Stop financing coal energy projects, institutions urged
International financial institutions should help the government promote the shift to clean energy by doing away with financing coal energy projects, an official of the Climate Change Commission (CCC) has said.
Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman, vice chairperson of the CCC, made the call during the plenary session of the Asia Clean Energy Forum 2016 at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Headquarters in Mandaluyong City last Thursday where representatives from various government agencies in charge of climate change and international organizations tackled 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 been engaging community-level consultations for the effective implementation of NDCs, De Guzman underscored the important role the private sector plays in the shift to clean energy.
“We look at 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,” he said.
“Green growth, green jobs, but there are still financial institutions funding coal power plant constructions. What can 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?”
President Benigno Aquino III recently 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.
De Guzman pointed out that under the resolution, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) 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, he said, was 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 (UNFCCC) and its intended nationally determined contribution (INDC).
“Those who are still planning to invest in coal, I hope they will not pursue because they should get the signal clearly that it’s inevitably RE,” he told reporters after the plenary discussion.
“The wave of change cannot be stopped. It’s inevitable. There’s no turning back,” added the official. RAM
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