Climate Breakthrough Project announces awardees for 2021

QUEZON CITY, 7 December 2021 -- Sara Jane Ahmed, advisor to the Vulnerable 20 (V20) Group of Finance Ministers and founder of the Financial Futures Center (FFC), was recognized as one of the awardees of the Climate Breakthrough Project this year.  Ahmed is the first Filipino and Bangladeshi to receive this award. She has authored studies on renewable energy, island grid transition, coal stranded asset risk, and the regulatory weaknesses of the Philippine power sector revealed by the COVID-19 pandemic back when she was with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA).  She has contributed so much to the climate and energy finance discourse in the country, and is now reinforcing this in developing countries through FFC and her role as advisor to the V20 and the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). Ahmed is also currently a member of the Task Force on Climate, Development and the International Monetary [...]

‘PHL needs green, sustainable recovery’

by Rizal Raoul Reyes | December 5, 2021 | Published by BusinessMirror | READ THE STORY HERE Although it is a Third World country, the Philippines can still play an important role in the global effort in the fight against climate change. It can choose a different approach, which underscores its relevance to the long-suffering working Filipino families that would also hasten, as a co-benefit, the low carbon development of the country in the short and medium term. “Climate change may be bigger than everything else, but it is not necessarily more important than addressing poverty, livelihood, biodiversity, education, jobs and securing the good health of our citizens. Air quality alone is costing us P4.5 trillion a year, or 23 percent of our GDP annually,” said Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), at the recent Pilipinas Conference 2021 titled, “Strengthening Cooperation for a [...]

Shared climate leadership will make a beautiful environment in Asia

by Red Constantino | November 29, 2021 | Published on China Daily | READ THE STORY HERE On Nov 23, at the Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech entitled "For a Shared Future and Our Common Home". "The valuable experience we have gained over the past 30 years is the shared asset of China and ASEAN," Xi said in his speech, calling it the foundation for developing the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. There is much in common between China and Southeast Asian countries. We all want a peaceful, safe, prosperous, beautiful and harmonious home, as Xi outlined in his vision of the China-ASEAN future. The vision of a shared home is particularly compelling and inspiring. I remember my travels in China five years ago, from Yunnan to Inner Mongolia, and from Beijing to Shanxi. I was awed by the long [...]

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Asian cities search for ways to finance climate projects

Underdeveloped municipal bond markets hinder green action, experts say FRANCESCA REGALADO, Nikkei Asia staff writer | November 26, 2021 13:49 JST | READ THE STORY HERE TOKYO -- Closed since the onset of the pandemic, Commonwealth High School in Metro Manila has been making a contribution to the local community of Quezon City through its solar panels. Installed in May last year, the panels can produce around 100,000 kilowatt-hours per year -- enough to power the campus and some surrounding areas. The installation was the first in an ambitious plan by the government of Quezon City to shift all public buildings to renewable energy by 2030. After pilot projects at Commonwealth High School and nearby Balara High School -- two of the nation's largest high schools -- the city is looking to solarize around a dozen government offices, 146 public schools, three city-run hospitals and over 100 community-level "barangay" halls. [...]

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Iloilo, Mandaue, and Naga hailed as the most bike-friendly cities in nationwide Mobility Awards

November 25, 2021 | Published by the Mobility Awards | READ THE STORY HERE Bike riders and entrepreneurs, offices, commercial establishments also recognized QUEZON CITY, 25 November 2021 -- In celebration of the National Bicycle Month this November and in observance of the National Climate Change Week, the cities of Iloilo, Mandaue, and Naga were named as the most bike-friendly cities in the Philippines in the nationwide leg of the Mobility Awards. The cities’ chief executives took pride in their protected bike lanes and interconnected networks in their path towards sustainability. “I believe that bike lanes contribute more space on the road and create the feeling of safety for many people who would like to bike. We look forward to having more safe, open spaces for the Ilonggos,” said Mayor Jerry Treñas who accepted the Gold Award for Iloilo City in a recorded message. “Receiving the Silver Award is a [...]

Climate-vulnerable countries call for help forcing high emitters to act

by Fiona Harvey | November 18, 2021 | Published by The Guardian | READ THE STORY HERE Those most at risk warn countries such as Australia they will lose out economically if they do not raise targets. Some of the countries most vulnerable to climate breakdown have called on the UN and the UK and other countries who want to lead the climate fight to help them ensure high emitters upgrade their carbon targets, as called for at the Cop26 summit. They added that countries such as Australia, which has refused to embrace strong carbon-cutting targets, would lose out economically. But they said it would be “an uphill battle” to ensure adequate revisions to national carbon targets, and that all those who wanted to see climate action must use the next year to put pressure on the governments that had inadequate plans. At Cop26 in Glasgow, countries came forward with emissions-cutting targets, known [...]

Mainstreaming gender and climate strategies and the Mandanas-Garcia Ruling

By Danica Marie Supnet The COVID-19 pandemic and climate change continue to challenge the capacities of developing countries such as ours. The Philippines is among the most vulnerable to long-term climate risks and our healthcare system has been heavily strained by the pandemic. This shows us that “global shocks” do not wait in line. They may happen at the same time which makes the impacts of each, including its economic implications, far worse. The Climate Change Commission noted that “the Philippines needs USD 12 to 15 billion of climate finance to meet our Nationally Determined Contributions by 2030”. Multilateral development banks (MDBs) are reported to respond with a USD 878 million climate finance commitment to Philippines in 2020. But based on the same report, most of the financing was diverted to the country’s COVID-19 response. This should be augmented by national and local financing and investments to minimize the impact [...]

What the Philippines needs to do after UN climate deal

by Gaea Katreena Cabico | November 16, 2021 | Published by | READ THE STORY HERE GLASGOW, United Kingdom — The Philippines is urged to intensify its efforts to fight climate change after nearly 200 countries clinched a major deal that called for more ambition and action, but fell short of providing vulnerable nations funds to help them adapt to and recoup damages from climate-related impacts. Two weeks of painful negotiations in the cold and damp Scottish city resulted in the Glasgow Climate Pact, which called on countries to phase down reliance on unabated coal power and recognized loss and damage suffered by vulnerable nations. The deal also called on countries to boost their commitments to slash emissions of planet-heating gases by the end of next year and urged wealthy nations to “at least double” their funding to help vulnerable communities bolster their defenses against climate change. But observers and activists [...]

COP26: Poets, climate resistance light up Glasgow with call for urgent action

November 14, 2021 | Published by BusinessMirror | READ THE STORY HERE With high visibility in Glasgow, Scotland, light projections and street hubs today feature verse and pleas by poets and activists from Indonesia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Tanzania, and the Philippines. “We take great pride in helping foment a global poetry rebellion instigated by poets and leaders from climate vulnerable countries, working with leaders of the Climate Vulnerable Forum in collaboration with artist Jenny Holzer, whose work to illuminate UK landmarks continues to draw attention to the climate crisis,” said Padmapani Perez, lead strategist of the Agam Agenda, which is behind the global When Is Now campaign. Holzer’s public art, HURT EARTH, is on public display to coincide with COP26. The artwork is a collection of haunting, inspiring, and expert testimony in collaboration with the Agam Agenda, Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), and many [...]

PH loses ₱4.5T each year due to poor air quality -The Final Word (CNN PH)

In CNN Philippines' The Final Word last November 12, ICSC executive director Red Constantino talks about the recent air quality report by ICSC and the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), which states that the Philippines loses Php4.5 trillion annually due to air pollution, and insights and recommendations on the climate negotiations in Glasgow.

Pollution costs P4.5 trillion, 66,000 lives every year

by Krixia Subingsubing | November 12, 2021 | Published by | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA, Philippines — In a year, air pollution is costing the Philippines P4.5 trillion and causing tens of thousands of deaths, according to a new report assessing air quality since the implementation of the Clean Air Act 20 years ago. The report, “Aiming Higher: Benchmarking the Philippine Clean Air Act,” was launched on Wednesday by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities. It shows the degree of Filipinos’ exposure to air pollution and provides recommendations to improve the implementation of Republic Act No. 8749. Among others, it examines the major sources of pollution in the country as well as domestic air quality policies to determine the health and economic impacts of air pollution. Direct link While the levels of two major pollutants—fine [...]

Private sector told: “walk the talk” on sustainability, ESG in corporate strategy

MAKATI, 12 November 2021 -- Although sustainability has become the core priority of today’s corporate boards, the need for directors to enhance accountability and operationalize  environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) principles in leadership strategies has outpaced performance. For companies looking to establish their presence for the long-haul, this can only pave the way for a more resilient, high efficiency future.  This was the overarching message delivered in the webinar organized by the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), and The Climate Reality Project Philippines.  “In order to survive and thrive over the long term, crises like the pandemic and extreme weather events have taught us that we need to establish resilience at the heart of our strategy and policies. Greenwashing is not acceptable, as it does not address the root of the problems,” said ICD Trustee and Climate Reality warrior Atty. Pedro [...]

Clean air advocates say updates required for PHL air quality norms

November 10, 2021 | Published by BusinessWorld | READ THE STORY HERE Air quality standards are falling behind international norms, with the two-decade-old Clean Air Act not up to the task of minimizing untimely death as a result of substandard air, clean air advocates said in a report. The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) said in their report that neglecting air quality costs the Philippines P4.5 trillion a year and may have inflated the pandemic death and illness count by up to 15%. “Air quality is not an abstract issue. Air pollution costs the Philippines P4.5 trillion every year, which in 2019 represented 23% of our GDP,” according to Isabella Suarez, an analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and a co-author of the report, known as “Aiming Higher: Benchmarking the [...]

Climate-vulnerable nations demand more financial support in COP26 draft deal

by Megan Rowling | November 11, 2021 | Published by Reuters | READ THE STORY HERE GLASGOW, Nov 10 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Vulnerable countries at the COP26 climate talks urged stronger commitments on finance to help them adapt to climate change impacts and repair the damage they are suffering, in response to an early draft deal for the Glasgow summit released Wednesday. The two-week annual conference is due to finish on Friday but often runs overtime as countries squabble over wording and hammer out their differences on how to push forward lagging climate action. Wednesday's provisional texts urged countries to step up their targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2022, acknowledging that current pledges fall short of what is needed to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and avert the worst impacts of climate change. Aubrey Webson, U.N. ambassador for Antigua and Barbuda and chair [...]

Neglect of air quality costs PHL $87 billion annually, more Covid deaths and illnesses

Quezon City, 10 November 2021 — Twenty years after the passage of the Philippine Clean Air Act, a new report by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) entitled “Aiming Higher: Benchmarking the Philippine Clean Air Act” pegged the yearly bill for neglecting air quality at $87.6 billion. Globally, experts found that polluted air has contributed to 15% more COVID-19 deaths and illnesses on top of other medical impacts, highlighting the growing health and economic impact of air pollution and the risk of non-implementation of the country’s Clean Air Act. “Air quality is not an abstract issue. Air pollution costs the Philippines Php 4.5 trillion every year, which in 2019 represented 23% of our GDP,” said Isabella Suarez, an analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and one of the report’s co-authors. “Neglecting [...]

COP26: Poets, climate resistance light up Glasgow with call for urgent action

Public art and poets demand urgent climate action at COP26 09 November, 2021, Glasgow Scotland- “We take great pride in helping foment a global poetry rebellion instigated by poets and leaders from climate vulnerable countries, working with leaders of the Climate Vulnerable Forum in collaboration with artist Jenny Holzer, whose work to illuminate UK landmarks continues to draw attention to the climate crisis,” said Padmapani Perez, lead strategist of the Agam Agenda, which is behind the global When Is Now campaign. With high visibility in Glasgow, Scotland, light projections and street hubs today feature verse and pleas by poets and activists from Indonesia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Tanzania, and the Philippines. Holzer’s public art, HURT EARTH, is on public display to coincide with COP26. The artwork is a collection of haunting, inspiring, and expert testimony in collaboration with the Agam Agenda, Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), Institute for Climate and Sustainable [...]

Private sector urged to support local climate resilience and 1.5 degree Paris goal

MAKATI, 05 November 2021 -- Corporate directors in the Philippines explored opportunities to accelerate climate action and resilience in coastal communities, as world leaders underscore greater climate action from the private sector in the ongoing climate talks in Glasgow. Business officials were presented with corridors where they could contribute to meeting the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and the 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming threshold set in the Paris Agreement. “The bulk of the 75 percent emission reductions committed in the Philippine NDC is contingent upon foreign support and only 2.71 percent will be implemented through domestic means, underscoring the necessity for greater participation from the private sector. We need to send far stronger signals to businesses that they can also step ahead to enjoy first and reap the benefits of climate action to their bottom line and brand,” said Nazrin Camille Castro, branch manager of The Climate Reality Project [...]

