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Legarda Pushes for Clean Energy Initiatives in Washington Meets, Discusses PH-US Ties with Senator Gardner

April 19, 2018

I had a productive discussion today with a fellow legislator, Sen. Cory Gardner, who heads the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, The Pacific, and International Cyber-Security Policy of the US Senate. We talked about a wide-range of mutual concerns between our two nations, including the rehabilitation and reconstruction of #MarawiCity, to possibly build and invest in the city’s renewable energy infrastructure and make it a green city.

Interestingly, Senator Gardner’s home state, Colorado, is the location of the US Nat’l Renewable Energy Lab or NREL, the only federal lab in the US dedicated to RE and energy efficient technologies. Under USAID’s EC-LEDS (Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies) program, NREL provides technical support to the 🇵🇭 Gov't to advance a variety of clean energy and low emission development initiatives. 
I appreciate the openness of Senator Gardner to exploring other areas of cooperation, such as clean energy which I hope will give birth to a Renewable Energy Partnership Agreement soon between the 🇵🇭 and the 🇺🇸. #Philippines #USA #Senate #foreignrelations #finance #SDGs #cleanenergy #security #defense

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Senator Loren Legarda has pushed for clean energy initiatives in her various meets at the sidelines of the 2018 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group in Washington D.C.

On April 18, Legarda was among the panelists at the Second Annual High-Level Strategy Session (HLSS2) on Sustainable, Healthy Cities, and Sustainable Energy Solutions organized by the AirQualityAsia (AQA) and US-Asia Institute, where she shared the Philippines’ laws and initiatives to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions.

Legarda also told her fellow panelist, Rep. Colleen Wakako Hanabusa of the First District of Hawaii, United States Congress, about her interest in Hawaii’s legislation of reaching its 100% renewable energy goal by 2045. She said she wants to propose a similar measure in the Philippines.

After the AirQualityAsia forum, Legarda met with members of the US Export-Import Bank (EXIM), the official export credit agency of the US which helps level the playing field for US goods and services against foreign competition in overseas markets. She discussed with them issues on tariffs the US is imposing on solar panels, which disincentivizes the clean energy sector.

The Senator also met with Paul Shmotolokha, Vice President of Alpha Technologies, a global leader in off-grid and energy storage solutions, to discuss about their work and possible partnership with Philippine companies to promote clean energy.

Legarda, who chairs the Philippine Senate’s Committees on Foreign Relations, Finance and Climate Change, also had a productive meeting with Republican Senator Cory Gardner, who heads the Subcommittee on East Asia, The Pacific, and International Cyber-Security Policy in the US Senate. Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez was also present at the meeting.

“Senator Gardner was very much interested in the ongoing rehabilitation in Marawi City and we discussed cooperation especially in investing in the city’s renewable energy infrastructure. It would be a good opportunity for the United States’ National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to visit Marawi,” said Legarda.

The NREL is located in Colorado, the home state of Senator Gardner. It is the only federal laboratory dedicated to the research, development, commercialization, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Under USAID’s EC-LEDS (Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies) program, NREL provides technical support to the Philippine Government to advance a variety of clean energy and low emission development initiatives.

Senator Gardner also mentioned the bill they are working on, the proposed Asia Reassurance Initiative Act, which he said will have an economic and renewable energy component. It will help enable energy opportunities in places like the Philippines.

The two senators also exchanged views on the South China Sea and on counter-terrorism, stressing that the sharing of intelligence information is vital in addressing a global concern such as terrorism.

Meanwhile, Senator Legarda and Ambassador Romualdez also met with Former US Ambassador to the Philippines and now Co-Chair of the US-Philippines Society, John D. Negroponte, and US-Philippines Society Executive Director Hank Hendrickson. They shared insights on how to further enhance US-PH economic relations through culture and in various areas of international cooperation.

Legarda is currently in Washington, D.C. as the Alternate Head of the Philippine Delegation to the 2018 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group.