MANILA – Environment Secretary Gina Lopez on Wednesday lauded the ratification by the Philippine Senate of the Paris agreement on climate change.
“I’m very happy. This is a great victory for the planet. President Duterte set the stage for the Senate’s concurrence to the Paris Agreement," said Lopez in a statement.
Lopez, an environmentalist who has launched a campaign against destructive mines, said the ratification of the historic agreement and President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent statements against mining show that the the latter “deeply cares for the country.”
"This joint executive and legislative effort shows our unwavering commitment to protect the environment on a global scale,” said Lopez.
Voting unanimously 22-0, lawmakers adopted Senate Resolution 320 agreeing to the climate pact, which aims to slash greenhouse gases and keep global temperature to “well below” 2-degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
President Rodrigo Duterte signed the climate pact two weeks ago, after last year expressing misgivings that it favors industrialized nations while hindering the economic development of smaller countries such as the Philippines.
In Paris last December, nearly 200 countries -- including the Philippines under then President Benigno Aquino III -- agreed on a binding global compact to slash greenhouse gases and keep global temperature increases to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius.
Manila promised to cut carbon emissions by 70 percent by year 2030, even if the country is not a major emitter.
Wealthy countries were also asked to set aside at least $100 billion yearly as financial assistance to developing countries to enable all countries to actualize renewable energy sources starting 2020.
Duterte had expressed disdain for the pact, saying cutting carbon emissions at a point when the Philippines' economic rise is just starting will be unfair since industriaized countries have been giving off such emissions for decades.
The agreement came into force last Friday.