Vulnerable nations call for climate ’emergency pact’ at Glasgow summit

by Zack Budryk | November 2, 2021 | Published by The Hill | READ THE STORY HERE Representatives of vulnerable nations and communities called for a climate “emergency pact” at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland. At the Tuesday session, representatives of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) called for a series of steps from major emitters and developed nations to increase climate resilience. The coalition's 48 member states have a collective population of 1.2 billion people, about 15 percent of the global population, but are only responsible for approximately 5 percent of total emissions. Its membership includes 20 African and Middle Eastern nations, 19 Asian and Pacific nations and nine Latin American and Caribbean nations. Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, chair of the CVF, noted that her country has been referred to as “ground zero” for the effects of climate change, saying that “despite our vulnerabilities and resource constraints, we have [...]

Rapid PHL energy transition best for faster economic recovery – private sector

MAKATI, 29 October 2021 -- Corporate directors stress the urgency to fast track the energy transition in the country, heeding the Code Red warning issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) earlier this year. “Evidence clearly shows even before the pandemic that coal has been intermittent and unreliable. As households and the private sector struggle with the economic impacts of COVID-19, data also shows coal is the reason behind spiking electricity bills and rotating blackouts. Continuing with coal is Code Red for businesses,” said Jephraim Manansala, chief data scientist of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), in the first part of the Pilipinas: Aspire, Rise, Sustain corporate governance series organized by the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) with ICSC and The Climate Reality Project Philippines. Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, who opened the event, said in her keynote, “This is not the time for short-term thinking. The [...]

Philippines urges rich countries to deliver climate finance pledged to vulnerable nations

by Gaea Katreena Cabico | October 28, 2021 | Published by | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is calling on wealthy nations to make good on their commitment to provide financing to developing countries to help them bolster their defenses against climate change. In a speech delivered at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s annual meeting Wednesday night, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the Philippines is "not yet a financial powerhouse" but is already moving to address climate change. "Clearly, the Philippines is moving with urgency. But we have seen very little funding and actions promised by Western countries to materialize. All that has been done is talk without concrete action," Dominguez said. "We need the Western countries to take responsibility for having contributed and continue to contribute the most to greenhouse gas emissions. They must be given the greater burden of paying for the grants, investments, and subsidies [...]

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Ahead of UN climate summit, rich countries stumble with dismal finance offer

MANILA, October 27, 2021 — Developed countries are projected to raise USD 100 billion in climate finance annually in 2023, three years later than pledged, according to a report released by the United Kingdom days before the United Nations climate summit is set to begin this Sunday. Rich countries pledged back in 2009 to raise USD 100 billion in climate finance annually from 2020 to 2025. A climate finance delivery plan was led by Germany and Canada and published last Monday by the UK, host of this year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland, showing that this longstanding goal will only be likely met in two years, undermining the upcoming talks. Reacting to this development, Denise Fontanilla, associate for policy advocacy of the Manila-based Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, said: “Rich countries have moved the goalposts even further for vulnerable countries such as the Philippines, and this sets aflame [...]

Climate Vulnerable Forum launch Global Parliamentary Group

October 26, 2021 | Published by the Climate Vulnerable Forum | READ THE STORY HERE Climate vulnerable nations launch historic parliamentarians’ group to further climate action just days ahead of Glasgow COP The dedicated initiative will enable South-South cooperation to build on the work of the CVF and V20 Former UNSG believes that “parliamentarians of climate-threatened nations have a crucial role to play in the fight against climate change” 26 October 2021, DHAKA: The world’s most climate vulnerable nations have launched a global forum made up of parliamentarians in an effort to lead by example and drive the action needed to protect their peoples’ livelihoods from the impacts of runaway climate change. The inaugural Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Global Parliamentary Group convened virtually on Tuesday, in a historic moment just a few days before the UN Climate Change Conference kickstarts in Glasgow, to signal their commitment to finding solutions [...]

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NGOs say ADB climate financing targets not ambitious enough

by Angelica Y. Yang | October 17, 2021 | Published by BusinessWorld | READ THE STORY HERE A network of civil society groups said the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) updated climate financing target of $100 billion is “un-ambitious,” adding that the eligibility requirements for projects to be funded are vague. The banks’ new financing target is an upgrade from its previous goal of $80 billion. The new target covers the years 2019 to 2030. “A commitment of $10 billion per year with ambiguous benchmarking standards can hardly be called ambitious,” NGO Forum on ADB Energy Policy and Campaigns Strategist Tanya Lee Roberts-Davis told BusinessWorld in an e-mail over the weekend. “Combined with the remaining billions of dollars disbursed to borrowing member countries by the ADB, clearly therefore not classified in their portfolio as ‘green’ or climate-aligned, it can only be concluded that the bank is contributing to undermining rather than upholding [...]

NGO says RE plants prone to fewer outages than coal-fired facilities

by Angelica Y. Yang | October 14, 2021 | Published by BusinessWorld | READ THE STORY HERE Non-government organization (NGO) Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) said Thursday that renewable energy (RE) facilities are more reliable than coal-run plants, citing data on outages from the wholesale electricity spot market. In a virtual briefing, ICSC Energy Transition Advisor Alberto R. Dalusung III said solar, biomass and wind plants have historically registered fewer outage days compared to coal plants. The claim was based on an analysis of spot market data collected between 2017 and mid-June 2021, which tallied 41 outage days a year for biomass plants, which are within the allowed level of outages set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). The corresponding numbers for solar plants and wind facilities were 13 days each over the same period. Mr. Dalusung noted that the unavailability rates and duration of outages for biomass, solar [...]

Implement Clean Air Act, raise air quality standards vs. pandemic – experts

MANILA, 14 October 2021 -- Experts today called on the government to implement the Clean Air Act with a “higher sense of urgency” in keeping with the latest air quality guidelines issued by the World Health Organization (WHO). Air quality advocates said the standards need to be raised drastically as air pollution is the leading environmental threat in the country and the fifth leading cause of death and disability, excluding its implications on COVID-19 infections, in a webinar organized today by the office of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, the Climate Change Commission (CCC), and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), among other partners. “Pollutant levels in our air are way above what the WHO considers safe for public health and this is deeply troubling given our pandemic setting and the Delta variant surge. Breathing air containing pollutants above safe thresholds has been shown to increase our susceptibility [...]

China’s move vs coal seen to expedite PHL energy transition

by Angelica Yang | October 6, 2021 | Published by BusinessWorld | READ THE STORY HERE CHINA’S MOVE to stop building new coal plants abroad will likely speed up the Philippines’ energy transition away from coal and other inflexible baseload power generation projects, according to nongovernment organization Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC). Chinese President Xi Jinping last month announced that the country “will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad” while ramping up support for emerging nations to develop green and low-carbon projects. “We certainly expect Xi’s announcement to further accelerate the energy transition in the Philippines. Xi’s announcement provides ballast to (Energy Secretary Alfonso) Cusi’s bold position to leave behind coal and inflexible baseload generation technologies,” ICSC Executive Director Renato Redentor Constantino told BusinessWorld over e-mail last week. “The faster the transformation, the better it will be for the economy given the criminal intermittency of all coal power [...]

IMF urged to create new trust to bolster work on climate resilience

by Andrea Shalal, editing by Aurora Ellis | October 4, 2021 | Published by Reuters | READ THE STORY HERE WASHINGTON, Oct 4 (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) should create a new instrument that lets richer countries channel their newly created IMF reserves to help a broader set of countries tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, a new task force said Monday. IMF officials have sought for months to rally support for a new Resilience and Sustainability Trust (RST) that its members could use to donate or lend their share of $650 billion in newly issued Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to low- and middle-income countries - as an alternative to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, which can be tapped only by the poorest countries. The issue will be a big topic when IMF member countries meet during the global lender's fall meetings later this month, but some countries [...]

‘The future is frightening’

October 3, 2021 | Published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer | READ THE STORY HERE Last Sept. 24, hundreds of protesters across the country joined a global climate strike demanding urgent action from governments to address climate change. Among them were fisherfolk and young environment advocates who marched to the site of the controversial Manila Bay dolomite beach. As the protesters wearing face masks raised their fists and called for a more forceful response to the climate crisis, an excavator tractor stood idle in the background beside a pile of dolomite — a reminder of the billions wasted that should have gone to more beneficial projects like, say, buying COVID-19 vaccines or helping coastal communities adapt and cope with the extreme weather events brought about by climate change. “We’re striking in an area that will likely be underwater before I turn 50,” said Yanna Mallari, one of the protesters, as [...]

ICSC recognized as an awardee of the Shine COVID-19 Recovery Fund

Out of more than 264 submissions, the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) is one of the twelve (12) recipients of The Shine Campaign's COVID-19 Recovery Fund from Asia and Africa. ICSC was recognized for its work with Sulong Sulu-an, a community all-women self-help group leading renewable energy efforts in Sulu-an Island, Guiuan, Eastern Samar since Super Typhoon Haiyan struck in 2013, as well as the organization's work in providing solar generators to health centers, training to community health providers, and COVID-19 relief and recovery advocacy. Read more about the COVID-19 recovery fund recipients here. ABOUT THE SHINE COVID-19 RECOVERY FUND (lifted from The Shine Campaign website): Shine’s COVID-19 Recovery Fund provides grants (average grant size $10,000 or less) to meet the needs of frontline energy access entrepreneurs, cooperatives, agencies, and community leaders as they position the sector and their communities to survive the global pandemic. [...]

China’s pledge to stop building coal power plants abroad opens door for its renewable energy firms

by Xiaojun Wang | September 30, 2021 | Published by South China Morning Post | READ THE STORY HERE At the 76th UN General Assembly, President Xi Jinping announced that “China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad”. While international climate watchers applauded the second part of the announcement, Chinese renewable energy companies are cheering the first half. An end to coal means a door opened wider for renewable energy. China is the world’s largest producer, investor and user of renewable energy. According to data from REN21, a renewable energy think tank, almost half of the world’s new renewable energy installations last year was added in China and almost a third of renewable energy investment came from China. China’s renewable energy industry plays a crucial role in helping the country deliver on its [...]

Long-term plans needed to protect Metro Manila’s most vulnerable from rising seas

Text by Jhesset Enano, photos by AC Dimatatac | September 27, 2021 | Published by | READ THE STORY HERE (Last of two parts) Ariel Cortes has lived most of his life surrounded by water. As a young boy in the 1970s, he worked as a fishpond caretaker until he was old enough to join the fishers in Manila Bay. At 51, Cortes continues to fish in the bay with at least three other men from his community in Navotas. They set out at 4 p.m. daily on his fishing boat down the Batasan River and past towering floodgates that separate the river from the sea, hoping to fill up their large plastic tubs with catch before heading back home at 4 a.m. the next day. On good days, they return with the tubs overflowing. But recently, such bounties have been hard to come by, he said. The [...]

Urban poor struggle to adapt as rising seas threaten to remap Metro Manila

Text by Jhesset Enano, photos by AC Dimatatac | September 26, 2021 | Published by | READ STORY HERE (First of two parts) Odd-sized wooden stilts strain to keep Jocel Madrano’s house just over a meter above the gray polluted waters of Manila Bay. The shack, a patchwork of dilapidated plywood and partly anchored on a concrete seawall, is home to the 23-year-old mother of four. On one Friday noon in July, Madrano was watching over her children and several of their cousins enjoying a television show, wondering what her family’s life would be like away from the sea. She and her husband, who is four years her senior, earn barely enough to provide three meals a day for their family—he as a stevedore at the nearby port and she as a neighborhood manicurist. This is not the life she wants for her children, the oldest, a boy [...]

Legarda: Ensure implementation of Clean Air Act, new WHO air pollution standards

September 23, 2021 | Published by Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA, 23 September 2021 — Three-term Senator and Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda welcomed the World Health Organization’s (WHO) release yesterday of new outdoor air pollutions standards and called for a stronger implementation of the Philippine Clean Air Act (Republic Act No. 8749), which she authored and helped enact into law over two decades ago. Legarda said air pollution “is a global and national public health concern to which has been attributed millions of premature deaths around the world.” Millions more people today are exposed to higher levels of pollution from a growing number of pollution sources. The Philippines is ranked 70 in IQAir’s 2020 list of world’s most polluted countries. “Air pollution is literally a question of life and death, with serious impacts on cardiovascular and respiratory health. Our pandemic-defined setting and the aerosols-borne [...]

