Invest more in clean energy, PH asked
The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has launched an international campaign urging governments and financial institutions to increase investments in renewable energy (RE) to at least $40 billion (about P1.68 trillion) over the next year.
The campaign, launched on World Environment Day on June 5, centered on signing a pledge (found at www.panda.org/seizeyourpower) calling for increased RE investments and phasing out of coal, oil and gas investments.
The public campaign under the slogan “Seize Your Power!” will go live in over 20 countries to target public finance, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds, WWF said in a statement.
By establishing a business case for moving new money into RE, the campaign will reveal the environmental, social and economic risks of current dependence on so-called dirty energy sources.
The Philippines has a special role in the campaign, WWF said, as Palawan has been chosen as one of the “battlegrounds” where the environmental group is pushing for increased RE investments.
Data from the Department of Energy (DOE) show that in the Philippines, about half of fuel inputs for power generation in the country already comes from renewable energy, mostly from hydropower.
The Philippines wants to triple its RE capacity by 2030 while ensuring reliable and efficient energy supply for businesses and households alike.
The Philippines needs about P556.7 billion worth of RE investments from 2012 to 2030 to meet its program targets, according to a presentation by Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla.
While P1.68 trillion is only the start of the amount needed, WWF believes fresh investments are essential turning points to shift funds from risky fossil fuels into RE.
“WWF fully supports the call of numerous local groups in Palawan to do away with plans to build a coal-fired power plant— and to instead invest in the province’s rich RE resources,” said WWF-Philippines Climate Change and Energy Programme Director Gia Ibay.
“Local hydropower is available to meet Palawan’s future energy needs. This will be far cheaper than the proposed coal plant. Why should we force our countrymen to buy dirty, expensive fossil fuels when cleaner and cheaper alternatives are already available?,” she added.
WWF calls on investors to pledge to choose RE over coal.
WWF noted, however, that there are plans to build a coal plant in Palawan, despite the availability of cheaper and cleaner RE sources such as hydropower.
“Whether we like it or not, the world is changing. Investing in RE is one concrete thing we can do to limit dangerous climate change, reduce risks to human health and safeguard the future of the Philippines. This new opportunity is staring us in the face,” said WWF-Philippines vice chair and CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan.
Climate change effects are mounting, with more vicious storms and floods battering the country, according to WWF.
“The call to action we’re launching is an invitation for our decision makers to invest in the future we want. The world is changing. Let us get onboard and be part of the future,” Tan said.
“We are running out of time. If we continue to rely on fossil fuels, we will face a future of worsening air pollution and an increasingly inhospitable climate. It is our collective responsibility to commit to the future we want. We’re calling on political and financial decision-makers to seize their power and make the switch to sustainable, clean and renewable energy sources to finally end the inertia brought about by decades of reliance on coal, oil and gas,” added WWF International Director General Jim Leape.