President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Friday called for accountability on the global effects of climate change.
"The Philippines joined the global consensus to fight climate change. We hope that this consensus would hold and real action be undertaken, especially by those most responsible for this monumental problem. Governments must comply with obligations beyond our constituency," he said during his keynote address at the Nikkei Conference in Tokyo, Japan.
"There is not even a sanction. And mankind has always been there as practiced by many over the periods of generations of just talk.
And at the end of a century or two, there is trouble, there is war. I don’t know what would be the end result of this climate change, but I can say to you now it will wreak destruction," he added.
Duterte said the Philippines is suffering worse than other countries on the issue of climate change.
"We are faced with the same global challenges, but some suffer more than others. Nothing demonstrates this better than climate change. Vulnerabilities are not equally shared by all nations. Developing countries that have contributed the least to global warming, like my country the Philippines, suffer the most from its horrendous consequences," he said.
The President called for an end to this cycle as he addressed government and business leaders from other countries.
"Governments with limited resources and capabilities have to contend with this spiral of suffering on top of the urgent development priorities. This vicious cycle is real. And indeed it must end. There has to be a way. When the lives of millions hang in the balance, there has got to be a way," he said.
The President said the Philippines, being an archipelago, is greatly affected by typhoons.
"With water levels rising, most countries will measure the losses in terms of coastlines. Developing archipelagic nations like the Philippines, however, measure our losses in terms of islands and the lives of our citizens. Year in and year out we suffer doubly when typhoons strike," he said.
Duterte said it is the poor who suffers the most from the effects of climate change.
"The poorest of our poor bear the brunt of damage, becoming even poorer in the aftermath," he said. (PNA)