ICSC lauds stronger calls, bolder moves for climate action at UNGA 2021

MANILA, 22 September 2021 -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and United States President Joseph Biden pledged climate and energy commitments today at the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), answering calls for urgent climate action from President Rodrigo Duterte and other world leaders. Xi vowed that China will halt new coal-fired power projects abroad, following similar announcements by South Korea and Japan earlier this year. The three countries are the top public financiers of coal overseas, accounting for over 95% of total international coal financing since 2013 -- including in the Philippines -- with China being the biggest funder. Biden told the UNGA that he will work with the US Congress to double their international climate finance to $11.4 billion per year by 2024. The US is currently the world’s second-biggest greenhouse gas emitter after China but is still ranked first in terms of historical emissions. Reacting to these developments, Renato Redentor Constantino, [...]

Mobility Awards nominations for bike-friendly venues on

by Josef Ramos | September 7, 2021 | Published by BusinessMirror | READ THE STORY HERE The Mobility Awards intensified its bike advocacy by recognizing the best work places, business venues and bike-friendly cities in the countryside. The organization has started accepting nominations and set a November 5 deadline. Nominations could be made at The winners will be announced on November 25. Climate Reality Philippines branch manager Nazrin Camille Castro said in an online news conference that the Mobility Awards is focusing on cities outside Greater Manila under the new normal. “The Mobility Awards this year is going nationwide, encouraging cities to participate but excluding Metro Manila as it has already gone through the first round of evaluation,” Castro said. “We choose to focus on initiatives that are happening in cities.” Castro added that 50 percent of Filipinos outside Metro Manila are relying on bikes as a means of transportation [...]

Mobility Awards Goes Nationwide

September 7, 2021 | Published by the Mobility Awards | READ THE STORY HERE Search for the most bike-friendly cities in the Philippines launched Manila, 07 September 2021 — In time for the second global observance of the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies, the National Round of the Mobility Awards was officially launched, encouraging everyone to nominate their bike-friendly cities, workplaces and business establishments outside of Metro Manila. Following last year’s successful Mobility Awards in Metro Manila, this years’ awards will focus on recognizing acts of leadership promoting cycling and active modes of transportation in commuting across other cities in the country. The Mobility Awards is organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), MNL Moves, The Climate Reality Project Philippines, Pilipinas, and Pinay Bike Commuter Community to inspire action, involvement, and coordination among local government units, workplaces, and establishments who want to improve conditions for [...]

Who is profiting from the power outages?

by Alberto Dalusung III and Jephraim Manansala | September 4, 2021 | Published by BusinessMirror | READ THE STORY HERE Power outages are back with a vengeance. Those of us in Luzon remember the rotating brownouts from May 31 to June 1. More recently, there was a blackout that affected the whole of Eastern Visayas, Bohol, Cebu and Negros on August 20. Department of Energy (DOE) Visayas Field Office Director Russ Mark Gamallo told The Freeman that the transmission line of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) that runs from Quiot, Pardo, in Cebu City to Colon, Naga, tripped late that Friday night and caused a blackout in areas covered by the Cebu-Leyte-Samar-Bohol portion of the Visayas grid which started at 11:56 pm. The Negros and Panay portions of the grid were spared. Mindanao has not been spared from the power outages if we are to believe Mitsubishi Power [...]

Fair Elections, Climate Are a Single Fight for Former Maldives President

by Eric Roston | September 3, 2021 | Published by Bloomberg Green | READ THE STORY HERE After surviving an assassination attempt in May, Mohamed Nasheed speaks out for democracy and debt restructuring. Mohamed Nasheed, speaker of the Maldives parliament and a former president of the island nation, was injured in May when a bomb hidden in a motorbike detonated near his car. Several people have been arrested in connection to the attack, including the head of a local group aligned with the U.S.-designated terrorist organization Islamic State. Now recovered from the assassination attempt, Nasheed is once again stepping into a role he's had for longer than a decade, as an advocate for human rights, fair elections, and fighting climate change. He and other island nation leaders drew international attention around 2009 UN climate talks in Copenhagen as early proponents that the global community lower its aspirational warming limit by half a [...]

Ever wonder just how popular cycling has become?

by Hans Bosshard | August 28, 2021 | Published by Visor | READ THE STORY HERE Metro Manila Counts monitored the bicycle users in 4 cities It’s no surprise at this point that cycling has taken our cities by storm, but how many people have actually been cycling? Well, we don’t actually know. Until now, that is. The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities sought to find out how many of our citizens actually ply our roads on bicycles. We do know that the MMDA recorded 100,792 cyclists along EDSA back in June last year, but there’s more to Metro Manila than EDSA alone. The lack of data drove ICSC to pursue Metro Manila Counts, the National Capital Region’s first-ever citizen-led collaborative bike-count effort, with the goal of helping shape policy by giving our bike commuters representation and making them count. Literally. On June 8, 2021, 132 volunteers and LGU personnel (168 if you include the support teams) [...]

Pandemic shows why Metro Manila needs more, better bike lanes

by Mariejo Ramos | August 28, 2021 | Published by | READ THE STORY HERE With around half a million people now biking to work in Metro Manila due to the coronavirus pandemic, the government should put up better road infrastructure that moves people and not cars, according to a group advocating environment-friendly modes of transportation and who monitored bicycle use in the capital in June. Aldrin Pelicano, founder of MNL Moves, said a spike in the number of bikers was noted in the project that analyzed traffic flow and movement trends at 32 locations in the cities of San Juan, Pasig, Quezon City and Marikina. Based on manual count conducted on June 8 alone, particularly during peak hours from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at least 38,932 cyclists, 12,787 pedestrians and 1,658 nonmotorized travelers (those on skateboards, pedicabs, scooters and [...]

In Just Four Hours, This Group Recorded 38,932 Cyclists In The Metro

August 27, 2021 | Published by firstbikeride | READ THE STORY HERE A total of 38,932 cyclists were recorded in a bike count conducted by Metro Manila Counts (MMC) Project last June 8. They tallied the bikers in four cities of the metropolis — Pasig, San Juan, Marikina and Quezon City — during the peak hours 6 to 8 am and 4 to 6pm. The MMC is a citizen-led bike and pedestrian count project which was participated in by 168 volunteers. Aside from cyclists, they managed to record 12,787 persons on foot and 1,658 non-motorized road users. Why do these numbers matter? According to cycling community MNL Moves founder and urban planner Aldrin Pelicano, data is an important merit in implementing policies and in creating infrastructure in the city. “When they count, when they get the numbers of people cycling, they can easily justify further investment,” he said during the show [...]

NCR bike count shows mobility revolution underway

Initial results show estimated number of cyclists on the road now at 500k QUEZON CITY, 26 August 2021 -- Citizen-led bike and pedestrian count project Metro Manila Counts (MMC) conservatively estimate that half a million cyclists are now on the roads of the capital. This was highlighted in this week’s episode of “Stories for a Better Normal: Pandemic and Climate Change Pathways,” organized by House Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda and the Climate Change Commission (CCC). “We need to count more and generate more evidence that can guide our policymakers,” said MNL Moves founder and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) inclusive urban mobility advisor Aldrin Pelicano. Conducted in June 8, a total of 168 volunteers participated in MMC and counted cyclists and pedestrians in key intersections in Pasig, San Juan, Marikina, and Quezon City during peak hours in the morning (6AM-8AM) and in the afternoon [...]

PH banks seek policy guide on financing shift to ‘green energy’ projects

by Myrna Velasco | August 25, 2021 | Published by Manila Bulletin | READ THE STORY HERE Energy officials have been casting the country as a ‘mecca for green energy investments’, but one vital anchor to that is project financing, hence, major local banks are seeking policies that will guide them on the shift of financial flows to clean energy ventures. In a virtual forum convened by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), domestic bank giants BDO Capital Investment Corporation and the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) sounded off that funneling massive scale of financing to green technology deployments, primarily in renewable energy (RE) installations, will flourish to a higher degree if such will also be underpinned by policies to be enforced for the banking sector. According to Eduardo V. Francisco, president of BDO Capital, “banks are implementation-ready. We are strictly regulated by the Monetary Board and [...]

ERC urged to disallow automatic pass-through fuel costs in power deals

by Angelica Yang | August 23, 2021 | Published by BusinessWorld | READ THE STORY HERE THE ENERGY Regulatory Commission (ERC) needs to remove the pass-through fuel cost provisions in power purchase agreements (PPAs) to ensure the least cost for consumers, according to a UK-funded report on the Philippines’ energy transition. “It would be prudent for the ERC to implement mandatory fixed prices for PPAs by removing the automatic (fuel) pass-through,” according to the findings of the report, Analyzing Energy Transition Risks in the Philippine Power Sector. “Eliminating the pass-through for imported fuel costs avoids the ups and downs of volatile commodity markets, providing valuable price stability,” it added. A typical PPA between a distribution utility and coal power producer provides for fuel costs incurred by the latter to be automatically passed on to consumers, with pass-through charges based on the prevailing global coal price index. The report cited [...]

Philippines needs to address policy gap for financing RE debts

by Danessa Rivera | August 23, 2021 | Published by | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines needs to address the policy gap for financing renewable energy (RE) developments to be able to reach its clean energy capacity and energy transition targets as this gap has kept projects from getting to shovel ready status. In a webinar organized by the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) in partnership with the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project Philippines, and ClientEarth last Friday, participants stressed the critical need to address challenges in financing RE projects. From the financing sector side, BDO Capital Investment Corp. and Bank of the Philippine Islands have called for the shift of financial flows towards the 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming threshold of the Paris Agreement to address climate and energy transition risks and increase resilience. “Banks are implementation ready. We [...]

BDO, BPI, DOE call to bridge clean energy financing gap

VIEW EVENT AND RESOURCES PAGE MAKATI, 20 August 2021 -- Banco de Oro (BDO) Capital and Investment Corporation and the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) today called for the shift of financial flows towards the 1.5 degrees Celsius global warming threshold of the Paris Agreement in order to address climate and energy transition risks and increase resilience. They also stressed the critical need to address challenges in financing renewable energy projects, as raised by Department of Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella. “Banks are implementation ready. We are already strictly regulated by the Monetary Board and the Central Bank, so if they issue more guidelines we’ll just follow it. We do a lot of project finance and we analyze all the risks anyway - we try to factor that in,” said BDO Capital President Eduardo Francisco in a webinar on the fiduciary responsibilities of corporate directors today organized [...]

Commentary: Will local actions matter in the global effort on climate change?

by Alberto Dalusung III | August 20, 2021 | Published by | READ THE STORY HERE In the eighties, my usual conversation starter with foreigners was “How is the weather?” As a Filipino, I would normally have the advantage of “all-year sunshine” as my counterparts in the Northern Hemisphere struggle with their four seasons. Today, the weather and the underlying climate are topics that merit international attention and concerted action. Back in 1988, the United Nations established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), composed of the world’s leading scientists tasked to provide policymakers with regular scientific assessments on climate change, and to identify where further research is needed. The IPCC released last August 9 the first of its four-part Sixth Assessment Report and states, “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and biosphere [...]

ANC | Window to prevent worst of climate change impact narrowing

Reposted from the ANC 24/7 Youtube channel Dateline Philippines: While some effects of climate change are already locked in, there is still hope to prevent the worst from happening. That's according to Denise Fontanilla, associate for policy advocacy at the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities. She says the impact of climate change is not entirely irreversible, but the window is narrowing, and the world no longer has the luxury of time.

12 Aug 2021|Tags: , , , , , |

PH sea level rise may be faster than global average: climatologist

August 11, 2021 | Published by ABS-CBN News | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA – Sea levels in the Philippines may be rising faster than the global average, a climatologist said. Meteorologist and climatologist Lourdes Tibig said a coastal island in Visayas may be experiencing a sea level rise faster than that of the global average. “The global average is 3.7 millimeters per year. In Visayas islands, in that particular study site, they found out that the sea level rise is happening four times 3.7 millimeters per year. 3.7 millimeters times four. That’s more than one centimeter every year,” she said. “Imagine what that coastal island would look like, say, in 2050. It really is very grim. That coastal island would be submerged almost the whole year. It would be totally submerged in water if sea level rise is, rather climate change is not really decelerated.” Tibig said the impact [...]

11 Aug 2021|Tags: , , , , , |

REACTIVE: New UN climate report shows 1.5°C target still within reach given urgent action

ICSC calls for increased global, PH action vs. climate crisis MANILA, 9 August 2021 – A United Nations climate science report released today shows the urgent need to act on climate change to avoid the worst of climate impacts as record-breaking storms, floods, fires, and heatwaves across the world continue to sound the alarm of a global climate emergency. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the first of its four-part 6th Assessment Report (AR6), which build on 30 years of climate science. This first report, which focuses on the latest physical climate science, shows that “human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe. Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones, and, in particular, their attribution to human influence, has strengthened since the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).” The product of 234 [...]

