WATCH: Advocates urge PH Senate to ratify Paris climate deal after Duterte nod
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – As the Philippines marked the 4th anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the Paris climate change agreement came into force.
Nearly a hundred countries have already ratified or accepted the historic agreement, but the Philippines is not among them.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier expressed concerns about the agreement, saying that it was unfair to the country as it is not a major carbon emitter. At one point, he threatened not to honor it.
But on Monday, November 7, Duterte announced that he now intends to sign the climate pact after a near-unanimous approval by his Cabinet.
Advocates welcomed the President's decision and urged the Senate to immediately act on the agreement.
"We call on the Senate to heed the call and ratify the treaty now," international aid agency Oxfam said in a statement.
According to the group, it is high time the legislators ratified the agreement as countries gather for the 22nd UN Climate Talks in Morocco, beginning Monday, November 7.
Oxfam, with environmental groups Aksyon Klima Pilipinas and Green Thumb Coalition, earlier launched an online petition calling for the ratification of the agreement. (PETITION: Ratify the Paris Climate Agreement Now!)
Historic climate agreement
On December 2015, nearly 200 countries came together to forge the historic climate deal in Paris, France.
The Philippines, considered a poster child for climate change impact, was among the active supporters of the agreement.
The deal aims to limit global warming since the Industrial Revolution to well below 2 degrees Celsius and strives for an even more ambitious goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius.
By the end of the century, the Earth will heat up some 3 degrees Celsius, the disastrous tipping point of climate change, according to a recent UN Environment Program report,
The deal will push high-emitting developed countries like the US and China to lower their greenhouse gas emissions to provide support to vulnerable countries like the Philippines for climate change adaptation.
The Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, experiencing an average of 20 typhoons a year. Yolanda, one of the strongest typhoons recorded in recent history, hit the country in 2013, killing over 7,000 people. – Rappler.com