CCC starts PHL energy-policy review

by Jonathan L. MayugaJune 16, 2016

from Business Mirror

The Climate Change Commission (CCC) began on Thursday a comprehensive energy-policy review that will lead the country to a low-carbon development path by veering away from coal and pursuing renewable-energy (RE) sources.

The CCC, together with key government agencies, has six months or until the end of the year to craft a framework development on energy, in accordance with Commission Resolution 2016-001 it issued last month, a CCC news statement said.

A comprehensive review of the government’s energy policy involves a whole-of-nation approach to achieve a low-carbon development pathway and national goals and targets for climate-change mitigation and adaptation, disaster-risk reduction and sustainable development.

CCC Vice Chairman Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman said in the same statement that the policy review is vital to fulfilling the country’s commitments under the Paris climate agreement to keep global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

“With time running out to address climate change and prevent the worst effects of rising temperatures, countries must act fast and more decisively to cut down their respective greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions in order to keep global temperature rise to below 1.5C,” de Guzman said at the launch of the National Energy Policy Review held at the Kalayaan Hall in Malacañang.

“One sure way to defuse the ‘ticking time bomb’ of global warming is to shift away from fossil fuels to RE, which is the main thrust of the most recent resolution issued by the Climate Change Commission and signed by no less than the President,” he added.

The CCC resolution calls for the development of a clear policy on coal-fired power plants, which are the biggest sources of man-made carbon emissions, accounting for about 35 percent of global GHG emissions.

Aside from the CCC, other agencies called to participate in the energy-policy review are the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Energy and the National Economic and Development Authority.

De Guzman said the CCC strongly believes that “transitioning away from coal is a cost-effective path to a low-carbon economy for the Philippines.”

To ensure the success of the undertaking, de Guzman said the CCC will facilitate at least three meetings of the CCC Advisory Board, serving as steering committee; three subnational business summits; 10 roundtable discussions; and 10 technical working group meetings throughout the six months of the policy-review process.

He said the CCC and other key government agencies aim to come up with concrete measures that will “lay the ground toward clearer procedures away from coal and on the faster way to enhance RE,” like solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric.

“Our worthy task will allow us to fulfill our responsibilities, as public servants, to serve and protect our people from this global threat, and will inspire us, as human beings, with greater capability to sustain humanity,” de Guzman stressed.

He added that, while the Philippines is not a major emitter of GHG, it cannot allow its economy to grow with the ways that triggers the climate crisis, which affects the country and other vulnerable nations.

“Let us send a message to the world that if a small country like ours could make a big difference, what more can be achieved with economic superpowers doing their share to ensure a low-emission and climate-resilient future,” he pointed out.

“We cannot let humanity live in a world fraught with dangers to life and wellbeing,” he added.