President Rodrigo Duterte has thumbed down the reduction of carbon emissions in the country, stressing that it’s the high-income countries that should cut back because they have the largest carbon footprint.
Speaking before typhoon victims in Cagayan on Sunday, the President blamed rich and industrialized nations for harmful emissions that have led to climate change and extreme weather disturbances.
He also alluded to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change wherein 175 countries vowed to reduce carbon emissions to stave off global warming. Under the pact, the Philippines committed to reduce its carbon footprint by 70 percent by 2030, with the help of other industrialized nations.
Duterte said rich nations should not force developing countries like the Philippines to cut on their carbon emissions, as doing so would prevent them from enjoying the fruits of industrialization.
“I will develop my country in accordance with the needs of my people. We are 104 million people. I will need to use a lot of machines. What do you want us to do? Stick with manual plowing instead of mechanized farming? If you stop me from doing that, how would I feed my people?” Duterte said.
Duterte said the United States and the European nations, as well as China, should do the cutback as they account for the lion’s share of harmful emissions.
“Here in our country, we have a lot of vehicles which they call not fuel-efficient … looking at our tractors, jeepneys cars. Well, we don’t account for a lot of emissions for that. Besides, you can just count the number of factories here. Compared with other nations, what we have is miniscule,” Duterte said.
“The rich nations consumed the bulk of crude oil over the years, and they want to us to scale down on such emissions? I do not agree with that because it is not fair. That’s why we are at odds here,” Duterte added.