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Locsin: Ban on gov’t execs attending int’l climate change conferences covers only DFA

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Monday said that his recent pronouncement on the Philippines rejecting invitations for climate change talks abroad was only limited to the Department of Foreign Affairs. 

"My ban on air travel to climate change forums is strictly limited to DFA. Of course Congress and all other departments are free to go; we will accredit them," Locsin said in a Twitter post.

"But we at DFA choose to follow the President's displeasure with more climate talk instead of climate action finally," he added.

The environmental impact of greenhouse gas emissions from aviation has long been a subject of discussions among environmental advocates who try to monitor their carbon footprint.

"What about land travel to climate change forums? Got me there. So yes, if foreign post can travel by land, go ahead, attend, talk," Locsin said.

"Cars are pollutants but electric trains not we think. You can swim. Horseback, no. They fart methane. Congress members get all DFA courtesies due," he added.

Last week, Locsin said that he would reject "all official participation in climate change conferences requiring air travel."

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in March 2017 despite expressing his misgivings on the pact which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit the rise in global temperatures to below two degrees Celsius.

He had said that such an agreement would just be a "farce" if the developed countries would not honor their obligations under it.

Duterte also recently questioned the purpose of climate change talks when there is "no entity to enforce the laws governing climate." —Dona Magsino/NB, GMA News