Climate Change Commission urges finance sector to withdraw support for coal-fired power projects

by BusinessMirrorJune 10, 2016

from Business Mirror

Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman of the Climate Change Commission (CCC) on Thursday urged international financial institutions to help the government promote the shift to clean energy by doing away with financing coal-energy projects.

De Guzman, vice chairman of the CCC, issued the call during the plenary session of the Asia Clean Energy Forum 2016 held at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Headquarters in Mandaluyong City, where representatives from various government agencies in charge of climate change and international organizations deliberated on so-called nationally determined contributions (NDCs) in Asia Pacific.

The NDCs outline climate mitigation and adaptation actions that will be implemented beyond 2020.

While the Philippines has engaged community-level consultations for the effective implementation of NDCs, de Guzman said the private sector plays an important role in the shift to clean energy

“We look at the ADB as the leader in the finance sector. I guess you have to play a major role also in sensitizing the finance sector in the country. We have an enormous and daunting task and we are employing all the effective means that we believe can effect change efficiently and quickly to transform the nation into a new economy,” de Guzman said.

“Green growth, green jobs, but there are still financial institutions funding coal-power plant constructions. What can the ADB do to sensitize the finance leaders in the country to once and for all stop financing dirty fuel, energy production and generation and leapfrog, and consider new technologies and forget the old, archaic and antiquated  technology of dirty fossil-based fuel?” he asked.

Only recently, President Aquino signed a CCC resolution allowing the commission to conduct a comprehensive review of the government’s energy policy to pave the way for a swift transition to renewable and sustainable energy.

Under the resolution, the departments of Environment and Natural Resources and Energy, and the National Economic and Development Authority are urged to harmonize policies and regulations on new and existing coal-fired power plants and assess their impacts on the environment, as well as include low-carbon development and climate-change adaptation and mitigation strategies in the formulation of all national and local development plans.

The CCC resolution is an affirmation of the government’s resolve to mainstream low-carbon development pathway in accordance with the country’s commitment under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its intended NDC.

“Those who are still planning to invest in coal, I hope they will not pursue them because they should get the signal clearly that it’s inevitably renewable energy or RE,” de Guzman told reporters. “The wave of change cannot be stopped. It’s inevitable. There’s no turning back,” he reiterated.