The Climate Change Commission (CCC) is urging government to review its energy policy and step away from coal by tapping more renewable resources to meet the country’s power supply requirements.
“Updating our roadmap to massively favor clean sources will allow the Philippines to be at the forefront of this aggressive and massive trend of investment and transition from fossil to renewable energy,” Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman, vice chairperson of the CCC said in a statement.
“This allows the Philippines to not only contribute to global efforts to combat climate change but reduce growing economic and financial risks associated with carbon intensive energy sources such as coal,” De Guzman noted.
Long-term institutional investors are increasingly treating carbon as a long-term risk and are divesting from fossil enterprises from their investment portfolio and moving to greener sources of energy.
“We must seize the opportunity now. A decisive transition to clean energy is good for the climate and makes financial and economic sense,” De Guzman said.
“It is now imperative for our country to adjust energy models with the global trend in renewable energy use in mind in order to come up with roadmaps with definitive actions for the power sector, and eventually for the transport industry and other key sectors,” he added.
In October 2015, the Philippines submitted to the United Nations (UN) its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)—the country’s contribution to global efforts in fighting climate change.
The Philippine pledge is to reduce its carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030.
The roadmap should also take into consideration the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal for global temperature of the Paris Agreement, De Guzman noted.
Last month, the CCC launched in Davao City its consultation-workshop among local government units (LGUs) to craft strategies on how to integrate the NDC Roadmap with various national and local development plans.
On April 22, Earth Day, the Philippines is set to sign the Paris Agreement, a new and legally binding climate change deal. The agreement was approved by 196 countries at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA, last December.
PH needs energy to fuel the economy
Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada in an earlier interview said the Philippines still needs coal to fuel the economy.
“If we stop the coal plants right now, what will happen? If we stop all the coal plants right now, would it stop typhoons coming to the Philippines?” Monsada said.
Monsada noted the Department of Energy is imposing stricter standards on coal.
“As far as DOE’s concerned, we need power and we have to make sure that we have sufficient, reliable, and accessible power because that’s the mandate of DOE,” she said.