Duterte presses rich countries on climate finance

ABS-CBN News

DAVAO CITY – Presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte is taking a different approach towards the push to cut carbon emissions in the Philippines in compliance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

In a press conference, Duterte said the Philippines will cooperate in international efforts to combat climate change but said developed nations should do more in this aspect.

He pointed out that more developed countries had higher carbon emissions from the start of the Industrial Revolution all the way to after the Great Depression.

"It was really booming, smoke here and there, while the Philippines still primitive. They were...booming and they were really flooding the contaminants sa air. Now that they are rich, we are still rural. We have hand-me-down machinery and they tell us to cut our emissions and limit productivity," he said.

A view of the 300 MW Davao Baseload Power Plant where President Benigno Aquino III inaugurates on Friday, January 8, 2016, the 300-megawatt (MW) baseload power plant in Davao City, envisioned to deliver reliable power supply to Mindanao and other parts of the Visayas. Gil Nartea, Malacanang Photo

Asserting that this is unfair for the Philippines, Duterte said: "Akala ko ba equal itong mundong ito? Sila ang nasa taas, pinipigilan tayo ngayon. Magkakaroon ako ng policy. Ang policy ko, bayaran mo kami. You pay us and then we will comply.”

Duterte said rich countries should assist the Philippines in adapting and coping with the effects of climate change.

“Simply stated, kung meron kayong qualms, bayaran mo kami, or bigyan mo kami to catch up sa inyo para hindi kami maiwanan ng husto,” he said.

Last month, leaders from over 170 countries signed the landmark Paris Agreement on Climate Change, giving a strong push to international efforts against global warming.

An aerial view of the 300 MW Davao Baseload Power Plant where President Benigno Aquino III inaugurates on Friday, January 8, 2016, the 300-megawatt (MW) baseload power plant in Davao City, envisioned to deliver reliable power supply to Mindanao and other parts of the Visayas. Gil Nartea/Malacanang Photo Bureau

(READ: Over 170 nations sign Paris climate agreement)

In the agreement, richer countries will need to help poorer nations by providing "climate finance" to adapt to climate change and switch to renewable energy.

The Philippines earlier pledged to slash carbon emissions by 70 percent in 2030.

PH pledges to cut carbon emissions by half in 15 years