Duterte says he won't honor pact to cut carbon emissions

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 18 2016 06:19 PM | Updated as of Jul 19 2016 09:42 AM

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said he will not honor commitments entered into by the Philippines to reduce its carbon emissions.

In a speech in Malacañang, Duterte disclosed that he recently met with an ambassador from an industrialized country to discuss the Philippines' commitments to lowering its carbon emissions.

The meeting did not go well as the envoy pressed Duterte about the Philippines' commitment to reduce its carbon emissions and turn to cleaner sources of energy.

''Sabi ko, 'You don't do it that way Mr. Ambassador, you who have reached your peak and along the way spewed a lot of contaminants and emissions and well ahead in destroying the climate. Good for you. We are here, we haven't reached the age of industrialization, we are going into it, but you're trying to stymie it with an agreement na 'hanggang dito lang kayo.' We maintain the present emission. That's stupid. I will not honor that,'' he said.

Duterte did not mention which international treaty he and the ambassador discussed, but the Philippines last year was among 178 countries which signed the Paris climate deal.

The Paris accord sets the goal of limiting global warming to "well below" two degrees Celsius.

The Philippines, a country particularly vulnerable to climate change, committed to reduce by 70 percent its carbon emissions by 2030.

The agreement will come into effect once the 55 countries representing 55 percent of global emissions ratify or accept it.

Duterte said he was not responsible for the Philippines' commitments in the climate negotiations, and he does not agree with the Philippines' proposal.

He believes limiting the Philippines' carbon emissions would prevent the country's economic rise.

''That was not my signature. That's somebody else's, not mine. I will not follow. Eh yung inyo mataas na inyo, along the way, lahat ng basura all these centuries tapos paakyat lang kami ng amin, maglimit-limit kayo? Sabi niya, 'How about the signed convention?' That is not my signature. We'll make a new one. Or we do not, or won't at all. Kalokohan yan. We do not honor at all. Kalokohan yan,'' he said.

''So that is how very competitive and very constricted our lives now. It's being controlled by the world. It's being imposed upon us by the industrialized countries, to think that they can dictate the destiny of the nations."

Duterte issued this statement even though he said during his inaugural speech that he would honor all international pacts entered into by the Philippines.

Duterte also gave the environment portfolio to Gina Lopez, a known environmentalist who favors green energy.