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Scientists urge Duterte to retract signature on Paris pact

opinion / Latest Opinion
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Scientists urge Duterte to retract signature on Paris pact

12:01 AM March 20, 2017

We in Agham-Advocates of Science and Technology for the People urge President Duterte to go back to his original stand against the Paris Agreement, and to recall his signature from the treaty on the ground that it is an unfair compromise to solve the problem of climate change. We believe that the agreement fails to hold accountable the biggest polluters and ultimately leaves small and vulnerable countries like the Philippines at the losing end.

The Paris Agreement is the heavily watered-down product of the negotiations during the 21st Conference of Parties held in December 2015. Through provisions like the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, the treaty puts the responsibility of meeting target emission cuts on the shoulders of developing countries, even as it excludes corporations that are among the biggest historical polluters.

In demanding a more comprehensive agreement that will hold the top polluters accountable and genuinely resolve the problem of climate change, there is need to identify the role of the neoliberal world economic order, which is geared toward the globalization of resources. As it now stands, there is no significant provision in the Paris Agreement that reverses the status quo of neoliberal globalization. This has allowed corporations unhampered extraction and consumption of global natural resources, especially fossil fuels, at the expense of people and the environment.

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Any measure under an agreement that maintains a business-as-usual setting will not lead to the reduction of global carbon emissions and solve the problem of climate change. To settle on a “stripped-off” solution to climate change is to worsen its impacts as globalization and environmental plunder go on unacknowledged and unabated.

To solve the climate crisis, we need to address the global and domestic economic policies that keep our people poor and unable to face the increasing hazards brought about by climate change. We need to mobilize and stand together to demand change in the existing system of endless production and consumption that serve only the profit-oriented capitalist nations.

We call on all Filipinos to continue the struggle to resist the plunder of our natural resources, call for genuine change during the Duterte administration, and demand social justice amid climate change.

FINESA COSICO secretary general, Agham-Advocates of Science and Technology for the People

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TAGS: Agham, Agham-Advocates of Science and Technology for the People, climate change, Inquirer letters, Inquirer Opinion, Paris agreement
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