Legarda Supports Climate Change Commission’s Energy Policy Review

June 16, 2016

Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, today expressed support for the Climate Change Commission’s (CCC) policy review of all existing energy policies.

“There have been challenges in our efforts to fast track the development of our renewable energy resources more aggressively. This is why the review of our energy policies is most welcome and I laud the CCC in leading a multi-stakeholder review of our existing energy policies and formulating a comprehensive policy framework on energy,” Legarda said as the CCC launched the National Energy Policy Review (NEPR) at the Kalayaan Hall in Malacañan Palace today.

The Senator stressed that while the Philippines has yet to ratify the Paris Agreement, the CCC is taking an important step towards keeping the country’s commitment to mitigate climate change by doing a review on energy policies.

“It is true that we need energy to build the foundations of our growth and I subscribe to a healthy energy mix, not on the misguided axiom that our country should develop and acquire the energy and power it needs at all costs, regardless of whether it sustains or kills life. Today’s issue is not just about security of energy supply. It is not just about reliability or affordability. It is about increasing clean energy supply, and using it wisely and efficiently. Energy security that assails the safety of our people and the environment can never guarantee inclusive development,” the Senator pointed out.

According to the Department of Energy’s Energy Policy and Planning Bureau, the indigenous renewable energy resources could help address the expected average increase in demand for energy at 4.79 percent per year, at the same time, realize the provision of electricity to more remote sitios. Thus, a window for high carbon dioxide avoidance potential to support sustainable energy development is achievable.

“We have to admit that we cannot totally get rid of coal today. Since we have not developed enough baseload renewable energy, we need to see coal as a transition energy source. But we seek the development of more renewable energy capacities so that in time, we can achieve greater self-sufficiency, sustainability and security in the energy sector,” she said.

The policy framework development of CCC will consider the implementation of the post 2015 development frameworks—the Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the Paris Agreement. The review will also benefit from inputs and comments on the 10 policy issue papers by participating stakeholders in the NEPR Website Forum.

After six months, the CCC will come up with a comprehensive policy framework on energy based on the synthesis of comments and recommendations from the series of consultations, dialogues and discussions. This framework shall be the basis for executive or legislative actions on energy policy reform.

“The Philippines has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by year 2030 from the business as usual scenario from energy, transport, waste, industry and forestry. We may not be a major emitter of carbon dioxide, but that does not mean we have no obligation to promote environmental sustainability. We need to deliver on our commitment. We can only meet this if there is radical shift in the way our country develops our indigenous clean energy resources and the energy sector has a crucial role toplay in achieving these goals,” Legarda stressed.

“The world is not just about us. The future is not twenty years from now. It begins today, dedicated to those who will be born beyond our time. It is clear injustice to let future generations suffer the irreversible consequences of our irresponsible actions. We should act to protect the Earth not just with a sense of urgency, rather with a sense of great emergency,” Legarda concluded.