Climate Change Commission, Legarda, environment NGO blast Trump pullout from Paris pact

Originally published in Interaksyon

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE – 12:05 p.m.) The Climate Change Commission said the country “is deeply troubled” by the US withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement and “appeals that they reconsider their position.”

The CCC noted that the US, being the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases and as a world leader, “would have played a key role in creating the much needed global paradigm shift towards a more climate-resilient and climate-smart future.”

For her part, Senator Loren Legarda, said: “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,” she said in a statement.

The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, a policy group promoting low-carbon development strategies, sustainable energy solutions, and fair climate policy in vulnerable countries, also blasted the American president.

“Trump promoted fossil fuel interests over those of the people and the planet by pulling out the United States from the Paris Agreement, but even he cannot stop the tide of climate action happening within and beyond his country,” Denise Fontanilla, the group’s climate policy coordinator, said.

She also urged the government to “join the overwhelming majority of the international community not only in defending its people from the threats of climate change, but also in grabbing the opportunities brought about by low-carbon development.”

“Trump and his cronies refuse to realize that jobs and investments are heading to China and India, which are set to exceed their Paris climate pledges. The Duterte administration would be wise to heed the signs,” Fontanilla said.

The CCC said the Philippines, “as one of the most vulnerable countries to the adverse effects of climate change, affirms its commitment to the Paris Agreement.”

“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,” it said.

“We call on all other countries that are parties to the Paris Agreement to become even more vigilant in ensuring that the Paris Agreement achieves its goal, as the future of our children and this world depends on it,” it added.

Despite Trump’s announcement, Legarda said, “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,” she said.

She added that “the shift towards low-carbon, resilient economy is underway” and “there’s no turning back especially for leaders who are enlightened, for nations who understand the risks of inaction to their people.”