MAY 31, 2019 — President Rodrigo Duterte described international conferences that highlight the impact of climate change as a “waste of the people’s time and money.”
During his keynote speech at the 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia, Duterte mentioned the Philippines’ attendance to one such conference.
“There has to be an accountability,” said Duterte as he trailed off from what he said was a prepared speech.
The chief executive slammed the United Nations (UN) for its supposed lack of action to address the global issue.
Duterte mentioned attending a round table discussion with UN President Antonio Guterres, who he claimed spoke extensively about the impact of climate change.
Duterte says he intervened and asked Guterres: “Let’s stop kidding each other or else we are just wasting the time and money of the people comingwhich has not improved a bit since we started to talk about it…What have we done from the first meeting to the last? None.”
Duterte also questioned the lack of a governing body or entity to enforce laws on climate change.
Duterte said that while he may not know the end result of the effects of climate change, he believes destruction brought about by war could render efforts to address the environmental issue moot.
“There are so many countries with so many bombs—atomic, hydrogen, and all. If any one of them would just start to send one into the air, there’s a chance that it would be the end of the world,” he said. “Thus, climate change doesn’t really matter to us at all.”