Kerry and Duterte discuss Paris climate agreement

Pia Ranada
Kerry and Duterte discuss Paris climate agreement
Kerry explains aspects of the Paris climate deal to Duterte who says he is willing to follow the agreement 'as long as everything is fair,' says Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial remarks on the Paris Agreement on Climate Change were discussed during his meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

In fact, Kerry helped explain certain aspects of the landmark climate deal to Duterte who previously called it “kalokohan” (nonsense).

“They also touched on climate change and Mr Kerry was helpful in defining certain issues about the Paris Pact,” said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella during a press conference on Wednesday, July 27.

Duterte responded by saying the Philippines would abide by any agreement as long as it is fair.

“The President also responded appropriately when he said that the Philippines will work out just as long as everything is fair,” said Abella.

Duterte previously had much harsher words for the historic climate change agreement.

In a speech last July 18, he said he never signed up for any agreement that imposes limits on how much carbon the Philippine economy can emit.

“That is not my signature. We will make a new one or we do not honor at all,” he had said.

Duterte also had a lot to say about industrialized countries, among them the US, who “dictate” such limitations on developing countries like the Philippines.

“They think they can dictate what the destiny [is for] the rest of the nations,” he had said, even likening such countries to “oligarchs” who “enjoy the fat of the land and they don’t really bother to pay taxes.”

But Duterte mellowed down a bit after saying he is willing to talk about the Paris climate agreement as long as it considers the Philippines’ economic plans.

Duterte wants the Philippines to industrialize in order to create more jobs and investment opportunities, and improve the skills of the country’s workforce. –

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at