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24 SEPTEMBER 2009
NEW YORK – Underscoring their responsibility in addressing the effects of climate change, the Philippines reiterated its call for the United States and other developed countries to immediately take drastic measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo made this call following the Summit on Climate Change convened by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on September 22 at the UN Headquarters here and participated in by world leaders led by US President Barack Obama.
In a statement issued at the end of what is considered to be the largest gathering of world leaders to address the issue of climate change, Secretary Romulo appealed to the developed countries for more cuts, saying they are responsible for the vast bulk of past and current greenhouse gas emissions and are “primarily accountable to addressing the effects of climate change.”
“We actively call on developed countries to cut deep and cut early. We also wish to stress that the time frame for such cuts is crucial,” Secretary Romulo said his statement.
“Deep cuts should be put into effect within the first 10 years after the first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol ending in 2012,” he said, adding that deep and early cuts in greenhouse gas emissions would curtail the destructive effects of climate change such as prolonged droughts, floods and heat waves.
Secretary Romulo, at the same time, called on developed countries for a financial commitment for the adaptation, technology transfer and capacity building of developing countries. He said that financing for adaptation measures is specifically important for the Philippines as it is ranked number one in the disaster risk index for typhoons.
“Together with our call for deep and early cuts, we are negotiating towards a Copenhagen decision that will take into account the economic and social development as the first overriding priorities of developing countries such as the Philippines. Our right to sustainable development is clear in the Convention,” Secretary Romulo said.Aside from President Obama, the other heads of state who participated in the Summit on Climate Change included China’s Hu Jintao and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy. The summit sought to mobilize the political will and generate the momentum needed to reach an ambitious agreement at the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December. ###
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