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 an advisor as well 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.
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.
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
ICSC established in early 2014 RE-Charge Pilipinas, a solar and sustainable transport services and training facility in Tacloban, in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan.
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. ICSC runs the Solar Scholars training program for survivor communities, technicians and disaster responders. In addition, ICSCICSC developed for community first responders the technology system called the TekPak, a portable renewable energy community backpack, which 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?"
BRIEF HISTORY of ICSC
ICSC owes its history to the energy struggle in Pulupandan, Negros Occidental and the valiant citizens of the province who successfully defeated the construction of a coal-fired power plant in the town from the late 1990s to the early 2000s.
The institute began as the Green Renewable Independent Power Producer (GRIPP) project, borne out of the locally-led partnership of people's organizations, national and international civil society groups, and the renewable energy (RE) business sector. Their rejection of coal provided the impetus for Negros Occidental’s pursuit of 100% RE development and became a defining moment for the global climate and energy campaign.
GRIPP was eventually registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a non-profit organization in 2005.
ICSC launched the Slow-Onset Climate Change Impacts report with the Congressional Policy, Budget and Research Department (CPBRD) of the Lower House, which helped spur the formation of the Special Committee on (ask Kairos).
2014: Agam: Filipino Narratives on Uncertainty and Climate Change, the world’s first literary anthology on climate change, was published by the institute.
ICSC’s comments about the proposed e-trike loan were referenced in Democratizing Global Climate Governance, a book published this year by the Cambridge University Press.
2013: ICSC’s e-jeepney project was cited in an article about electric public transport in Puerto Princesa which was included in Cases on the Diffusion and Adoption of Sustainable Development Practices, a book published by IGI Global.
2012: With Oxfam and the Climate Change Commission, ICSC co-published Braving the Uncertainties of Weather, a policy brief on weather-indexed insurance as a rural risk transfer mechanism for climate change adaptation.
In 2010, ICSC and Oxfam published Financing Adaptation or Funding Chaos?: Adaptation, Finance, and Philippine Climate Policy, a climate policy report which made the first-ever recommendation for the establishment of what would become the People’s Survival Fund.
2016: Agam won two Gintong Aklat (Golden Book) Awards from the Book Development Association of the Philippines for Design and English Literature.
2015: Agam won the 2015 National Book Award for Anthology in English awarded by the National Book Development Board.
2014: The e-jeepney project became a grantee of the National Geographic Society's Great Energy Challenge.
ICSC became one of only three organizations worldwide to receive funding from A Greener Tomorrow, Emirates’ environmental grant initiative, for its e-jeepney project.
2012: The e-jeepney received the grand prize in the Inclusive Mobility Challenge organized by the Ateneo School of Government, Rockefeller Foundation and Metro Manila Development Authority.
2009: The e-jeepney won the top transport solutions prize in a global contest run by the Ecopolis Program of Discovery Channel.
It was awarded the Fr. Neri Satur Award for Environmental Heroism for its work on sustainable transport in the same year.