DOE’s initiative to lower greenhouse gas emissions ‘disappoints’ group
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Energy’s (DOE) plans and measures in reducing the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were “disappointing, negligible, and unambitious, a consumer group said Wednesday.
The Power for People Coalition (P4P) said the DOE, under the draft Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) presented by the Climate Change Commission (CCC), has only committed to a GHG reduction and avoidance target of a mere 2.8% from 2020-2030 and 12.3% from 2020-2050.
This will only translate to only a little over 1% of GHG reductions from the energy sector, which P4P said “provides no help in the global fight for 1.5°C” goal of the Paris Agreement.
The group also hit the plan to add more coal to the Philippines’ already installed 9.8 gigawatts (GW), which would make way for at least 5.4 GW of additional coal capacity.
“The Department disregards the swell of resistance from communities who will be impacted by these new projects,” P4P said in a statement.
Among these new projects include the Atimonan One Energy power station in Quezon, the group said.
The DOE also failed to put forward critical mitigation plans such as the mandatory retirement of currently operating coal power plants. The DOE also failed to set plans for transmission and distribution infrastructure and no coal peaking target way before 2030.
“Under its current commitments, the DOE through the NDC is condemning more communities and generations of Filipinos to heightened climate vulnerability and environmental degradation,” P4P said.
“At the same time, it looks to also increasingly expose them to other detrimental sources of electricity especially fossil gas, with anticipated inclusion of nuclear and waste-to-energy,” it added.
P4P said an NDC must boldly commit to the 1.5°C goals and would find no space for coal.
“This timeline must not sacrifice genuine consultation with all stakeholders and achievement of a commitment that properly takes into account the suffering of millions of Filipinos from the harmful impacts of coal and of climate disasters,” it said.
“Failure on this by the Philippine Government, especially by the CCC and DOE, would be an abdication of the obligation to lead the Filipino people away from deaths, despair, and destruction, and towards resilience and survival,” the group added.
On Feb. 3, the CCC headed by the office of the chair-designate Secretary of Finance presented the latest draft NDC of the Philippines under the Paris Agreement of 2015.
On Feb. 13, without its promised sector-specific consultations post-February 3, the CCC communicated to stakeholders a revised draft of the NDC document, P4P said.
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