The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) is a climate policy group based in the Philippines, working locally, nationally and internationally to promote resilient low-carbon development.
ICSC is recognized globally for its role in helping advance effective climate action now enshrined in the Paris climate agreement. It is also known for research and innovation-driven projects aimed at accelerating the deployment of sustainable energy systems in the Philippines.
INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE POLICY
ICSC promotes fair climate policy globally as an advisor to the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the V20. The CVF is a partnership of 48 of the world’s most vulnerable countries. The V20 was founded in October 2015 and is composed of finance ministers representing 43 vulnerable nations. ICSC is also an accredited observer organisation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as well as an advisor to the Philippine delegation to the UN climate negotiations.
ICSC is active in the arena of international climate finance, given its engagement with the Green Climate Fund (GCF), as convener of the civil society capacity-building-focused GCF Watch, and its leadership role in the global Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative.
NATIONAL CLIMATE POLICY
ICSC is a critical voice in Philippine climate policy development. ICSC led the crafting and passage into law of the People’s Survival Fund (PSF), the first legislated Philippine climate finance mechanism dedicated to supporting local adaptation initiatives. It currently sits as a member of the PSF Board and continues to support local governments and communities in developing local resilience strategies. Prior to the establishment of the PSF, ICSC was instrumental in steering national agencies to form the Climate Finance Working Group.
The organization also works with local academic institutions to surface the local impacts of climate change in the country, particularly slow onset events.
ENERGY POLICY ENGAGEMENT
ICSC is at the forefront of promoting real competition in the power sector, sustainable energy , and low carbon resilient development.
ICSC’s energy policy team is composed of some of the leading minds in the country working on energy economics and regulatory issues. ICSC is engaged directly with the Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Philippine Senate Power Committee, the Mindanao Development Authority and several local government units in support of policy development promoting the early transition to affordable, sustainable, reliable, and efficient energy systems. It has released groundbreaking reports on small island grids and coal plants as stranded assets.
ICSC sparked the electric vehicle revolution when it launched and began operating the country’s first electric jeepney fleet (e-jeepneys) in 2007.
RENEWABLE ENERGY AND RESILIENCE
In early 2014, in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan, ICSC established RE-Charge Pilipinas, a renewable energy and sustainable transport service and training facility in Tacloban City, Leyte. The facility is powered by a grid-tied 9.75-kW solar array.
Through RE-Charge, ICSC continues to set up solar home and community systems and capacity-building activities for civil society groups, local governments and national agencies. It also runs the Solar Scholars training program for survivor communities, technicians and disaster responders.
In addition, ICSC developed the TekPak, a portable renewable energy backpack, for community first responders. The TekPak can light up a hall, power a laptop and tablet, and charge mobile phones, radios and low-power medical equipment.
As an outcome of the RE-Charge agenda, ICSC promotes research and policy development enabling the systematic integration of renewable energy in humanitarian and development work.
PUBLISHER OF WORLD’S FIRST LITERARY CLIMATE CHANGE ANTHOLOGY
ICSC published in 2014 the acclaimed book Agam: Filipino Narratives on Climate Change and Uncertainty, composed of 26 images, 24 narratives in verse and prose, written in eight languages by poets, journalists, anthropologists, a veterinarian, a climate scientist, and an independent erotic artist. Agam was bestowed in 2015 the National Book Award by the Philippine National Book Development Board. In 2016, Agam received the Gintong Aklat (Golden Book) Prize for English literature and the Gintong Aklat Special Prize for Book Design.
According to bestselling author Naomi Klein, "Agam is exquisite: a deeply original concept executed with tremendous artistry. Rather than asking readers to care about the whole world at once, these elegant vignettes distill the climate crisis down to its most intimate and human details. By focusing on the small, the biggest questions of all are cracked open. How do we heal after our most beloved and nourishing places have turned against us? How do we live in a world that has itself become a question mark? And most of all: How can we stop inflicting such violence on one another?"