duterte , Senator Loren Legarda , Paris Climate Change Treaty , Senate
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