Climate Change Commission hails executive order on renewable energy resource management

The Climate Change Commission (CCC) sees an executive order making renewable energy (RE) resource management a state policy as a big boost to efforts to drive the Philippines toward a low-emission and climate-resilient future.

The commission’s vice chair, Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman, has welcomed Executive Order (EO) No. 206, which President Benigno S. Aquino III signed last May 20, saying it complements an earlier CCC resolution that sets into motion an urgent and comprehensive review of the government’s energy policy to cut down the country’s dependence on coal and transition to clean, renewable energy.

“The EO is supportive of our coal resolution, which will deliver a policy framework on energy in six months,” de Guzman said, referring to Commission Resolution No. 2016-001, which was signed by the President in his capacity as CCC chair, de Guzman, and Commissioners Frances Veronica Victorio and Noel Antonio Gaerlan.

De Guzman, Victorio and Gaerlan were appointed by the President on January 22, 2016 to a six-year term ending in 2022.
The CCC resolution was envisioned to set in place a clear government policy on coal-fired power plants, which are the biggest source of man-made carbon emissions, accounting for about 35 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

According to de Guzman, EO 206 is consistent with the country’s commitment under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“The Philippines, with the help of developed countries and development partners, will implement its ambitious GHG emissions reduction target of 70 percent by 2030 as pledged to the UNFCCC, and contribute to the international target of keeping the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius,” de Guzman said.

The EO provides for the adoption of a policy that would ensure the availability and sustainable management of the country’s renewable energy sources, particularly geothermal and hydropower, as it tasks the Department of Energy (DOE) to lead its implementation.

The presidential fiat noted that the development of renewable energy in the country, such as geothermal and hydropower projects, “is crucial in the attainment of the policy on the reduction of [GHG] emissions”, with the signing of the historic global climate accord in Paris, France in December last year.

“The DOE recognizes that geothermal and hydropower projects are dependent on watersheds and must be exclusively used for such purposes as other commercial exploitations threaten its sustainability, and proposes a policy of ensuring sustainable RE resource management to attain the targets under the National RE Plan 2010-2030,” the EO reads.

Republic Act No. 9513, or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008, designated the DOE as lead agency to implement the policy and programs of accelerated development and advancement of RE resources. PND (ka)