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Legarda calls for greater international support for renewables in COVID recovery

March 25, 2021

MANILA, 24 March 2021 — House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda called for greater international support for renewable energy as countries look to invest in COVID-19 recovery in a keynote speech for the Joint Virtual Policy Dialogue of the Global Renewables Congress (GRC) and the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) held Wednesday, March 24.

“As we invest in COVID-19 recovery efforts, it is important to realize that the efficient use of power and renewable energy brings cost-competitiveness and generates jobs,” Legarda said in her keynote message.

“We have been witness to record-breaking deflationary prices of renewable energy and storage, which could cater to the over 350 million people across the CVF countries who still lack access to energy and support our Paris goals,” she added.

“We want a renewable energy system that could leverage homegrown power from our domestic renewable energy resources. This makes energy affordable to everyone, as well as universally accessible, reliable, and resilient to disasters. Renewables offer all of this,” Legarda pointed out.

The Policy Dialogue was aimed at providing a space of exchange among members of parliaments, experts, and civil society on how to influence good policymaking amid efforts at COVID-19 recovery. The Dialogue tackled the necessity of phasing out fossil fuels in different countries’ energy sectors, the opportunities and challenges of an energy transition, and the next steps in building the regulatory and policy framework to safeguard a welcoming environment for a future that is sustainable, resilient, and inclusive.

Legarda, who also serves as CVF Ambassador for Parliaments, noted, however, that greater international support will be needed especially in terms of funding to enable the energy transition to renewables.

“Given the large proportion of upfront capital needed for renewables compared with other energy investments, providing international support to buy down the cost of capital is urgently needed to unlock more renewable energy installation projects,” Legarda said in her message.

“The Vulnerable 20 (V20) finance ministers of the CVF developed an initiative called the “Accelerated Financing Mechanism” (AFM) to scale up blended financing for overcoming high capital costs for renewable energy. We call for international funding and support to help it succeed,” she noted.

“The CVF and V20 have solutions and investment strategies to offer. It is time that developed country ministers reciprocate our outreach not with charity, but with partnership,” Legarda added.

“Vulnerable countries are not asking for handouts. A common sense of urgency and notion of shared leadership must guide our hands. This energy transition can enable macroeconomic stability and inclusive growth,” she pointed out.

The Global Renewables Congress (GRC) is a cross-country, cross-party platform facilitating peer-to-peer exchanges between and with legislators on issues related to the rapid and large-scale deployment of renewable energy solutions, chaired by Ms. Bärbel Höhn, a former member of the German Bundestag. It is a project of the World Future Council Foundation, a group of 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, civil society, academia, the arts and business. ###