On worse floods, US did it, not Pinoys — Duterte

Jan. 28, 2013

“We never contributed significant (amount) as to alter or change the climate.  It’s the US, the western world and China,” Duterte said.

Davao Today

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – For Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, he’d rather lash at the United States rather than blame local Filipinos for the recent spate of flooding in the city.

In his popular Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa television show January 27, Duterte said “the Filipinos have no significant contribution to what ails the country today” as he scored first world countries, the US in particular, for emitting greenhouse gases that caused the climate change or global warming.

“We never contributed significant (amount) as to alter or change the climate.  It’s the US, the western world and China,” Duterte said.

The National Democratic Front Southern Mindanao earlier issued a statement pointing to the natural calamities as worsened by climate change that was caused by US corporations.

“The US has emitted a cumulative total of about 50.7 Billion tons of carbon since 1950.  It emits 23 percent of the world’s carbon gases even though it only accounts four percent of the world’s population,” said Rubi del Mundo, NDF regional spokesman of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.

Calling it the “worst culprit of global warming,” along with Japan and European Union, Del Mundo said these countries brought about 80 percent of the carbon dioxide build-up in the atmosphere.

Del Mundo said that US owns 162 out of the 500 transnational corporations (TNCs) worldwide which control extractive industries that have irreversible effects on the environment like metal mining and energy extraction.

The communist spokesman added that these TNCs control 80 percent of the land worldwide with cash crops while 10 TNCs are controlling 41 percent of the world production of oil and gas and 20 TNCs controlling the sales of hazardous pesticides and other agricultural chemicals.

Duterte upped the ante by raising the issue of the Kyoto Protocol treaty.

“Why didn’t America sign the protocol?,” he asked.

The Kyoto Protocol, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, is a legally binding agreement under which industrialized countries will reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2 percent compared to the year 1990.

The goal is to lower overall emissions from six greenhouse gases namely, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs and PFCs.  The national targets include eight percent reductions for the European Union, seven percent for the US and six percent for Japan.

The treaty was negotiated on December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan and came into force on 16 February 2005.  But the US did not sign the agreement.

The US is said to be the “world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gas.”

Duterte also accused US corporations for denuding Mindanao forests, citing South Cotabato which was a virgin forest before.

“How many American corporations were logging there to clear (the area),” he said.  “Kinsa man mga unang loggers dinhi sa Mindanao?  Di ba ang Americans?  Hain man ang atong mga kahoy karon? (Who are the original loggers in Mindanao?  They were the Americans, weren’t they?  Where have our trees gone?)

Mindanao’s forest cover is currently pegged at about eight percent.

Duterte also said that the raging winds brought by Pablo last December are results of the climate change, affecting not just the third world countries but the first world as well.

The US was also battered by last year’s Hurricane Sandy and Hurrican Katrina the previous years.

“The unabated capitalist production in US’s own country had worsened the climate change that was already felt in the 1970s.  It has not only brought about great disasters like typhoon Sendong and typhoon Pablo.  It has also affected the reduction of agricultural harvests, epidemics and disease–problems that exacerbate the already unbearable situation of peasants and workers in the country,” NDF’s Del Mundo said.  (Marilou Aguirre-Tuburan/davaotoday.com)

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