[Statement] Climate Justice Group calls on Duterte to take Paris Agreement seriously; PH vulnerable to destruction from climate change | PMCJ
Climate Justice Group calls on Duterte to take Paris Agreement seriously; PH vulnerable to destruction from climate change
On February 24, 2021, President Rodrigo Duterte acknowledged the reality of the negative impact of climate change through his weekly national address, citing the rapid increase of flooding in multiple areas, “Noong una, ‘yong climate change medyo ano [sic] pa ako noon na parang ayaw ko maniwala. But ngayon, sobra talaga ang tubig na galing sa langit because of [sic] umiinit ho ang planeta”. In 2016, President Duterte refused to sign the Paris Treaty on behalf of the country citing the Philippines’ need to industrialize, before finally agreeing to sign it in 2017 after pressure from several climate justice groups.
It has been proven through scientific research that flooding comes as a consequence of industrial mining operations and deforestation, a fact that which President Duterte fails to acknowledge in his weekly address, concluding his statement on increased incidences of flooding in the country by stating that “there is only one thing really that can save this planet, it’s God. Maybe we should pray more, whatever the God.” Philippine Movement for Climate Justice’s National Coordinator Ian Rivera states that, “With this kind of thinking, and coming from a head of a country that is most vulnerable to climate change, will the Filipinos be saved from the impacts of the climate crisis? Prayer must always be supplemented by action—and for this anthropogenic climate crisis, what we need is a president who understands the science and the leadership it so requires for concrete efforts. The situation is still not hopeless.” He continues that the country may still reduce the negative effects of climate change, should the administration remain ambitious in following through with our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the treaty, as well as “the moral charge to demand those actions from rich polluter countries”.
The Philippines remains one of the most vulnerable nations to the destructive effects of climate change. PMCJ calls on President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration to put climate justice at the forefront of the Philippine survival from the climate crisis. Through concretizing efforts towards an ambitious NDC, and upholding our country’s end of the Paris Agreement, it is possible to reverse the catastrophic effects of climate change, and achieve a global temperature of not more than 1.5 degrees c.
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