'Climate justice' weighs heavily on Duterte's mind during ASEM Summit

Published November 26, 2021, 10:18 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

President Duterte renewed his call for “climate justice” from developed nations during the second plenary session of the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit on Friday, Nov. 26.

President Rodrigo Duterte speaks to his fellow Heads of State during the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting on Nov. 25, 2021 (Screenshot from Facebook live)

“In the light of Glasgow, the Philippines repeats its call for climate justice. The world transition to clean energy cannot be at the expense of the developing world’s progress. This simply isn’t right,” said Duterte in his intervention.

By “Glasgow”, the Philippine leader was referring to the Glasgow Climate Pact. All of the attending countries in the just-concluded United Nations (UN) climate conference in Scotland agreed to the pact.

Duterte, who attended ASEM via video conference, reminded developed nations that Asia continues to suffer from the worsening effects of climate change.

“Our islands are sinking four times faster than the global average. This is true in Asia more than any where else,” he said.

“To stay relevant, ASEM partners must work together for inclusive recovery and climate change. And we must do so, guided by the principles of justice, fairness, and equality,” he said.

(Screenshot from Facebook live)

According to Duterte, the Philippines contributes less than one percent to the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, “but like other developing countries, we suffer the most from climate change”.

“As I’ve said before, the main burden of climate action must fall more on those most responsible for this existential crisis, past and present,” he said, echoing his talking points during the 16th East Asia Summit (EAS) held last month.

“Human rights, justice and fairness are principles all our countries pledged to live by. May ASEM partners have gone farther (sic) and may these principles be a guide post and a goal of their foreign policies.

“If there is one issue where these principles should be front and center, it is climate change,” Duterte stressed.

High volumes of GHGs act as a sort of blanket that trap heat close to the earth’s surface, thus accelerating climate change.

“It is a problem 200 years in the making from which some countries benefited more than the others. Now we are all in this crisis past the point of no return.

“We call on our developed ASEM partners to stay true to their share values, fulfill commitments in climate financing technology transfer and capacity-building without political predictions,” Duterte said.

He guaranteed that the Philippines will do its part, “but those who benefited from out planet the most must do more”.