09 Aug 2021|Tags: , , |

Toyota, leading PH companies call gov’t to speed up energy transition

ICSC supports call for immediate roll out of renewable options program Toyota Motor Philippines, the largest automotive company in the country, has called for the implementation of competition policies that will help establish a renewable energy-powered economy faster and sooner in an online press conference today. In a joint statement with AC Energy, First Gen Corporation, SN Aboitiz Power Group, and other leading companies in the country, Toyota Motor Philippines called on the Philippine government to accelerate the clean energy transition: “Full and rapid implementation of the Green Energy Option Program (GEOP) signals that the Philippines has a clear long-term vision for growing its energy sector to better meet future demand through stable, market-based mechanisms that deliver reliable and affordable renewable energy, while leveraging private sector capital to reduce public spending on power generation investments.” Echoing this during the OurEnergy2030 virtual presser was Toyota Environment Section Manager Mark Marcelo, saying [...]

ICSC calls for coherence, sustainability of PH climate action

NGO also lauds DOE, DoTr leadership ahead of SONA MANILA, 22 July 2021 -- As build-up to President Rodrigo Duterte’s sixth and final State of the Nation Address (SONA) next week, the Cabinet cluster on climate change today outlined the administration’s legacy on climate action, disaster risk reduction, and renewable energy. Reacting to the pre-SONA forum of the Cabinet Cluster on Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation, and Disaster Risk Reduction, Denise Fontanilla, associate for policy advocacy of the Manila-based climate and energy policy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, said: "For sure there have been missteps, and certainly we could have done far more, but overall it needs to be said that this administration has made bigger strides on climate and energy in its first three years compared to the entire term of the previous administration. This is also a signal to whoever takes on the reins in 2022 [...]

Finance ministers of world’s most climate-vulnerable economies establish insurance facility with UN Environment Programme to protect MSMEs

Reposted from the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) Initiative website. UNEP’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative to host V20 Sustainable Insurance Facility with initial funding from the German government 19 July 2021—As climate change worsens extreme weather events across the globe, the Vulnerable Twenty Group of Ministers of Finance (V20)—comprising 48 climate-vulnerable economies with a combined population of 1.2 billion people and a 5% share of global emissions—recently reached one of their key climate finance milestones with the establishment of the V20-led Sustainable Insurance Facility (V20-SIF). The V20-SIF was highlighted as one of the V20’s key initiatives in the Communiqué issued earlier this month in relation to the 1st Climate Vulnerable’s Finance Summit. The V20-SIF is a project pipeline development facility that will assist V20 economies in scoping the financial protection needs of their micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in order to build their resilience to climate change impacts and support [...]

Climate change is a human rights crisis, says UN reso

by Recto Mercene | July 19, 2021 | Published by BusinessMirror | READ THE STORY HERE If highly developed economies are not spared from the effects of climate change—as seen in recent floods that killed over 160 people in Europe and the wildfires in California—vulnerable countries should be even more aggressive in demanding the speedy adoption of measures to mitigate global warming that fuels climate change. This in effect is what happened when the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted recently a resolution, initiated by the Philippines, recognizing climate change as a human-rights crisis, particularly among the most vulnerable. Co-signatory with the Philippines are Bangladesh and Vietnam. Dhaka and Hanoi, which are apparel producing cities, like Ho Chi Minh City, and Guangzhou, China, are projected to be underwater by 2030, according to two Cornell researchers commissioned by the International Labour Organization (ILO). The UN Council encouraged continued discussions among [...]

UNHRC passes HR and climate resolution

ICSC lauds Philippines, Bangladesh, and Vietnam leadership in tabling landmark reso MANILA, 15 July 2021 — A resolution on human rights and climate change was adopted yesterday by the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva [1]. The resolution, initiated by the Philippines with Bangladesh and Vietnam since 2014, recognizes climate change as a human rights crisis, particularly among the most vulnerable. It also paves the way for the establishment of a UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Climate Change to investigate the adverse effects of climate change on human rights, such as the right to food, to health, and to life. Forty-six HRC countries including the Philippines voted in favor of the resolution, with Russia as the lone abstention, as the Council wrapped up its 47th regular session. Reacting to the adoption of the resolution, Denise Fontanilla, associate for policy advocacy of the Manila-based climate and energy [...]

Climate change: the financial fight

BBC News' Business Daily program coverage of the Vulnerable 20 (V20) Group of Finance Ministers' Climate Vulnerable's Finance Summit, featuring an interview with Speaker of the Parliament and Former President of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, aired last July 9, 2021. Reposted from the BBC website. Listen to the full program here.

09 Jul 2021|Tags: , , , , , , |

V20 Summit: Enhancing economic growth in climate vulnerable countries

Sky News' The Daily Climate Show coverage of the Vulnerable 20 (V20) Group of Finance Ministers' Climate Vulnerable's Finance Summit, featuring an interview with Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Special Envoy Abul Kalam Azad, aired last July 9, 2021. Reposted from the Sky News Youtube channel. Watch the full episode here.

Vulnerable economies call rich nations to avert global climate-COVID economic threat

48 most vulnerable economies demand “2020-2024 delivery plan” for the missing $100 billion annual Paris Agreement climate assistance The V20 group launch ambitious “Climate Prosperity” Program to drive resilient, green investments Dhaka, 8 July 2021–Led by Bangladesh as chair of the V20, the world’s most climate vulnerable economies met virtually as heads of state and government, ministers of finance and economy, together with leaders of the United Nations, partner economies and the global financial system to address the compound, destabilizing effect of climate disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic on low- and middle-income economies. The ‘Vulnerable Twenty’ (V20) Group of Finance Ministers released a Communique that called for leadership by industrialized nations and cooperation to urgently transform and align the global economic system with the goals of the Paris Climate treaty for a more robust, greener, and equitable recovery. The first ‘V20 Climate Vulnerable’s Finance Summit’ was opened by HE [...]

09 Jul 2021|Tags: , , |

Averting the perennial power crisis

by Pete H. Maniego | June 29, 2021| Published by | READ THE STORY HERE Recent brownouts have worsened the suffering of everyone cooped up because of the pandemic. No fans or aircon, no TV or cable, no social media to relieve the monotony. Even the country’s pandemic response is at risk, as vaccines require stable cold storage. The power crisis isn’t new. We suffered daily brownouts in the early 90s that left the government with no choice but to grant take-or-pay contracts to power producers. The result? Electricity rates skyrocketed and remain as one of the highest in Asia. Then in November and December 2013, spot market prices ballooned to more than P32 per kilowatt hour (kWh) due to power outages. Now, the market caps are being breached again. Expect your electricity bills to go up. In recent Senate hearings, the prolonged and unscheduled outages [...]

Renewables, flexible generation key to power sector modernization – experts

QUEZON CITY, 8 June 2021 -- Energy policy experts pointed to renewable energy — mixed with demand side management, system reliability, and flexible generation — as the best way to address the immediate and long term implications of the current power crisis, leading to more investments, jobs, energy security, and a just economic recovery amid the pandemic. “Summer brownouts are not rare, the second quarter is the time when annual peak demand occurs, that is the time we need more capacity,” said Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) energy transition advisor Alberto Dalusung III in a virtual press briefing yesterday on the recent power outages experienced in Luzon. Dalusung cited actual outages in coal power plants from May 31 to June 2 as the direct primary cause of rotating brownouts in Metro Manila and other areas in Luzon. Referring to coal as a power source with intermittent reliability [...]

Renewables provide more flexible, affordable energy amid power outages

QUEZON CITY, 2 June 2021 -- In response to the red alert status raised for the Luzon power grid and resulting power outages, an energy policy expert recommended the installation of more renewable energy plants to allow for flexible and affordable power generation. “The shortage in power supply, or more accurately, a lack of reserve capacity, has been known in the energy sector even at the same time last year,” said Alberto “Bert” Dalusung III, Energy Transition Advisor of the Manila-based Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) in an interview today with the ABS-CBN News Channel. “Demand was recovering, businesses were starting to get back on track, and we hit that limit in our power capacity.” Dalusung, a member of the National Renewable Energy Board and former Director for Energy Planning at the Department of Energy, added that the long-term solution is more effective power expansion planning, coupled with [...]

02 Jun 2021|Tags: , , , |

Dominguez calls for more climate, disaster risk financing with other vulnerable countries

2 June 2021 -- Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez reiterated yesterday the need to secure economic growth and community resilience amidst growing risks from climate change.  Secretary Dominguez along with several officials from the Vulnerable 20 Group of Finance Ministers (V20) addressed the High Level Consultative Group meeting of the InsuResilience Global Partnership, an initiative between the G7, G20 and V20 to insure 500 million of the poorest and most climate-vulnerable people around the world. “The ongoing pandemic added to the Philippines’ vulnerabilities, but it has steeled our determination to make our economic development more inclusive, and our communities more resilient,” Secretary Dominguez said. V20 member countries were among the first to support InsuResilience in 2017, which also aims to integrate comprehensive disaster risk finance strategies in national plans, and cover 10 percent of their annual climate and disaster losses by 2025. Co-chairing the High-Level Consultative Group meeting were Dr. Maria [...]

China’s Investment Opportunity in Modernizing Grids in Climate Vulnerable Developing Countries

by Sara Jane Ahmed, Alberto Dalusung III, and Xiaojun Wang | June 1, 2021 | Abridged version published in China Energy News and People's Daily | READ OP ED HERE The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to work closely to support grid enhancements, system flexibility and sector-coupling in China and IRENA’s Clean Energy Corridor regions. The agreement aims to advance the global energy transformation towards a net zero energy future particularly in developing countries, in the context of achieving the Paris Agreement objectives and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The State Grid of China (SGCC) is one of the largest grid-focused utilities in the world, with revenue of over CNY 2.7 trillion (~USD 390 billion) in 2019, with operations that span beyond the borders of China to Brazil, the Philippines, Portugal, Australia, Italy, Greece, [...]

Call for volunteer MM counters for June 3 Bike Day

28 May 2021 -- We are looking for volunteers to help us count cyclists and pedestrians in Quezon City, Marikina City, San Juan City, and Pasig City on June 3, World Bicycle Day! Metro Manila Counts! (MMC) is a collaboration between the four city governments and ICSC, MNL Moves, The Climate Reality Project Philippines, Pilipinas, and Pinay Bike Commuter in response to the lack of regular data on non-motorized transport, particularly cycling and walking. The bike count will be conducted in key intersections in the 4 cities during peak hours in the morning (6AM-8AM) and in the evening (4PM-6PM). To volunteer, register here. To learn more, visit the MMC Facebook event or contact the organizers via Findings from the Metro Manila Counts! bike-pedestrian count will be made available to the public and can be used by national agencies and local government units in designing programs and infrastructure that [...]

Metro Manila Counts! Volunteer Count Training Workshop to be held on May 22

With the International Bike Day coming, we hope to count cyclists to complete the picture of the majority that use the roads and bike lanes in Metro Manila. The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, MNL Moves, The Climate Reality Project Philippines, Pilipinas, and Pinay Bike Commuter is calling for volunteers for the upcoming bike count. A training workshop will be held this Saturday, May 22, from 2:00PM to 4:00PM for those interested to join. Everything counts, everyone matters. We need your help in engaging our cities and helping them collect data. If you are from Quezon City, Pasig, San Juan and Marikina, join us and volunteer in Metro Manila Counts! SIGN UP FOR THE WORKSHOP DOWNLOAD PROVISIONAL PROGRAM

No electricity? Typhoon survivors, NGOs seek solar solutions for tribal communities

by Kristine Sabillo | May 15, 2021 | Published by ABS-CBN News | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA — For the last 5 decades, members of the Dumagat-Remontado tribe living in Brgy. Laiban, Tanay, Rizal have been without electricity. Located at the foot of the majestic Sierra Madre mountain range, Sitios Magata and Manggahan had remained unconnected to the Philippines' power grid due to their remote location and the threat of flooding with the construction of the then proposed Laiban Dam. As soon as the sun set, residents of the two sitios had to halt their livelihood activities and children had to stop studying - unless their household could afford a generator set or had received a home solar power system. The communities’ need for electricity became urgent when the COVID-19 pandemic forced many Filipino children to undergo blended learning through printed modules and online classes last year. The [...]

Power scarcity during times of low demand

by Pedro Maniego Jr.  |  May 13 2021, BusinessMirror  | Read the article here Power demand during the lockdown last year declined by around 30 percent in Luzon and was estimated to fall by 5 percent for the entire 2020. With the imposition of another lockdown since last month, electricity demand for this quarter is expected to be the same as last year. And yet, there were alerts of possible power shortages in the coming months prompting the Joint Congressional Energy Committee to call for a hearing to avert a debilitating crisis. In the hearing, the reported outages of most power plants exceeded the maximum outage limit set by the Energy Regulatory Commission. The breakdowns in days were way over the maximum limits especially for the large coal power plants in Luzon. The Department of Energy (DOE) has asked for information from the following generation companies which were on [...]

