The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), the largest climate justice group in the Philippines, welcomed the statement of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte that addressing global warming would be a top priority of his government.
However, the group expressed concern over the President’s caveat in his State of the Nation Address that a global warming solution must not stymie the country’s industrialization.
“The current global targets to address global warming and climate change are still very far from equitable, with the rich industrialized countries pledging actions that are very short of their fair share. A serious consequence of this inequity is that the aggregate impact of all country targets will still condemn us to nearly 3 degrees Celsius increase in the earth’s temperature. This is not consistent with the avowed goal in the Paris Agreement of limiting global warming to below 1.5 degrees,” PMCJ said in a statement on Tuesday.
President Duterte said in his SONA that, “Let us be very clear on this: We need to industrialize. We need the power and, therefore, the emissions would also be considered.
You just can’t say it: ‘I established five economic zones here’. And you start to say that, ‘you are spewing so much carbon footprints’. Mahirap yan. I mean, it’s hard. I cannot just agree on anything that will delay. I’m only good for six years.”
“And I intend to do something during my term. Now, I’m sure that the heavy machineries would come in and even the power, cheapest is coal,” he said.
President Durterte also directed the concerned regulatory agencies to prioritize the issuance of required permits for power development.