CLIMATE JUSTICE: Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi calls for climate justice in the Philippine energy sector during his presentation yesterday (March 8) at the virtual Conference of Parties (COP) 26 Energy Transition Council National Dialogue.
“I have been calling for climate justice in the Philippine energy sector. Our country is not a significant instigator of climate change. Rather, we are a victim of its adverse effects – the severity of which becomes much more pronounced with each passing year,” Secretary Cusi stressed.
“For this reason, we are ardently pursuing adaptation measures that would further enhance our existing resiliency and disaster risk reduction and management efforts,” he said.
Secretary Cusi thanked the British and Italian governments for organizing the COP26 Energy Transition Council National Dialogue, as the Department of Energy embarks in securing the Philippine’s development and utilization of sustainable energy solutions.
The national dialogue seeks to provide a high-trust and open forum in which stakeholders can share their views on the priorities, opportunities and barriers for accelerated energy transition in the country.
TAGUIG CITY – Energy Chief Alfonso G. Cusi on Monday (8 March), invited the participants in the Conference of Parties (COP) 26 Energy Transition Council (ETC) National Dialogue to avail the government’s Green Energy Option Program (GEOP), as the Department of Energy (DOE) promotes Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency & Conservation (EE&C) to achieve energy security.
GEOP is a RE policy mechanism that provides end-users the option to choose RE resources as their source of energy. GEOP as a non-fiscal incentive mechanism under Section 9, Chapter Ill of Republic Act 9513 or the Philippine RE Act of 2008 ("An Act Promoting the Development, Utilization and Commercialization of Renewable Energy Resources and for Other Purposes'').
“I encourage all of you and I invite our participants to avail of our Green Energy Option Program. Your support will serve as a motivation for the Renewable Energy power plant investors,” Secretary Cusi said.
As the Philippines embraces the new normal and slowly opens the economy amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic, Cusi sees a good opportunity for local and foreign businesses to invest in climate-friendly, efficient, and clean energy resources.
“With the updated Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) for 2018-2040, we envision how clean and indigenous energy production paves the way for the country’s socio-economic progress, and EE&C developing into a national way of life. This future is characterized by the provision of reliable and equitable energy that sustains economic growth, with more protection to our environment,” Secretary Cusi emphasized.
“We all know that a just transition is not an easy one. We all have to put varied and complementing efforts to achieve it. We have to align, merge and maybe in some instances defer some actions to achieve more,” Cusi remarked.
Since the commencement of the Duterte Administration in 2016, Secretary Cusi has been encouraging the development and application of various sustainable growth strategies for the energy sector through the following:
(1) full implementation of Republic Act 9513 and Republic Act 11285 or the EE&C Act that will drive RE as an essential part of the country’s low emission development strategy on addressing challenges of climate change, energy security, and energy access;
(2) proactively issuing bold policy directives to complement and facilitate the development of RE programs and projects and boost its utilization for example, the Third Open and Competitive Section Process (OCSP3) and the recently declared moratorium on the endorsement of new greenfield coal-fired power plants; and
(3) the call for climate justice in the Philippines energy sector, in which due to extreme events, there is an ardent need to pursue on adaptation measures to further enhance the existing resiliency and disaster risk reduction and management efforts.
Joining the Secretary yesterday was DOE Senior Undersecretary Jesus P. Posadas, who discussed in details of the energy transition plan of the Philippines and Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella. Usec. Posadas explained the energy demand and supply situation, as well as the Philippine energy outlook, while Usec. Fuentebella shared the DOE’s reaction on the presentations made by the international partners.
“There is much that needs to be done for the Philippines to realize a secure and sustainable energy future. I am grateful for all the support we continue to receive from our development partners. Today’s activity presented us with opportunities for potential collaborative work and I look forward to seeing you all in the near future,” Secretary Cusi concluded.
The virtual event was chaired by the British and Italian Ambassadors to the Philippines together with Secretary Cusi. The COP26 Energy Transition Council was established to bring together the global, political, financial and technical leadership in the power sector to work together to accelerate the transition from coal to clean power.
The two-hour event was likewise attended by the Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G), a climate change think tank based in the UK and the COP26 ETC Secretariat with the British Embassy Manila and Department of Energy – Policy and Planning Bureau.
Other participants included the Ambassadors of COP26 ETC embassies (i.e. French, Germany and Denmark) and senior level officials from key Philippine government agencies (e.g. Department of Finance, Climate Change Commission, Central Bank of the Philippines, Securities and Exchange Commission, National Economic and Development Authority, National Renewable Energy Board and Energy Regulatory Commission) and the donors’ coordination forum for energy (e.g. Asian Development Bank, World Bank, USAID, among others).