By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos
Despite being very vocal with his misgivings, President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change Instrument of Accession Tuesday night.
The Instrument of Accession, a document signifying the country’s ratification of the said agreement, will be delivered to the office of Senator Loren Legarda on Wednesday afternoon.
According to Senator Loren Legarda, she will sponsor the document for Senate concurrence, the final step in the ratification process. Senate approval would also mean that the deal becomes a treaty.
Legarda, the United Nations Global Champion for Resilience, was reported to have worked behind the scenes to ensure the pact’s ratification.
The Instrument of Accession was given to Duterte on January during the first Climate Change Commission and Advisory Board en banc meeting of his administration.
The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It deals with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. So far, the treaty has 194 signatories.
Duterte had previously expressed doubts on the treaty mainly because of the fund needed.
According to Duterte, he found the treaty problematic as it does not state who will foot the fund of $5 billion and that those who will violate it will face no sanctions.
“You know as a lawyer, I try to read something before I sign. First, there is a five-billion fund. The agreement does not state who gives it. Second is if there is violation, it leaves it at that. There is no sanction at all,” he said.
But despite finding these problems, Duterte announced that he would be signing the Paris Agreement because of the Cabinet’s unanimous vote.
Climate Change Commission (CCC) secretary and vice chairperson Emmanuel de Guzman said he is overjoyed with Duterte’s ratification of the Paris Agreement.
“The Philippine delegation’s hard work to lobby the 1.5-degree climate goal during the Paris negotiations has finally paid off,” he said.
“This is a clear articulation of his marching orders for the Climate Change Commission in the succeeding months,” he added.
De Guzman also said that the ratification affirms Duterte’s pronouncement that climate change is a top priority of this administration and also the President’s advocacy of championing climate justice for the poorest of the poor.
“I share our President’s vision for a healthier and more sustainable future for the Filipino people,” he said.