PH asks U.S. to reconsider withdrawal from Paris climate pact

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Friday, June 2, appealed to the United States to "reconsider their position" to withdraw from the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement.

US President Donald Trump announced America's withdrawal from the landmark international climate pact on Thursday, June 1, saying that he cannot support "a deal that punishes the United States."

In a statement Friday, the Philippines' Climate Change Commission (CCC) said it is "deeply troubled by the decision of the US to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and appeals that they reconsider their position."

"The US, as the 2nd largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and more importantly, one of the world leaders, would have played a key role in creating the much needed global paradigm shift towards a more climate-resilient and climate-smart future," the CCC explained. 

The commission also called on other countries that are parties to the agreement to "become even more vigilant" in making sure that the Paris Agreement achieves its goals, among them, to keep global temperature rise this century to below 2 degrees Celsius.

At least 175 countries, including the US, signed the Paris climate deal in April 2016, and the agreement entered into force in November 2016. 

In the Philippines, senators sealed the country's ratification of the Paris Agreement in March 2017 – two weeks after President Rodrigo Duterte signed the "Instrument of Accession."

On Friday, the country – one of the most vulnerable in the world to climate change – affirmed its commitment to the Paris Agreement. (READ: World leaders vow to defend climate pact after Trump pullout)

"We recognize the need for all countries to work together to address the increases in global temperature, which have resulted and will continue to result in more intense and frequent typhoons and droughts for the Philippines, threatening the security of our people, the food and water needed to sustain them, and their livelihoods," the CCC added. 

Senator Loren Legarda, who chairs the Senate committee on climate change, slammed Trump.

"It is unfortunate that Mr. Trump decided to pull out from the Paris Agreement. The decision reeks of ignorance and condemns US foreign policy into infamy," Legarda said in a statement on Friday.

She said while the US leader had made the decision, the private sector can still do its part.

"It is truly a sad day, but we are not hopeless. The way forward is for US cities and states to enforce it. Americans are even eager to do their share. They can continue to demand from their leaders and lead themselves. The private sector can be the game changer," Legarda said. – Rappler.com

 

Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.

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