14 May 2021|Tags: , , , , , |

Indonesia’s PLN pledges carbon neutrality by 2050

by Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman | May 8, 2021 | Published by The Jakarta Post | READ THE STORY HERE State-owned electricity monopolist PLN has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050 with a plan to phase out fossil fuel-fired power plants and use more renewable energy in its networks. PLN president director Zulkifli Zaini said the company was planning to develop new solar and wind power plants, mix biomass with coal – so-called co-firing – in existing coal plants and convert diesel-fired power plants to renewable energy-based power plants. “After we finish developing the 35,000 megawatts [of additional power generating capacity], we will fulfil Indonesia’s electricity needs using only renewable energy, ” Zulkifli said in an online briefing on Friday. Since 2015, PLN has been building new power plants to produce a combined 35,000 MW, 60 per cent of which are coal-fired. The government-mandated project has strained the company’s finances [...]

Asian Development Bank to end coal, oil and gas financing

Published by Nikkei Asia | May 8, 2021 | READ THE STORY HERE Environmental groups welcome move, but criticize it as a decade overdue SINGAPORE (Reuters) -- The Asian Development Bank will no longer finance coal mining or oil and natural gas production and exploration, it announced in a draft policy statement on Friday, a move welcomed by environmental groups, which said it was a decade overdue. The multilateral development bank, which focuses on eradicating poverty in Asia, provided no timeline for its commitment. It also laid out conditions under which fossil fuel projects would continue to receive funding, such as where no other cost-effective technology was available. Yongping Zhai, head of the ADB's energy sector, said the draft would be deliberated by its board of directors in October. Green groups had earlier this week urged the ADB to end loans to the entire fossil fuels sector. "The draft [...]

ICSC welcomes ADB push to end coal financing, but wary on gas stand

MANILA, 7 May 2021 — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) released today their draft energy policy, which aims to stop the bank’s financing of new coal power plants and support a rapid phaseout of coal among its developing member countries in the Asia Pacific region. The draft policy also calls for a “strong and flexible grid”, which would allow for an increasing share of variable renewable energy such as solar and wind, and allows for the expansion of natural gas projects. Reacting to this, Atty. Pedro H. Maniego Jr., senior policy advisor of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, said: “We commend the ADB for issuing this draft of ending coal, even though its main position is over a decade late. Flexible power system which is not reliant on large baseload plants, and able to balance variable supply from renewable energy sources without compromising supply reliability, could have [...]

Projected global temperature falls to 2.4 degrees by 2100

QUEZON CITY, May 6, 2021 -- Projected global mean temperature decreases to 2.4 degrees by 2100 given new climate targets set in Paris Agreement commitments, according to a new analysis released by independent scientific analysis Climate Action Tracker (CAT). Improving by 0.2 degrees from the initial estimate, major contributions to the new CAT rating came from climate action commitments announced during United States President Joe Biden’s Leaders’ Summit - specifically from the US, European Union, China, and Japan, although Japan and China are yet to submit new pledges to the United Nations. The analysis also shows the “optimistic scenario” warming at 2.0 degrees, which can be achieved assuming all net zero targets set in climate pledges are fully implemented. On the other hand, estimated global temperature from current policies is 2.9 degrees, a long way from the initial 1.5 degree Paris Agreement goal. In response, Rex Barrer, climate governance [...]

Salcedo Mayor Melchor Mergal commits to integrate renewable energy in disaster risk reduction

“In a municipality that is prone to disasters, we have to keep abreast with the new technologies that are adaptable, practical and are cost effective. Indeed, energy is not included in our clusters of responses during disasters and emergencies; today’s event gave us the required knowledge how important it is for the energy cluster to be included before, during and after disasters.” Thus spoke Salcedo Mayor Melchor Mergal in the TekPak Orientation and Turnover event under Oxfam’s and Plan International’s B-READY Project held last April 19, 2021 at Salcedo, Eastern Samar a day after Typhoon Bising (Surigae) brought rains and strong winds to Eastern Visayas. About 30 representatives from 5 high risk barangays and the Salcedo MDRRMO were trained by ICSC Innovations Officer Glinly Alvero on proper use and maintenance of solar TekPaks in providing lighting to critical community facilities and powering laptops, satellite phones, handheld radios and mobile [...]

20 Apr 2021|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Philippines submits 1st greenhouse gas reduction target to UN

by Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - April 16, 2021 | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines finally submitted to the United Nations its commitment to cut down greenhouse gas emissions by 75% between 2020 and 2030. The government submitted its first Nationally Determined Contribution to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on Thursday. An NDC outlines the government’s plan to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The country committed to reduce its GHG emissions by 75%—which would come from the sectors of agriculture, wastes, industry, transport and energy—from 2020 to 2030. Of the target, only 72.29% is conditional, while the remaining 2.71% is unconditional, which means it will be undertaken without international funding and assistance. The government said it will do adaptation measures across but not limited to the sectors of agriculture, forestry, coastal and marine ecosystems and biodiversity, health, [...]

Achievable? PH finally submits Paris Agreement pledge

by Ellson Quismorio | April 15, 2021| Published by Manila Bulletin | READ THE STORY HERE The Philippine government has committed to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by a whopping 75 percent between 2020 and 2030 as part of its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement. This was bared in a statement Thursday night, April 15 by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC). ICSC is a Manila-based international policy group advancing climate resilience and low carbon development. The NDC represents the country’s pledged actions to help achieve the goal of the Paris Agreement, which is to limit the rise of global temperature to 1.5-degree Celsius (maximum of 2.0-degree Celsius) from the pre-industrial era, and in effect prevent global warming. Manila is a signatory to the 2015 international accord. Of the 75 percent target, which would come from the agriculture, wastes, industry, transport, [...]

15 Apr 2021|Tags: , , , , |

(UPDATED) PH submits 1st Paris climate plan to UN

QUEZON CITY, 20 April 2021 — The Philippine government has committed last April 15 to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent from 2020 to 2030 in its Paris Agreement commitment or Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) submitted to the United Nations. Of the 75 percent target, which would come from the agriculture, wastes, industry, transport, and energy sectors, 72.29 percent is conditional while the remaining 2.71 percent is unconditional, meaning it will be undertaken without international funding or other support. The government said it shall “also endeavor to undertake equitable adaptation strategies with mitigation co-benefits and ensure their contribution to the national pandemic recovery.” In a statement last Friday, April 16, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said, “The Philippines is submitting an ambitious NDC target of 75-percent reduction of GHG emissions by 2030 in the name of climate justice. The NDC will be our tool to upgrade [...]

Filipinos are cycling their way through the pandemic – The Washington Post

by Regine Cabato and Martin San Diego | March 31, 2021,  The Washington Post | Read the full story here MANILA — Before one of the longest lockdowns in the world, millions in this congested Philippine capital region suffered a hellish daily commute. Trains broke down regularly, and roads were so clogged that the cost of lost productivity was estimated at about $72 million daily. When public transportation ground to a halt because of the coronavirus pandemic, cyclists from all walks of life and bikes of all shapes and sizes took to the road. But Filipino cyclists are up against more than just weather and pollution. Last month, cycling advocates called on the government to spend more than $16 million to build about 190 miles of bike lanes protected from aggressive drivers. And they beat back a plan by officials to require cyclists to wear clear face [...]

Look north, SE Asia urged for climate goals

By PRIME SARMIENTO in Hong Kong | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-03-30 09:45 | Read the story here China's green shift can serve as carbon model for nations in region, experts say China's commitment to reduce emissions could encourage countries in Southeast Asia to become more ambitious in their own responses to climate change, analysts said. As Asia's largest economy pursues low-carbon growth, a key goal emphasized under the nation's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), that transition will nudge governments in the region to rethink their development path and embrace green technologies, they said. "China's outsized global role means its influence in Southeast Asia looms larger," said Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, a think tank in Manila. With China's close diplomatic and trade connections to the region, Constantino said Beijing's latest energy and emissions targets can "trigger a revaluation of investment strategies [...]

30 Mar 2021|Tags: , , , , |

PH can mobilize climate finance amid COVID – experts

QUEZON CITY, 29 March 2021 - Access and accountability in climate finance should go hand in hand to address existing and emerging impacts brought by climate change and COVID-19, experts from the United Nations, Philippine government, civil society, and the private sector said in a recent webinar. “We have to consider this pandemic as an opportunity where we can rethink and to look far beyond that we integrate sustainability and resilience in our recovery plans,” Commissioner Rachel Herrera of the Climate Change Commission (CCC) said last Friday in the third installment of Climate Change and COVID-19: Adapting to Two New Normals, organized by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Manila and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC). Herrera cited the Sustainable Finance Framework of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the climate budget-tagging of government agencies led by the Department of Budget and Management with CCC. She [...]

29 Mar 2021|Tags: , , , , , , |

An e-waste ‘garbage trap’

By JONATHAN L. MAYUGA   MARCH 20, 2021   |  Published by Business Mirror Experts weigh in on emerging PHL’s shift from gas-powered to electric-powered vehicles MANG Rudy was busy one early morning this week fixing a busted taillight of his three-wheeled electric-powered tricycle (e-trike). Maintaining his e-trike is essential for the retired electrician. He relies on the light transport equipment in going to the market as a service vehicle and bringing his grandchildren from home to the gate of their village and back. Electric-powered vehicles (EVs) are slowly but surely gaining use and popularity in the Philippines against the backdrop of an aggressive drive by green groups for an environment-friendly mode of transport to help reduce the country’s carbon footprint and fight climate change. They are easy to maintain and, most of all, do not consume costly fuel, says Mang Rudy, no matter if most, if not [...]

Sec. Cusi bats for GEOP to push PH clean energy scenario

Press release and photos reposted from the Department of Energy Philippines website. TAGUIG CITY – Energy Chief Alfonso G. Cusi on Monday (8 March), invited the participants in the Conference of Parties (COP) 26 Energy Transition Council (ETC) National Dialogue to avail the government’s Green Energy Option Program (GEOP), as the Department of Energy (DOE) promotes Renewable Energy (RE) and Energy Efficiency & Conservation (EE&C) to achieve energy security. GEOP is a RE policy mechanism that provides end-users the option to choose RE resources as their source of energy. GEOP as a non-fiscal incentive mechanism under Section 9, Chapter Ill of Republic Act 9513 or the Philippine RE Act of 2008 ("An Act Promoting the Development, Utilization and Commercialization of Renewable Energy Resources and for Other Purposes''). “I encourage all of you and I invite our participants to avail of our Green Energy Option Program. Your support will serve as [...]

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Engagement Officer, The Climate Reality Project Philippines

The Climate Reality Project (TCRP) Philippines, hosted by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), was re-launched in 2020 with a new approach to place its roster of Climate Reality Leaders and their initiatives at the core of its action plan. It is now activating and mobilizing the diverse and thriving community of 1,200++ Pinoy Climate Reality Leaders and their network to advocate for initiatives and new development approaches in pursuit of genuine and lasting climate resilience for the country. TCRP Philippines is now looking for an Engagement Officer with the following qualifications: Graduate in a relevant discipline (e.g. social studies, organizational development, human resource, public relations, international relations, public policy, communications, or a related field); Minimum of five (5) years' extensive professional experience supporting or managing public relations, project management, program and project monitoring and evaluation, institutional and capacity development; Work experience with any international organization, national [...]

ICSC lauds Metro Manila Bike Lane Network collab of DoTr, DPWH and MMDA

QUEZON CITY, 24 February 2021 — Yesterday, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Benhur Abalos convened a dialogue with representatives from the Department of Transport (DoTr), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and the civil society network Move As One Coalition. Abalos clarified MMDA’s stance that it will not stand in the way of building bike lane network that will traverse EDSA - Metro Manila’s busiest thoroughfare. The 338.53-kilometer proposed bike lane network is part of the Bayanihan II-supported Active Transport Projects identified by DoTr and DPWH. In particular, the interconnected bike lanes that will traverse through EDSA, as per DPWH’s design, will be a combination of Class 2 (separated bike lanes by bollards) and Class 3 (shared roadway in narrow carriageway width portions of EDSA). Reacting to this, Aldrin Pelicano, inclusive transport advisor of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) and founder of MNL Moves, said: [...]


