DFA Chief: No more PH attendance in climate change talks

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 5) — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro "Teddyboy" Locsin Jr. backed President Rodrigo Duterte's animosity towards climate change conferences.

Locsin on Wednesday said he will reject all attendance to climate change talks abroad. He said there is no need to discuss the issue, saying the Philippines will simply vote "yes" to all progressive suggestions to address climate change.

"I am rejecting all official participation in climate change conferences requiring air travel. We'll just vote Yes to radical proposals. No more talk," he tweeted.

Duterte, during his trip to Japan, downplayed global efforts against climate change, calling conferences on the issue a “waste of time and money.”

Related: Duterte downplays climate change efforts

He recalled a recent conversation he had with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. While he earlier said the country “joins the consensus to fight climate change,” he also questioned the “system” of its global talks.

Duterte said climate change may not matter in the long run due to other global issues—including threats of war.

“There are so many countries with so many bombs, atomic hydrogen and all. If any one of them would start to send one into the air, there’s a chance that it will be end of the world. That’s why climate change does not really matter to us at all,” he said on May 31.

The President added he has fired several members of his Cabinet for going on numerous out-of-the-country trips just to attend climate change conferences.

Duterte in March 2017 signed the Paris deal on climate change, which mandates member countries to curb the effects of the phenomenon. The agreement, signed by over 195 countries, seeks to pursue efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels.