By Charmaine A. Tadalan, Reporter

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte, before an audience of Japanese businessmen on Friday, slammed the series of international climate-change conferences amid the continuing impact of that phenomenon.

“What ails the system now? What is this conference of climate change for? There is nobody, no entity to enforce the laws governing climate,” President Mr. Duterte said in impromptu remarks in his speech at the Nikkei 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia in Japan.

He cited his “latest trip outside of the Philippines” when he posed the same question in a discussion with UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres. “Let’s stop kidding ourselves, or else we are just wasting the time and money of the people coming back and forth to this conference which has not improved (the climate-change situation).”

“What have we done from the first meeting to the last? None.”

He also recalled sacking members of his Cabinet for their frequent attendance in climate-change conferences abroad.

In the same speech, the President raised the need for all nations to comply to their obligations beyond their territories, as it affects developing countries, such as the Philippines, most.

“Vulnerabilities are not equally shared by all nations. Developing countries that have contributed the least to global warning, like my country, the Philippines, suffer the most, from its horrendous consequences with (the) water level rising….” he said.

He added: “Developing archipelagic nations, like the Philippines, however, measure our losses in terms of islands and the lives of our citizens.”