Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has stated he will not abide by the Paris Agreement, an international climate change pact, calling the deal “stupid” and “absurd,” and accusing developed countries of “imposing” on less wealthy states after having committed their own share of environmental atrocities.
Duterte was addressing the Philippine Olympic team at the presidential palace in Manila, sending them off to Rio de Janeiro to compete in next month’s games. He told an anecdote of an unnamed ambassador questioning whether the Philippines will be able to keep its carbon emissions low as per the climate change pact signed in December. The question, Duterte admitted, made him want “to kick him.”
“I said, ‘No. I cannot tell. … You don’t do it that way, Mr. Ambassador. [Your country] had reached the apex [of industrialization] and along the way put a lot of contaminants and emission and went ahead in destroying the climate,’” Duterte said he responded to 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, calling abiding by climate pacts “stupid.”
“Kalokohan yan [That’s absurd],” he continued, “So that is how very competitive and that is how very constricted our lives [are] 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 nation.”
“I will not honor that,” he concluded.
As to whether the Paris Agreement is binding, as the Philippines signed the deal before Duterte took office, he asserted, “That’s not my signature.”