STATEMENT | Scientists to Duterte: Retract signature on Paris Agreement

Mar. 11, 2017

Statement of AGHAM Advocates of Science and Technology for the People

We in AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People urge President Rodrigo Duterte to act according to his initial stand against the Paris Agreement and retract his signature from said treaty on the basis that it is an unfair compromise to solve the problem of climate change. We believe that the agreement fails to uphold accountability of the biggest polluters and ultimately leaves small and vulnerable countries like the Philippines at the losing end.

The Paris Agreement was the heavily watered-down product of negotiations during the 21st Conference of Parties on December 2015 envisioned to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet the target of below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. Through provisions such as the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, it puts the responsibility of meeting target emission cuts at the burden of developing countries without holding corporations that are among the biggest historical polluters accountable.

In demanding a more comprehensive agreement that will hold the biggest historical and current polluters accountable and will genuinely answer the problem of climate change, there is need to identify the role of the neoliberal world economic order geared towards 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 which has allowed corporations to the unhampered extraction and consumption of global natural resources especially fossil fuels at the expense of the people and the environment.

Any measure under the 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 continue unacknowledged and unabated.

To solve the climate crisis, we need to address the global and domestic economic policies that keep our people poor and without the capacity to face the increasing hazards brought by the adverse effects of climate change. We need to mobilise and stand together to demand for a change in the existing system of endless production and consumption that serves the profit-oriented motive of capitalist nations.

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

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