Saying that he plans to establish industrial zones “everywhere,” President Rodrigo Duterte stood firm on his decision not to honor an international agreement on reducing carbon emissions that the Aquino administration ratified.
In a speech during an inspection of a biomass power plant project in Maguindanao, the President said he has “misgivings” about the Paris Agreement on Climate Change because it is unfair to developing countries like the Philippines.
“There is no treaty to honor. We have not signed the treaty. We just committed to draft a treaty—so that we can be able to present our game plan and sign the treaty,” Duterte said.
He added that he is willing to review the agreement if it will take into consideration the economic plans of the country.
“So let us be clear, give me a clear view of what will happen to the treaty if we decide or the Senate will agree with it, to give its concurrence,” the President said.
Duterte said he plans to promote industrialization to create more jobs and improve the skills of Filipino workers.
“My plan is to put up industrial zones everywhere, “ Duterte stressed, citing that China could be an “easy market” for the commodities that may be produced by the Philippines.
“All these years, the industrialization from the 60’s, 70’s, it was China, America, Europe. They have reached industrialization at our expense,” Duterte said.
“If you will not allow us to reach parity, you are already there and we are still here, then I’m saying that’s crazy. I will not agree to that.”
In December last year, the Philippines participated in the United Nations’ Conference of Parties, in which the Paris Agreement was initially drafted and ratified by 196 countries.
The agreement outlined the framework for dealing with greenhouse gas emissions. As its contribution, the Philippines pledged to reduce gas emissions by up to 70 percent by 2030.
The country officially became a signatory to the agreement last April, with then-Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje signing on the Philippines’ behalf.
It cannot become effective until 55 countries accounting for 55 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions have fully approved it.
The accord—which could enter into force later this year, far sooner than expected—sets ambitious goals for capping global warming and funnelling trillions of dollars to poor countries facing an onslaught from climate damage.