Prez reiterates disdain for climate change pact
MANILA – President Duterte on Sunday slammed industrialized nations anew for their climate-warming emissions which stoke the intensity of tropical cyclones that typically leave large swathes of destruction in the Philippines.
At the same time, Duterte reiterated that his administration will not honor an international treaty for limiting carbon emissions, which he said, will stymie Manila’s industrial growth.
Speaking to victims of super typhoon “Lawin” in Tugegarao, Cagayan, the President argued that industrialized countries like the United States, the European nations, and China, have been giving off greenhouse gas emissions for decades.
The agricultural Philippines, by contrast, has left relatively small carbon footprints and cannot be blamed for changing climate patterns, he said.
“When the Industrial Revolution began in 1901, 1902, na-discover nila ang use of oil. It was America, and the European nations – and China after the war – sila ang pinakamalakas na gumamit ng makinarya na bumubuga ng usok,” he said.
“Mabibilang mo ang factory dito sa Pilipinas… Compared to other nations, wala tayong kakiting-kiting.”
[When the Industrial Revolution began in 1901, 1902, they discovered the use of oil. It was America and the European nations – and China after the war – they are the ones that widely use machines that give off carbon emissions. In the Philippines, you can count the factories (that emit carbon)… Compared to other nations, we have almost none.]
Duterte said cutting carbon emissions at a point when the Philippines' economic rise is just starting will be unfair. He also vowed to develop the Philippines based on the needs of the public, not according to international demands.
Duterte then vowed that he will develop the Philippines based on the needs of the public, not according to international demands.
“I will develop my country according to the needs of my people. Marami na kasing tao, kailangan gumamit ng maraming makina, Kapag pipigilan ninyo ako, paano ko papakainin ang mga kababayan ko, paano ako maka-produce nang maraming lahat – hindi mechanized, hanggang araro nang araro kami,” he said.
[Our population has grown, we need to use a lot of machines. If you stop me, how will I feed my countrymen, how can I mass-produce everything, non-mechanized and only through constantly plowing the land?]
Duterte did not mention which international treaty he was referring to, but the Philippines last year was among 178 countries which signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Last week, the President also belittled the assistance that the United States extended to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon ''Yolanda'' in 2013, arguing that the calamity was caused by carbon emissions from industrialized nations.
Last Wednesday, super typhoon Lawin smacked northern Luzon with torrential rains and high winds, forced the evacuation of thousands of residents, laid waste to farmlands, and brought down trees, homes and buildings.
Tuguegarao was among the worst-hit areas and has declared a state of calamity. Duterte and his Cabinet led the delivery of relief aid to the town and adjoining Isabela province on Sunday.