The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) is seeking applicants for the full-time position of Associate for Communications. The Associate will be based at ICSC’s main office in Quezon City. Due to the pandemic, all ICSC staff work remotely, a status subject to periodic evaluation. ICSC values diversity and is an equal opportunity employer. If you fit the role and possess the desired qualifications, please email the following documents to on or before March 12, 2021: Letter of Intent (addressed to ICSC’s Executive Director) Resume (do not attach photos) Portfolio of work samples DOWNLOAD FULL JOB POST

23 Feb 2021|Tags: , , |

DOF pushes for mainstreaming sustainable finance in the Philippines

10 FEBRUARY 2021, Quezon City -- Department of Finance (DOF) Assistant Secretary Paola Alvarez today pushed for the mainstreaming of sustainable finance in the Philippines, involving a whole of government approach and internationally harmonized finance initiatives. “Even if we are doing so much in terms of policy to harness climate finance and to mitigate our disaster risk, we need to put forward on the international platform that the Philippines, a highly vulnerable country with only 0.3% of carbon emissions globally, actually needs international support for us to move forward,” she said in a virtual discussion organized by the Manila-based Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC). The roundtable session, attended by representatives from national government agencies and civil society organizations, is in line with the launch of the Climate Finance Adaptation Study Report for the Philippines, which found that 37 percent of the USD 2.1 billion (PHP 105 billion) of [...]

To be a true climate leader, China should commit to clean energy on the belt and road

Eye on Asia by Xiaojun Wang   | Published by South China Morning Post, 07 Feb 2021 | Read the full story here Last year, for the first time, a greater proportion of China’s overseas energy investment went into renewable energy rather than fossil fuels.Solar, wind and hydropower projects accounted for 57 per cent of China’s overseas energy investment, compared to 39 per cent in 2019, while coal, oil and gas accounted for the remaining 43 per cent, according to Beijing-based think tank Green Belt and Road Initiative Centre.Although coal projects still made up 27 per cent of China’s overseas energy investments, up from 19 per cent in 2019, solar and wind projects have grown similarly to 23 per cent from 15.5 per cent. This all happened without any clear, specific guidance or encouragement from the Chinese government, whose climate announcements fail to mention China’s carbon pollution abroad.Last September, President Xi Jinping told the United [...]

Dominguez calls for bolder collective action vs climate crisis

Published by Department of Finance, 03 February 2021 Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has called for “bolder collective action” in realizing the Philippines’ global commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, starting with the ambitious goal of banning single-use plastics, as it is among the countries most vulnerable to the adverse impact of the climate crisis. Dominguez, who is the chairperson-designate of the Climate Change Commission (CCC), said the Philippines should “aim high” and strive to be a world leader in making a difference in the battle against the climate crisis by crafting a set of science-based, well-studied Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), as part of its long-term commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement. “In a word, we have higher stakes in this global effort than many other nations. I want us to be a world leader in making a difference in this battle against the climate crisis3 I want us to [...]

05 Feb 2021|Tags: , , |

ICSC lauds higher ambition in draft climate plan (Current draft proposes 75% reduction in emission)

3 FEBRUARY 2021, Quezon City – The Department of Finance (DOF) and Climate Change Commission (CCC) today organized a public consultation on the Philippines’ climate action plan, or Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement. The latest draft NDC would see the country committing to reduce emissions by 75 percent, 2.33 percent of which is unconditional, from 2020 to 2030, in the sectors of agriculture, waste, industry, transport, and energy. The country’s Initial Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), submitted in 2015, committed to a fully conditional target of 70 percent below business as usual levels by 2030, meaning it is completely dependent on international funding and other external support. Reacting to this, Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the international policy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, said: “We echo the sense conveyed by the House of Representatives in December 2020, and expect the country’s commitments to the [...]

03 Feb 2021|Tags: , , , , , |

Climate finance key to economic resiliency – experts

The Philippines can utilize climate change and energy transition financing to ensure a thriving, resilient economy, especially with the Department of Finance at the helm, according to two climate finance experts. “Climate finance is crucial, but is limited. We need solid plans to maximize every peso that we have for climate action,” said Angelo Kairos Dela Cruz, deputy executive director of the Manila-based international nonprofit Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), in an online briefing. Dela Cruz shared the results of the Climate Finance Adaptation Study Report for the Philippines, which shows that USD 770 million (PHP 38.5 billion) or 37 percent can be considered as over-reported from the USD 2.1 billion (PHP 105 billion) of adaptation finance for the country reported by donors across 18 assessed projects from 2013 to 2017. ICSC, ACCORD, and CARE in the Philippines identified Japan as the country which has most over-reported [...]

Solar TekPaks and NIWA solar power systems as community charging stations in Dumagat-Remontado communities in Tanay, Rizal

In partnership with the local government of Tanay, Rizal and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Pantawid Pamilya Team, ICSC and 350 Pilipinas turned over 3 solar TekPaks and 3 NIWA solar power systems to the Magata Dumagat Association, the Manggahan Association, and the Magata-Manggahan Tribal Association in Sitios Magata and Manggahan located at Brgy. Laiban, Tanay, Rizal on January 26, 2021. Magata and Manggahan were heavily affected by Typhoon Ulysses last November 2020, houses washed away, crops damaged, and the hanging bridge connecting the two sitios collapsed due to the raging waters of Agus River and flash floods. The solar TekPaks and NIWA power systems will serve as community charging stations in these off-grid communities -- providing light for tribal meetings, women's livelihoods, and children studying at night. These will also charge mobile phones and batteries, and power medical equipment during [...]

Local gov’ts tackle climate, COVID crises for int’l climate adaptation summit

Coron, Mandaue, and Guiuan LGUs launch webinar series with Dutch Embassy, ICSC 26 JANUARY 2020, Quezon City — Local government officials shared their efforts to make their communities resilient from both climate change and COVID-19 in today’s launch of a webinar series for the online international Climate Adaptation Summit hosted this year by the Netherlands. The three-part webinar series, “Climate Change and COVID-19: Adapting to Two New Normals”, is organized by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Manila with the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities. Representatives of the local governments of Coron, Palawan; Mandaue City, Cebu; and Guiuan, Eastern Samar shared how the climate resilience plans and multisectoral networks they have been leading in their respective cities and towns became instrumental in their localities’ response to the pandemic.  “Communities and local governments must have the tools and means to strengthen their resilience and must have a say in [...]

ICSC hails Legarda resolution for ambitious PH climate target

25 JANUARY 2021, Quezon City — The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) applauded House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda’s filing of House Resolution No. 1494, which calls on the Climate Change Commission (CCC) to deliver the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), or climate pledge, to the Paris Agreement. The resolution, filed last January 21, calls on the House of Representatives to ensure the CCC submits the NDC “conveying the highest possible climate ambition in reflection of the government’s strong commitment to climate justice”, not only because of our commitment to the Paris Agreement but also “in solidarity with worldwide vulnerable communities and the global community’s resolve to address the climate emergency and promote a sustainable pandemic recovery.” Reacting to the resolution, Rex Barrer, head of ICSC’s climate governance team, said: “The country needs an ambitious climate action plan that actually reflects major changes underway in the economy. To [...]

25 Jan 2021|Tags: , , , , , |

Midnight. Climate. Survival.

Posted on the Agam Agenda Youtube channel. Seven poets join the call for #MidnightClimateSurvival, urging countries to take stronger climate action now. In response to lines from the poem “Midnight”, by Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner, Ambassador for Culture for the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), the poets speak of the pain of collective loss under the climate crisis but also deliver a message of solidarity, mutuality, and hope. This video poem brings together voices from Majuro, Sagada, Willemsted, Maribojoc, Kathmandu, and the diaspora. Jetñil-Kijiner is joined by Gawani Domogo (Sagada, Philippines), an award-winning indigenous writer recognized for her poetry in Kankanaey; María Faciolince (Curaçao, Colombia), who serves as the Global Voices Producer at Power Shifts Project under Oxfam; Marjorie Evasco (Maribojoc, Philippines), acclaimed Filipino poet whose work has won numerous national and international literary prizes; Pratibha Tuladhar (Kathmandu, Nepal), poet and journalist for over a decade; Luisa Igloria (Baguio, Philippines), Poet Laureate [...]

Climate emergency declaration empty without solid Paris pledge

MANILA, 4 DECEMBER 2020 — The House of Representatives’ Committee on Climate Change convened an online hearing today with the Cabinet cluster on climate change to confirm the country’s submission of an enhanced national climate action target (known as Nationally Determined Contribution, or NDC) by the end of the year.Committee chair Rep. Edgar Chatto, of the First District of Bohol, stressed that President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly invited other climate vulnerable countries to join the country in demanding climate justice and called on developed nations to cut their emissions in accordance with the Paris Agreement, most recently during last September’s United Nations General Assembly and last month’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit.All agencies have sent their sectoral NDC submissions to the Climate Change Commission (CCC), which is currently consolidating them for submission to the UN within the month, said CCC Commissioner Rachel Herrera.Department of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Analiza Teh, [...]

Sotto, Velasco, Legarda, Chatto join solons’ global call for climate action

25 November 2020, DHAKA — Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, and House Committee on Climate Change Chair Edgar Chatto last night met virtually with fellow lawmakers from the 48-member-nation Climate Vulnerable Forum to call for more ambitious climate action globally. Legislators from the Philippines and Bangladesh will submit motions in the coming days calling on all countries to deliver their enhanced national climate action targets (known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs) to the UN climate convention before midnight on 31 December, the first deadline for all countries to increase ambition since the Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015. “We clearly recognize that the best available science mandates us to build the resilience of our communities in order to face the worsening impacts of climate change, as well as pursue green economic development,” said Senator Sotto, who mentioned [...]

#CCCWeek2020: Adapting For A Sustainable Future

Join our pool of experts from the Climate Change Commission PH National Panel of Technical Experts, ICSC, Philippine Commission on Women, DILG Philippines, Commission on Population and Development, and The Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women (ARROW) as they discuss the nexus of climate change, health, and gender towards transitioning to a better normal this Tuesday, November 24, 9AM to 12NN via Zoom and Facebook Live. "Climate Change and Health: A Gender Lens" is an online dialogue organized by the Climate Change Commission, in partnership with ICSC and ARROW's Women and Earth Initiative (WORTH), as part of the 13th Global Warming and Climate Change Consciousness Week with the theme "Adapting For A Sustainable Future" Check out the activities lined up for the #CCCWeek2020 from November 18 to 25.

20 Nov 2020|

About 150 nations due to deliver stronger climate plans in 2020, tracker shows

Reposting from Reuters:   By Megan Rowling BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More than three-quarters of countries have indicated they will make stronger commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change by the end of 2020, despite the economic strain of the coronavirus pandemic, a new tracker showed on Tuesday. According to the tool, launched by the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) of developing countries, 151 governments have confirmed their intention to meet a U.N. deadline to raise their targets to cut planet-warming emissions over the next decade. Of those, 120 nations affirmed they would submit updated climate action plans since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, suggesting they are aiming for a green recovery, the CVF noted. “The lion’s share of nations have committed to deliver on Paris Agreement obligations this year, with stronger 2030 climate targets,” said Shahab Uddin, environment minister of Bangladesh, which is currently chairing the CVF. [...]

18 Nov 2020|Tags: , |

CALL FOR DONATIONS for the typhoon victims

Our heartfelt appreciation once again for your donations. We have updated our donation drive information to include the affected communities by Typhoon Ulysses. You may continue to send or drop off your in-kind donations to The Climate Reality Project Philippines office at Unit706, FSS Building II, Scout Tuazon St., Quezon City. You may also donate to the following addresses starting Monday until November 30, during weekdays, from 10AM - 2PM: - Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities: 89B, Scout Dr. Lazcano St., Quezon City - Hertz Office: Somerset Olympia Building, 7912 Makati Ave., Makati City You may also donate in cash via the following channels: - GCASH: Cheryl Guilas – 0917.813.1562 - PAYMAYA: Mary Ann Calma Santoalla – 0939.922.6933 Please also help us track your donations by filling out this form: We will be regularly posting updates on your donations in the spirit of transparency. Thank you very much. #UlyssesPH [...]

ANC: Typhoons are normal, but climate change supercharging

"Blaming typhoon[s completely] on climate change is not only unscientific, but it also dilutes critical accountability issues among government agencies and other key players." In the face of massive destruction from back-to-back powerful storms, Kairos Dela Cruz, Deputy Executive Director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, calls on authorities to address the issue by improving local and national risk reduction and management coordination and coming up with longer-term intervention plans.  

