ICSC hails Duterte's climate change prioritization during SONA

Manila, 25 July 2016 – The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (iCSC) today hailed President Rodrigo Duterte for saying climate change shall be ‘a top priority but upon a fair and equitable equation… and must not stymie our industrialization” during his State of the Nation Address. This is by far the most progressive pronouncement by a Philippine president regarding climate change at the State of the Nation Address. A few days ago, President Duterte was quoted in the news saying he would honor the Paris Climate Pact.

“President Duterte’s prioritization of climate change strengthens our standing in the international community. We are hopeful President Duterte will become a voice of leadership demanding greater, faster and more concerted global action to protect the vulnerable in the Philippines and other parts of the world. The implications of the worsening climate to the lives of Filipinos and to the Philippine economy is undeniable. Economic progress is unattainable if the country has to deal annually with mounting losses in productivity, damage to infrastructure, damage to food crops and deaths due to the impacts of climate change. President Duterte must use his term to secure the future of Filipinos from these intensifying impacts.,” said Red Constantino, Executive Director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities.

The Philippines is currently the chairman of Climate Vulnerable Forum, a grouping of 50 countries most vulnerable countries to climate change at the UN. The forum has been a leading voice in global climate negotiations mainly because these are countries facing survival issues from sea level rise and devastating natural disasters linked to climate change.

“To realize President Duterte’s goals to free Filipinos from the chains of energy oligarchs, he must adopt and unleash the power of decentralized renewable energy rather than further lock the country into centralized, wasteful, polluting coal power controlled by a few companies. Clean energy is now far cheaper and is the unequivocal reliable choice of the future. The Duterte administration must learn to look beyond short-term economic gains, and use its term as an opportunity to uplift the Filipino people from poverty by establishing a modern energy infrastructure powered by the steady growth in renewable energy investments – which in turn will provide new jobs for our people,” Constantino added.

“In addition, renewable energy offers massive economic rewards: just last year $328.9 billion was invested in renewable energy globally. In fact, more jobs were created in the renewable energy sector last year compared to jobs generated in the oil, gas and coal sectors. The Filipino nation can and must be powered by clean energy,” he concluded.
The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities is a policy group promoting low-carbon development initiatives in vulnerable countries.


  • Red Constantino, Executive Director, +63 917 524 1123
  • AC Dimatatac, Communications Coordinator, +63 998 546 9788