Duterte echoes call for major economies' support in fighting climate change

John Gabriel Agcaoili, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 11 2021 11:15 PM | Updated as of Nov 13 2021 12:49 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte at the Malacañan Palace on November 9, 2021. Karl Alonzo, Presidential Photo/File
President Rodrigo Duterte at the Malacañan Palace on November 9, 2021. Karl Alonzo, Presidential Photo/File

MANILA (UPDATED)— President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday reiterated the call for major economies to help developing countries address the consequences of climate change.

Duterte, in a video message to the virtual 2021 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council Dialogue with Economic Leaders, said emergent nations need to pull all stops in fighting global warming.

These include climate finance, technology transfer and development, and capacity-building. 

“In the interest of climate justice, we need these to transition to climate-smart development and adapt to and mitigate the worsening effects of climate change,” Duterte said.

He emphasized the need of developing countries for support from major economies to help in their transition to a low-carbon economy.

During the virtual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting 2021, Duterte urged major economies to fulfill their pledges to climate efforts.

“Developing economies such as the Philippines contribute the least to climate change, but we are the most vulnerable to its disastrous consequences. And the cost of transitioning to a green economy is too high for developing countries to afford. This is the simple truth,” the
President said.

Ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, the United Kingdom had said it is ready to support the Philippines in its climate change commitments.

"What we’re hoping to happen at COP is that the Philippines might announce net zero... it’s commitment to net zero by 2050 and we stand ready to support the Philippines in its vision to reduce its emission and to transition to low carbon economy," British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils told ANC. 

Financing is key in terms of climate change discussions especially when the $100-billion annual financing goal is yet to be met, she said. 

The Asian Development Bank last week also launched a plan to speed up the closure of coal-fired power plants in the Philippines and Indonesia in a bid to help Southeast Asian nations bring their carbon emissions lower.

This was endorsed by officials from the United States, United Kingdom and Denmark, as well as global financial institutions and philanthropies.

The Philippines is among more than 40 countries at COP26 that have committed to shift away from the world’s dirtiest fossil fuel. 

However, the country, through Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, only endorsed two of the pledge's four clauses, specifically rapidly scaling up deployment of clean power generation; and making a just transition away from coal power that also benefits workers and communities.

The two others were: phasing out coal power in economies in the 2030s for major economies and 2040s for the rest of the world; and ending all investment in new coal power generation domestically and internationally.

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