In policy tweak, ADB says to help DMCs cut coal use

Reposting from BusinessMirror By Cai Ordinario November 13, 2020 THE Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced that it will be revising its energy policy to help its developing member countries (DMCs) reduce their dependence on coal. ADB’s Energy Sector Group Chief Yongping Zhai said part of the reason for the revision of ADB’s energy policy is the recent findings of the Independent Evaluation Department (IED) of the bank’s energy investments. Zhai: “The low-carbon energy transition will be a big challenge in Asia because most countries have depended on fossil fuels for a long time—and coal in particular.” The IED cited a need for ADB to clarify its formal institutional position regarding the financing and use of coal energy resources, even if it has refrained from investing in coal-fired power plants since 2013. “The low-carbon energy transition will be a big challenge in Asia because most countries have depended on [...]

13 Nov 2020|Tags: , , , |

Biden victory a good jump off point for int’l climate policy: ICSC

09 November 2020 -- The victory of United States President-Elect Joseph Biden can give the world a fighting chance to survive and thrive both the COVID and climate crises, but only if grassroots groups and world leaders hold his administration to its promises, according to the Manila-based NGO Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities. Denise Fontanilla, Associate for Policy Advocacy of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, said: "As US President-Elect Joseph Biden himself has said, his victory is a clear mandate for actions not only on COVID-19 and the economy but also climate change and equality. It puts the US back on the international fight against climate change, and gives them the chance to catch up with other major economies in flattening both the COVID and climate curves. “Biden’s win means it is time for US grassroots groups and the rest of the world, especially vulnerable countries [...]

Diokno, Legarda tell executives to factor in climate risk in corporate strategy

MAKATI CITY, 30 October 2020 -- Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor Benjamin Diokno and House deputy speaker Loren Legarda challenged executives to integrate the physical and transition risks brought about by climate change in their planning and decision-making. “The financial sector holds a unique position in advancing the sustainability agenda. We cannot leave climate change and sustainability as only the government's priority,” Diokno told members of the Institute of Corporate Directors in a virtual conference it organized yesterday with the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) and The Climate Reality Project (TCRP) Philippines. “The COVID-19 pandemic provides a window of opportunity for reshaping the industry's future - we must learn from it and build a climate resilient, green, and sustainable economy.”  BSP managing director Lyn Javier commented that Department of Energy (DOE) secretary Alfonso Cusi’s announcement of a moratorium on new coal plants last Tuesday was a [...]

First Mobility Awards hails Pasig, San Juan, Marikina as most bike-friendly cities in NCR

Groups also honor bike riders and bike-friendly malls, offices METRO MANILA, 29 October 2020 – Pasig, San Juan, and Marikina are the most bicycle-friendly cities in Metro Manila, according to organizers of the first ever Mobility Awards, while the SM Mall of Asia, SM Marikina, and Bonifacio High Street were judges as the most bike-friendly commercial establishments in the metro. “I’m very honored that San Juan has been chosen for this, and it gives me a lot of added inspiration to continue making San Juan bike-friendly,” said Mayor Francis Zamora who accepted the Gold Award in a recorded message. He mentioned their local government’s installation of dedicated bike lanes and new LED lights on sidewalks, and passing of bike safety ordinances. He also announced that a solar-powered bike stop is in the works in San Juan. “I also bike every day. It’s part of my daily routine to join [...]

29 Oct 2020|Tags: , |

ICSC lauds DOE moratorium on new coal plants

28 October 2020 — The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities applauds and fully supports Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s announcement yesterday of a moratorium on new coal plants. Atty. Pedro H. Maniego Jr., senior policy advisor of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, chairman of the Energy Lawyers Association of the Philippines, and former chairman of the National Renewable Energy Board, stated: “By declaring a moratorium on new coal plants, Secretary Cusi is adhering to DOE’s mandate to enable competition in the energy sector and provide reliable and cost effective power, while giving preference to indigenous and clean energy sources. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the risks of over-dependence on inflexible base-load plants mainly coal, as well as the need for the country’s transition to a modern, flexible power system utilizing renewable energy with near zero marginal cost.” “Secretary Cusi’s initiative is in line with [...]

28 Oct 2020|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Delivery companies honor cyclist riders through Mobility Awards

QUEZON CITY, 27 October 2020 - Delivery companies honor their outstanding cyclist riders, naming them as nominees for the Padyak! Power to the People special awards of the Mobility Awards during the second installment of the Moving Towards Mobility webinar series. Representatives from Grab Philippines, Foodpanda Philippines, Gofer, and Padyak Padala PH joined the online discussion to feature the stories of their cyclist messengers and delivery riders, who regularly deal with reckless drivers, weather traffic, heat, rain, and other road hazards, and who continuously face the threat of COVID-19 to deliver our much needed parcels. The Padyak! Power to the People nominees come from different walks of life. Most are breadwinners of their families; there are also women cyclists, persons with disabilities (PWD), and young adults whose lives were affected heavily by the pandemic, and who pedaled for their families to survive and thrive. “We chose our nominees based on [...]

Group lauds efforts of LGUs and private sector towards sustainable urban mobility

Posted on the Mobility Awards. REACTIVE QUEZON CITY, October 22, 2020 – To mark World Cities Day this coming October 31, local government chief executives in Metro Manila and a major private entity in the Philippines called for collaborative action in order to establish active mobility in the country’s long-term development strategies. “We must engage our government, let's demand for bike lanes, let's demand for better public transportation, let's demand for a more equitable system for all. Together, we can make a better normal for everyone,” Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto said in an online discussion co-organized by Antique Representative and Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda and the Climate Change Commission. Photo lifted from Congresswoman Loren Legarda's Facebook page. “As a mayor, nakikita ko yung problema because I bike every day. When you're biking, your perspective is very different compared to when you're driving in your car. Cycling [...]

Private sector pushes for sustainability: ICD to hold webinars with ICSC, Climate Reality PH

PRESS RELEASE Private sector pushes for sustainability: ICD to hold webinars with ICSC, Climate Reality PH   MAKATI, 12 October 2020 -- The Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), in partnership with the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) and The Climate Reality Project (CRP) Philippines, is having a three-part webinar series on sustainability this October 21 and 29, and November 5, 2020. The “Pilipinas: Aspire, Rise, Sustain” series is certified by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as participation in this webinar meets the recommended best practices for continuing directors education prescribed by the SEC. It aims to help directors and management (1) define the role of corporate boards towards a more sustainable and resilient future; (2) integrate climate risks to businesses through the Sustainability Finance Policy Framework; and (3) understand the importance of sustainability reporting and how it adds value for businesses. The first webinar, to be led [...]

12 Oct 2020|Tags: , , , |

Mobility Awards bares list of first 50 LGUs, workplaces, establishments voted as most bike-friendly in Metro Manila

Posted on the Mobility Awards. QUEZON CITY, 09 October 2020 -- Ten cities, 10 workplaces, and 30 commercial establishments (including 19 malls)  have been nominated as the most bike-friendly in Metro Manila for the Mobility Awards, according to organizers. The Mobility Awards aims to help prioritize the needs of the majority of Filipinos who do not have cars. This inaugural round will focus on cycling in Metro Manila, where 88% of households do not own cars, but organizers hope to hold the awards nationwide in the future, according to judges from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), MNL Moves, The Climate Reality Project (TCRP) Philippines, 350 Pilipinas, and the Pinay Bike Commuter Community who held a press briefing this morning. The 50 initial nominees as of 3 PM today are:  10 local government units: San Juan, Pasig, Caloocan, Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, Marikina, Muntinlupa, Quezon City and Taguig [...]

Climate Vulnerable Countries Call on all Nations to Submit Improved NDCs by Midnight on 31 December 2020  – a Survival Deadline for the Climate

7 October 2020, DHAKA/NEW YORK: The leaders from the world’s most climate vulnerable nations called on all countries to fulfil their commitments under the Paris Agreement, and submit improved Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by midnight on 31 December 2020, a survival deadline for the climate. The NDCs are commitments of what each country is planning to do in order to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, as well as adapt to climate change. Speaking at a Climate Vulnerable Forum event held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, presided over by Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, a South Asian nation critically vulnerable to a multitude of climate dangers, leaders underscored the vital importance of meeting this year’s NDC deadline agreed in Paris five years ago. Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina said:  “Today we are at the most important crossroad of human history, facing the gravest global [...]

08 Oct 2020|Tags: , , , , , |

Experts call for collaborative climate action in Asia amid pandemic

From left to right: Dr. Mahawan Karuniasa, Ms Lourdes Tibig, Dr. Felino Lansigan JAKARTA, 30 September 2020 -- Climate scientists across Asia, as well as COP26 and UN climate representatives, called for urgent action and stronger collaboration in addressing climate change in developing countries, despite the setbacks brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In an international virtual conference hosted by the APIK Indonesia Network (Indonesia Expert Network for Climate Change and Forestry), its chairman Dr. Mahawan Karuniasa emphasized the need for a low carbon and sustainable recovery from the pandemic. “Learning from COVID-19, we need to strengthen our stakeholder engagement, build better solidarity, and implement science-based actions in facing the climate crisis,” he said. The conference was officially opened by Dr. Ruandha Sugardiman, Director General of Climate Change of the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry. “The world is still not on track to reach the Paris [...]

REACTIVE: ICSC lauds Duterte’s UNGA call to address climate change as urgently as COVID-19 

MANILA, 23 September 2020 – President Rodrigo Duterte called on world leaders in his first ever speech to the United Nations General Assembly to address climate change as urgently as the COVID-19 pandemic. “The same urgency needed to fight COVID-19 is needed to address the climate crisis. This is a global challenge that has worsened existing inequalities and vulnerabilities from within and between nations. Climate change has worsened the ravages of the pandemic. People in developing countries like the Philippines suffer the most. We cannot afford to suffer more,” Duterte said. “The Philippines joined the Paris Agreement to fight climate change. We call on all parties, especially those who have not made good [on] their commitment to fight climate change, to honor the same,” he added. Reacting to this statement, Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the Manila-based policy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, said: “The Philippine [...]

Mobility Awards launched on World Car Free Day

MANILA, 22 September 2020 – The first ever Mobility Awards was launched today, in celebration of World Car Free Day and to recognize the most bike-friendly cities, workplaces, and commercial establishments in Metro Manila. The awards aim to spur concerted action among  government, commuters, and the private sector to make a bikeable Metro Manila, according to organizing groups Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), MNL Moves, The Climate Reality Project Philippines (TCRP Philippines), and 350 Pilipinas. “It’s a fact 88 percent of households in Metro Manila don’t own cars. They are the majority and should be the priority, not the 12 percent who have at least one car. Promoting cycling is certainly not the only solution, as active mobility requires improving walkability and public transport, but protecting the growing number of cyclists and encouraging others to bike is a real step in the right direction. Let’s make a [...]

Owning the sun

Lifting the 60/40 equity yoke on Renewable Energy investments, as advocated by DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, sparks an interesting debate on the ownership limits for RE. By Pedro Maniego Jr. | Published in Business Mirror - September 19, 2020 I’M looking at allowing 100-percent investment or ownership in renewables.” Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi made this bold statement during an online forum of the Philippine Energy Independence Council in July. Cusi was also quoted having said he is “hoping it could be done with a circular through DOE, but if not, I will go through legislation. I will seek the help of the Joint Congressional Energy Commission to help expedite that so we can accelerate the development of renewables in our country.” We agree with Cusi. The need to attract investments in renewable energy (RE) is urgent. It’s high time we tackled the 60/40 equity requirement [...]

Mobility, a feature of democracy? But 88% of Metro Manila is at the losing end

by Maria Golda Hilario  |  Published in September 15, 2020 The world marks the International Day of Democracy every 15th of September. The United Nations has renewed calls for states to respect and protect human rights as the world responds to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a great day to think about mobility, one of the most essential yet neglected features of modern society. Broadly speaking, we can consider mobility as the ability of citizens to safely move or travel with ease and comfort in the country. It is about freedom of movement and as a right it is enshrined in our Constitution and should be enjoyed by all, in particular the great majority of our population, who happen to be commuters. Google’s community mobility reports suggest that since the start of community quarantine restrictions in mid-March, the movement of people nationwide within public [...]

MMDA Counts

A joint statement by MNL Moves and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities Today we mark with the rest of the world the very first International Day of Clean Air for blue skies, a declaration by the UN General Assembly that underscores the importance of clean air to everyday lives and human health. We have much to contribute to advancing the common goal of breathable, livable cities. Data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) National Emissions Inventory from 2018 to 2015 shows that 65 percent of nationwide air pollutants come from mobile sources such as cars, motorcycles, trucks and buses. In the National Capital Region (NCR) alone, 88 percent of the air pollution comes from mobile sources. Back in February, MNL Moves and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) reached out to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA). We expressed our desire to [...]

