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Philippines Won’t Honor Paris Agreement

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Marlon Ramos, Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippines President Duterte on Monday said his administration would not honor the historic Paris Agreement on climate change that the Philippines adopted along with about 200 countries in December 2015, saying the covenant was “stupid” and “absurd.”

The tough-talking President said the international treaty, signed by countries that participated in the 21st Conference of Parties in France, would only limit the country’s industrial growth.

Speaking at sendoff ceremonies in Malacañang for Filipino athletes bound for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the President said a foreign ambassador recently reminded him of the country’s commitment to limit its carbon emissions.

He said he was angry with the ambassador and “wanted to kick him” when the diplomat, whom he did not identify, asked him if the Philippines could maintain the level of its carbon footprints.

“I said, ‘No. I cannot tell … You don’t do it that way, Mr. Ambassador. [Your country] has reached the apex [of industrialization] and along the way put a lot of contaminants and emissions, and went ahead in destroying the climate,’” the President recalled as telling the ambassador.

“We have not reached the age of industrialization. We’re now going into it. But you are trying to stymie [our growth] with an agreement that says you can only go up to here,” he added. “That’s stupid. I will not honor that.”

Signature not his

When the ambassador told him that the Philippines was a signatory to the agreement, Mr. Duterte replied: “That was not my signature. It’s not mine … I will not follow.”

The President also said the climate change agreement was forged just when the Philippines was on its way to develop its own industries.

“Now that we’re developing, you will impose a limit?” he said. “That’s absurd.”

“That’s how very competitive and constricted our lives now. It’s being controlled by the world, it’s being imposed upon us by the industrialized countries. They think that they can dictate the destiny of the rest of the [world],” he added.

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