By: Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
12:04 AM July 19th, 2016
PRESIDENT Duterte on Monday said his administration would not honor the historic Paris Agreement on climate change that the Philippines adopted along with about 200 countries in December 2015, saying the covenant was â€œstupidâ€ and â€œabsurd.â€
The tough-talking President said the international treaty, signed by countries that participated in the 21st Conference of Parties in France, would only limit the countryâ€™s industrial growth.
Speaking at sendoff ceremonies in MalacaÃ±ang for Filipino athletes bound for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the President said a foreign ambassador recently reminded him of the countryâ€™s commitment to limit its carbon emissions.
He said he was angry with the ambassador and â€œwanted to kick himâ€ when the diplomat, whom he did not identify, asked him if the Philippines could maintain the level of its carbon footprints.
â€œI said, â€˜No. I cannot tell â€¦ You donâ€™t do it that way, Mr. Ambassador. [Your country] has reached the apex [of industrialization] and along the way put a lot of contaminants and emissions, and went ahead in destroying the climate,â€™â€ the President recalled as telling the ambassador.
â€œWe have not reached the age of industrialization. Weâ€™re now going into it. But you are trying to stymie [our growth] with an agreement that says you can only go up to here,â€ he added. â€œThatâ€™s stupid. I will not honor that.â€
Signature not his
When the ambassador told him that the Philippines was a signatory to the agreement, Mr. Duterte replied: â€œThat was not my signature. Itâ€™s not mine â€¦ I will not follow.â€
The President also said the climate change agreement was forged just when the Philippines was on its way to develop its own industries.
â€œNow that weâ€™re developing, you will impose a limit?â€ he said. â€œThatâ€™s absurd.â€