De Lima: PHL stands to benefit more from the Paris climate change pact

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Senator Leila M. de Lima today urged President Rodrigo Duterte to reconsider his position not to honor the country’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, stressing that the Philippines stands to gain more from being signatory to the pact.

De Lima made her unsolicited suggestion as she noted that more than 200 countries, including the Philippines, signed the agreement during the 21st Conference of Parties in France last December.

“The Philippines which is a signatory to the Paris agreement stands to benefir more from honoring our commitment to this international agreement not only in terms of financial aid but also on technology-transfer and capacity-building assistance for disaster mitigation,” she said.

“As head of state, President Duterte should honor the Paris agreement if we also want other countries to rally behind us in our monumental victory in the West Philippine Sea arbitration case,” the former Justice Secretary said.

President Duterte earlier said he will not honor the Philippine’s commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change due to the imposition by some industrialized countries to reduce its carbon emissions which would limit the country’s industrial growth.

“It is not a zero-sum game between the industrialized countries and developing nations. We can still grow our economy and achieve industrial growth without compromising our commitment and efforts towards combating climate change,” said de Lima.

In the 2015 Report of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), the Philippines ranked fourth among the most disaster-prone countries in the whole world with a total of 274 natural disasters in the past 20 years.

“It’s a well-established fact that countries are more and more vulnerable to the onslaught of climate change. It is a global phenomenon wreaking unpredictable havoc, and its burden we must share with the rest of the international community,” she added.

To ensure sustainable growth, de Lima said the Philippines can explore diversifying its energy mix to include not just coal, but also renewable energy sources such as solar.

She also appealed to the private sector to do their fair share in addressing and mitigating the impact of climate change by adapting clean technologies and environmental-friendly practices in their businesses.

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