PH gov’t urged to shift to renewable energy after new climate change report
MANILA, Philippines – Humanitarian and development organization Oxfam Pilipinas on Tuesday urged the Philippine government to shift to using renewable energy, citing a recent report showing the continued decline in the cost of solar and wind energy and batteries.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report on Monday indicating that solar and wind energy and batteries have shown persistent cost reductions of up to 85% since 2010. According to the report, many programs and laws have improved energy efficiency, lowered deforestation rates, and accelerated renewable energy deployment.
With this, the Philippines should shut down its coal-fired power plants and focus on cleaner sources of energy, such as renewable energy, Oxfam Country Director Lot Felizco said.
“The latest IPCC report on climate change mitigation just goes to show that even countries with low greenhouse gas emission contributions should be shutting down their coal-fired power plants and focusing instead on cleaner sources of energy such as renewable energy,” Felizco said in a statement.
“Besides being detrimental to the environment, fossil fuels have further burdened Filipinos with high gas prices and power outages,” she added.
Moving to renewable energy is a “win-win situation” for the Philippines, Felizco said, because the country will be free from costly fossil fuel power plants.
“It has been shown that renewable energy is cheaper in the long-run, especially for resource-rich countries like the Philippines. We will also be able to do our part to address climate change as it becomes more urgent to reduce the global levels of carbon emissions,” she noted.
The IPCC’s Working Group III assessment report on climate change mitigation, according to Oxfam International’s Climate Policy Lead Nafkote Dabi, “pulls no punches.”
“No amount of adaptation can compensate for the terrible consequences of failing to hit the Paris goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C. This is a survival target and it remains within our grasp, but just barely. After a dip in 2020, carbon emissions that fuel climate change have bounced back to pre-pandemic levels,” said Dabi.
“We need extraordinary cuts in the use of fossil fuels to meet our emissions targets, and that entails a dramatic shift towards sustainable renewable energy. The recent push to increase production of oil, gas and coal and backtrack on climate measures because of the crisis in Ukraine —and even to delay net-zero—is short-sighted folly,” she added.
According to Oxfam, the IPCC also issued a special report in 2018 stating that global warming should be contained to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Scientists also cautioned that going beyond that level would have serious climate change consequences, including increased rainfall and flooding, more severe droughts, and the extinction of animal habitats and species.
Oxfam also cited that the Philippines accounted for 75 percent of deaths caused by weather, climate, and water hazards in the Southwest Pacific region from 1970 to 2019, according to a report from the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Meteorological, Climate, and Water Extremes.
“We do not want to know how much more lives could be lost if the climate change crisis worsens,” Felizco said.
Every six to seven years, the IPCC publishes an assessment report on climate change based on the work of thousands of scientists from around the world. Previous assessments have stated that the ongoing climate change crisis is attributed to the severity of human activities, particularly the use and burning of fossil fuels. Jericho Zafra, INQUIRER.net intern