PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has expressed openness to ratify the Paris agreement on climate change, after initially saying he would not honor it, a Palace official said on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters at the Ateneo de Davao University, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the President would likely agree to ratify the climate deal as long as it has no effect to the country’s economic situation.
“The President said in one of his interviews before that he was not in favor of this because of our economic situation in the country. But after the President spoke with the Secretary of State John Kerry,… the President said that as long as it is fair to our economic situation, then everything should be okay,” Andanar said.
Andanar said Duterte had changed his mind following his meeting with United States Secretary of State John Kerry on July 26.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella had said Kerry was being “helpful in defining certain issues about the Paris pact.”
The President earlier said that he would not acknowledge the climate pact because some of its provisions are “not clear” to him.
“This treaty in Paris, there is no treaty to honor. We have not signed the treaty; we just committed to draft a treaty for us so that we can be able to present our game plan and signed the treaty. That’s pending in Congress because I said, that’s not clear,” Duterte said.
The Philippines is among the 178 countries which signed the treaty but is yet to ratify it. Of the said signatories, about 19 have already ratified the agreement, which is not enough for the treaty to enter into force.
If 55 countries ratify the agreement, the participants are mandated to hold the increase in the global temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. (Sunnex)