A sustainability think tank group on November 18 praised a Congress panel for pushing for a higher ambition on the Philippines’ transition to renewable energy (RE).
The Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) praised the filing of a resolution in the House of Representatives seeking for an elaborate public discussion on the country’s RE potentials.
Energy Committee Chair and Pampanga 2nd District Representative Juan Miguel “Mikey” Macapagal Arroyo filed the proposed measure urging the Department of Energy and other government agencies to examine and introduce necessary actions in raising the country’s RE transition ambition to 50 percent by 2030.
The resolution also urges the House Committee on Energy to conduct public inquiries to assess the country’s RE targets and potentials.
“We have long sought for a comprehensive public discussion on the matter of the Philippines’ transition to 50 percent RE by 2030 to ensure that all government agencies and policies are in sync to achieve this goal,” said Lawyer Avril de Torres of CEED.
Pro-environment groups have been pushing for the country’s complete withdrawal from dirty energy sources including coal and fossil gas.
The Philippines is heavily dependent on coal in its energy mix despite the fact that it is one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of the climate crisis.
De Torres said the resolution “is a timely response to the outcomes” of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Glasgow that ended last week.
“Despite many limitations that keep pledges and action plans made from sufficiently contributing to reaching the 1.5°C ambition, COP 26 sent a clear signal that moving away from coal and restricting the financing and development of fossil fuels must be a global priority,” said de Torres.
“With this resolution, the Philippines is making its first move in raising its climate ambitions even as debates on energy transition in the global community linger,” she added.
De Torres said the energy department must take the raising of renewable energy ambitions seriously if it wants to uphold “the welfare and best interests of Filipino energy consumers.”
“I hope that given the current price hikes in everything from fossil fuels to basic commodities, this hearing will be held as soon as possible to ease the burdens of Filipino consumers,” said de Torres.
In the resolution, Arroyo cited key scientific studies indicating that a renewable energy target of 50 percent is achievable by the year 2030.
“The sense of the House of Representatives on the need for immediate and urgent action, and increased ambition, in the country’s efforts to ensure energy security, accessibility, sustainability, and affordability, and in the country’s adaptation and mitigation actions against climate change,” said Arroyo.