Manila, March 14 (IANS) The Philippines Senate on Tuesday ratified the Paris global climate agreement, making the Southeast Asian nation an official signatory to the historic pact.

With a vote of 22-0, the Senate unanimously voted in favour of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the world’s first comprehensive climate agreement that commits the government to move away from fossil fuels, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Wherefore, be it resolved, that the Philippines Senate concur, as it hereby concurs, in the Philippines accession to the Paris Agreement,” said Senator Loren Legarda.

Legarda said the Senate’s concurrence “will send a strong signal of our continuing commitment to work with the rest of the world in ensuring the survival of this generation and the generation to come and ability of the Earth to sustain life.”

“Even as we complete the process, we are already moving forward in our efforts to combat climate change impacts,” she added.

On February 28, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte signed the climate pact.

After Duterte affixed his signature, the “Instrument of Accession” was submitted to the Senate for concurrence.

The “Instrument of Accession” is a document signifying the Philippines’ ratification of the climate change pact. Senate concurrence is the final step in the ratification process.

The pact is the first ever legally binding global agreement signed by 194 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in December.

The Philippines has promised to cut carbon emissions by 70 per cent by 2030, even if the country is not a major emitter.

Duterte, who took office in June last year, was reluctant to sign the Paris pact, saying the agreement is tilted in favour of the industrialised nations.

The pact was signed during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino.

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