Philippine senators on Monday assured their French counterparts that Pres. Rodrigo Duterte is set to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change by July.
The assurance was made during a meeting between both Philippine and French senators at the Hotel Sofitel in Pasay City which tackled the Paris treaty, diplomatic relations, and government systems.
Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel said that the timetable is that by middle of the year it will be submitted to the Senate for concurrence after Pres. Duterte signs it.
Pimentel said that he was confident that once the signed treaty reaches the Senate, it would acquire at least 16 votes needed to be ratified.
Sen. Loren Legarda, head of the Philippine-France Parliamentary Friendship Association, said that to date, 32 out of 33 agencies have already submitted their certificates of concurrence.
"Once the (last) agency submits then it will be up to the President and then he will submit it for concurrence. Hopefully soon this year it will be transmitted to the Senate," Legarda said.
French Senator Gerard Miquel for his part, said that he has met with Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. the same day and was assured of the "willingness" of the Philippine government to ratify the treaty.
"We met this morning with Secretary of Foreign Affairs who assured us of the willingness of the Philippine government to ratify the agreement by July," Miquel said.
Miquel also expressed gratitude for the continued cooperation between the Philippines and France in celebration of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both countries
"We agreed that France and Philippine have to work together. Production of clean renewable energy is very important but there are other issues on which we can be potentially helpful," Miquel said.
He cited the recycling of water and preservation of natural resources as potential issues that can be further addressed in the Philippines with the help of France.
France is one of the least polluted countries and least emitters of greenhouse gas in Europe, according to Miquel.
The Paris Agreement on climate change is a treaty that seeks to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
Pres. Duterte was initially opposed to the ratification of the agreement, saying it will prevent the Philippines from achieving economic and industrial growth target.
He changed his mind about the treaty after most of his Cabinet members voted in favor of what has been described as a landmark global deal to cut harmful carbon emissions that are causing climate change.
The Philippines was one of the 195 countries that agreed to the Paris Agreement during the 21st Conference of the Parties or COP21 in France last year.
Source: Philippines News Agency