DOE to focus on energy supply, not emissions

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The Department of Energy (DOE) will implement an energy policy that meets the specific economic requirements of the country, the new energy chief said.

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“We will chart our own course in so far as energy is concerned to ensure energy supply security, considering that developing countries like the Philippines have low carbon emissions,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s on Monday said the new administration will not honor the December 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, which the Philippines adopted along with 200 other countries.

The Paris agreement on climate change is “blocking the progress of developing countries like the Philippines” and that the industrialized countries are “dictating the destiny” of developing ones by requiring them to cut carbon emissions, according to the President.

“President Duterte is correct in saying that the country is still in the process of industrialization. We must therefore use whatever energy resources are available and affordable for power generation,” Cusi said.

“While we signed the Paris agreement last year committing ourselves to limit our carbon emissions, we cannot ignore the fact that our level of economic development at this point does not allow us to rely completely on renewable energy sources or clean energy,” he said.

“We need diversified energy sources to support our growing economy,” Cusi said.

The DOE is formulating another strategic fuel policy mix to propel the country’s growing economy.

Under the Aquino administration, the government targeted a fuel mix of 30 percent coal, 30 percent RE, 30 percent natural gas, and 10 percent oil-based power plants.

The mix was aimed at reducing the country’s dependence on coal.

“We need to build more baseload power plants while also aggressively pushing for clean energy,” Cusi said.

The DOE is working with the National Economic Development Authority, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Climate Change Commission to develop a balanced and sustainable energy policy framework.

The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), the largest climate justice group in the Philippines, supports Duterte’s stand on the matter.

The Philippines championed the inclusion of limiting average temperature rise below 1.5 centigrade in the last Paris Conference of Parties.

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