Experts back DOE, Meralco lead in energy transition

MANILA, 24 August 2020 – Energy policy experts today affirmed an energy transition is well underway in the Philippines, thanks to bold moves from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the country's largest utility, Meralco. "Debates on pandemic-related power bills are far from resolved but we also believe it's important to share our view that power sector managers have been making the right moves to protect consumer interests for the long haul," said Alberto Dalusung III, energy transition advisor of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities or ICSC at an online briefing held today. "At a time when the public is dealing with so much daily bad news, it's critical to point to acts of leadership from government and businesses like Meralco." "Meralco followed the DOE's lead dropping the onerous automatic pass-through provision in its new power contracts so that its customers are protected from fuel price volatility and [...]

Energy experts, DOE to discuss future-proofing the Philippine energy market in Aug. 24 press briefing

CONTACT: AC Dimatatac, ICSC Media Coordinator: +63 998 5469788, WHAT: Online press briefing on the current status of the Philippine energy transition and future-proofing the energy market amid the COVID-19 crisis, in line with the opinion piece published in BusinessMirror last August 15, authored by Sara Jane Ahmed and Alberto Dalusung III WHEN AND WHERE: Monday, 24 August, 10AM via Facebook Live WHO: Energy experts, composed specifically of the op-ed authors and the Department of Energy Sara Jane Ahmed, Energy Finance Analyst, Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) Alberto Dalusung III, Energy Transition Advisor, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) Felix William Fuentebella, Undersecretary, Department of Energy (TBC) Renato Redentor Constantino, Executive Director, ICSC (moderator) WHY: In this press briefing, authors Sara Jane Ahmed and Alberto Dalusung III will discuss future-proofing the Philippine energy market –and the ways in which different actors [...]

Is DOE at the tip of the energy transition spear?

Published in Business Mirror, 15 August 2020 by Sara Jane Ahmed & Alberto Dalusung III IN recent days, the country’s energy sector has been abuzz with talk from the energy managers of a drive to accelerate indigenous energy development. This is driven by the experience of the real fears of imported fuel supply insecurity for the whole energy sector at the onset of the pandemic,especially for the power sector. In private and public fora, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has encouraged bolder development of renewable energy. This drive is both patriotic and scientific. Rapid technological development driving the transition to a low-carbon economy means that electricity should no longer be expensive. Variable renewable energy can now meet or undercut the price of power from the electricity grid while cannibalizing the market for more expensive coal-based generation. This realization has led Meralco, the country’s largest utility company, to acknowledge the risk of [...]

ICSC echoes doctors, transport advocates’ call for safe mobility for majority

QUEZON CITY, 4 August 2020 — Medical professionals led by the Philippine College of Physicians today called for safe and sufficient public transportation for health workers and frontliners, echoing recommendations by the Move As One coalition of mobility advocates and transport groups to prioritize service contracting for public utility vehicles and pop-up bicycle lanes. “We, with the Healthcare Professions Alliance [against COVID-19], call for an urgent meeting with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), specifically through Secretary Tugade and Director Lim. Time for this MECQ is running out, we only have 13 days left. We have to address issues on sufficient transportation after the MECQ, even during. Healthcare and essential services continue to operate during the MECQ, yet it is clear that we lack transportation options for all, especially healthcare workers. The public health standards for safe transportation have not been released, we [...]

NGO reacts to Duterte statement that coal to be used for 30 more years, solar still not feasible

MANILA, 14 July 2020 – In a recorded speech aired this morning, President Rodrigo Duterte told military troops in Jolo yesterday he was “ready to open the borders” for trade, including for “big time coal.” He added that “coal will be used for the next 30 years” and solar technology is still unsustainable.Reacting to this statement, Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the Manila-based climate and energy policy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, said:“Importing and burning more coal would not help the Philippines build back better. Coal is a losing proposition. In the country, new coal is a threat to grid stability and public interest if we do not take steps to protect the economy from the terminal decline of coal as a power source. If companies are foolish enough to pursue this course, the company itself, rather than working families and small businesses, should wholly bear the [...]

14 Jul 2020|Tags: , , , , , , |

ICSC joins distribution of hygiene kits in Bulacan amid COVID-19

CITY OF MALOLOS, 30 June 2020 – Over 1,400 households in Malolos and Paombong town in Bulacan received hygiene kits last weekend as part of the COVID-19 response of Partners for Resilience and Catholic Organization for Relief and Development Aid (Cordaid) with the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Malolos’ Commission on Social Action (CSA). Partners for Resilience is an alliance of Cordaid and four other Netherlands-based humanitarian, development and environmental organizations. Cordaid Philippines, ICSC, and the Malolos CSA have been gearing up to help the two LGUs develop their climate and disaster risk assessments to contribute to the Manila Bay Development Master Plan when the pandemic began. “There was no doubt that the program needed to adapt and respond to the urgent and pressing needs of the people of Malolos and Paombong. We hope the hygiene kits will help protect them against COVID-19, [...]

“Liberate the 88%!”: Rep. Legarda echoes experts’ calls to prioritize Metro Manila majority of non-car owners

QUEZON CITY, June 11, 2020 – On the eve of Independence Day, Antique Representative and Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda headed a multisectoral call for government to move people, not cars, as the mobility talks she co-organized with the Climate Change Commission [1] revolved around research that 88% of households in Metro Manila and the rest of the Greater Manila Area do not own cars, while the remaining 12% own at least one [2]. “What we want now is nothing less than the liberation of 88% of Metro Manila households who, because they do not have the fortune of owning cars, they remain imprisoned by the lack of inclusive sustainable mobility options. And as long as we in government prioritize the minority, which is only 12% of households who own cars, how can we call ourselves free?” Rep. Legarda said. “Happy Independence from fossil fuels! Happy Independence from rigid, outdated [...]

Covid-19: Lessons for the Philippine power sector

Published in Business Mirror, 08 June 2020 DOWNLOAD PDF By Sara Jane Ahmed, Alberto Dalusung III, Jose Logarta Jr., and Pete Maniego Jr. WHEN the novel coronavirus first appeared in China late last year, nobody expected that the new disease, officially dubbed Covid-19 by the World Health Organization in February 2020, would become a global pandemic. Advanced and developing economies were ill prepared for its impact. Public health systems were overwhelmed. Broad and restrictive quarantine measures, including lockdowns, were imposed, severely restricting global and domestic economic activity. The preliminary numbers indicate the impact on the global economy will be worse than the financially-induced global recession in 2007-2009. The country’s financial and economic managers strived to mitigate the pandemic’s effects on the marginalized sectors by realigning budgets and mobilizing new funds from borrowings. Opportunely, the country’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals made this possible. The spread of the virus [...]

Flatten the COVID-19 and climate curves

Below is the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities' statement at the 04 June 2020 hearing of the House of Representatives' Committee on Climate Change, as delivered by ICSC executive director Renato Redentor Constantino. The Committee, chaired by Rep. Edgar Chatto, considered House Resolutions 724 and 761, calling for the declaration of a climate emergency and briefing on the programs and activities of concerned government agencies on climate change and the environment in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Good morning colleagues.We wish to thank the House Committee on Climate Change, ably chaired by Rep. Edgar Chatto and supported by the always professional Committee Secretariat, for organizing this hearing.As an international climate policy group based in Metro Manila, we are eager to contribute some insights to the discussion. We wish to do so by recalling the memory of former Senator Heherson Alvarez, who passed away recently. The memory of [...]

04 Jun 2020|Tags: , , , |

ICSC calls on executive to support Legarda’s call to move people, not cars

QUEZON CITY, 22 May 2020 – Antique Representative and Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda today called on the Metro Manila Council under the Metro Manila Development Authority to set up protected bike lanes and develop a bike masterplan. This was followed by Col. Edison ‘Bong’ Nebrija, MMDA traffic operations chief, commenting this morning that "we are moving towards the New Normal with many citizens advocating for sustainable and inclusive mobility. I’m glad our lawmakers are stepping up to make this possible." Reacting to this, Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the climate and energy policy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), said: “Representative Loren Legarda´s move is the kind of leadership the country needs as the public grapples with the pandemic and the worsening climate crisis. Her call was already common sense before the onset of COVID-19 and it´s even more urgent now to look far ahead [...]

Philippine central bank signs sustainable finance framework

30 April 2020 — The Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) signed yesterday its Sustainable Finance Framework recognizing that “physical and transition risks arising from climate change could result in significant societal, economic and financial risks affecting the banks and their stakeholders.” The framework also includes green finance for climate change adaptation and mitigation projects in its definition of sustainable finance. Experts say the BSP framework sets the precedence to start not only pricing climate and transition risk, but also valuing climate-resilient and low-carbon opportunities. The Sustainable Finance Framework was published as BSP Circular No. 1085, Series of 2020, as posted below.

Together against climate change

Reposted from südostasien, read original article here. By Denise Margaret Matias & Danica Marie Supnet Southeast Asia/Philippines: Although the region is strongly affected by the consequences of climate change, representatives from Southeast Asia are hardly present in international climate committees. Cross-sectoral cooperation from local to international level is essential to combat the causes of climate change and mitigate its consequences. While the effects of climate change in Southeast Asia are primarily strong typhoons and floods are known, the so-called slow onset events (SOE) also have serious consequences. Among the SOEs are rising sea levels, rising temperatures, ocean acidification, glacier retreat, salinisation, deforestation, loss of biodiversity and desertification. The gradual development of SOEs sometimes makes them invisible to the climate regime. Their direct attribution to anthropogenic climate change is not always easy to determine. Politicians negotiate without the bid of urgency Coral bleaching in the Boronayan reef in Guiuan [...]

Heherson Alvarez, in memoriam

by Renato Redentor Constantino, 20 April 2020 To friends he was Sonny Alvarez, a man who carried many titles in his storied life. Senator and congressman, oppositionist and cabinet secretary, human rights advocate and environmentalist. As politicians go, he was imperfect, as pretty much all politicians are, especially those who've stayed in the public eye long enough. But he made his mark indelible in many areas — ahead of most who today have acquired the platform he once dominated through sheer will and perseverance, and as a result it is easy to reach a conclusion only a few will ever enjoy: in the end Heherson Alvarez served his country well. It is easy to dismiss politicians, particularly in our current period and its toxic habit of framing every debate with maximal partisan politics and creating a quarrel between caricatures — a brutish ruling regime and its troglodyte supporters versus [...]

20 Apr 2020|Tags: , , |

Solons, DOE support transition to renewable energy

PRESS RELEASE Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities Solons, DOE support transition to renewable energy HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 26 February 2020 – Members of the House of Representatives today convened national government agencies to ensure that they are acting on climate change and fast-tracking the country’s energy transition. Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda made an impassioned call for government agencies to do their utmost to implement climate and environment laws, and elaborated on House Bill No. 2184, her proposed measure to encourage low carbon development. The bill was the agenda of the House climate committee along with the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). “Will it benefit the country to become low-carbon? It makes good economic and environmental sense. It is good adaptation for local vulnerable communities,” Rep. Legarda said. “There is scientific basis to not do coal because it will be a stranded asset financially and economically, and technically the grid [...]

Impact of rising sea levels on the Philippines earns global coverage

By Catalina Ricci S. Madarang   February 25, 2020 Published by Interaksyon Homes of millions of Filipinos living in coastal and low-lying areas are at risk of being submerged due to rising ocean and sea levels as an effect of global climate change. The impact on the City of Manila and Batasan Island in Bohol, home to more than 14 million Filipinos combined, and how the residents adapt to their situations were covered by the New York Times this February. The sprawling metropolis is also one of the areas in the Philippines projected to be consumed by waters in the next three decades, according to a study by Climate Central. How Batasan Island adapts An article from The New York Times recounts how the residents of Batasan Island, a small community in Bohol of around 1,400 people, are coping amid rising sea levels. The island, part of the Tubigon [...]

25 Feb 2020|Tags: , |

Is coal dying, or dead, in the Philippines?

Reposted from BusinessMirror, read original article here. By Viking Logarta & Sara Jane Ahmed Yes to the first, and a nuanced no to the second. President Duterte said in his State of the Nation Address last year: “We recognize the urgent need to ensure the sustainability and availability of resources, and the development of alternative ones. In this regard, I trust that Secretary Cusi shall fast-track also the development of renewable-energy sources, and reduce dependence on the traditional energy sources, such as coal.” The Department of Energy (DOE) is not only aware of this growing dependence and growing grid instability as a result, but also welcome support to help address challenges of the rapidly developing power sector terrain. The DOE has determined that there is already an excess of coal plant capacity (and of other so-called base load capacity) in the grids, causing instability. It is not just coal, [...]

A Crisis Right Now: San Francisco and Manila Face Rising Seas

Somini Sengupta, The New York Times global climate reporter, and Chang W. Lee, a photographer for The Times, traveled to the Philippines and California to see how rising sea levels are affecting two big metropolitan areas. Published Feb. 13, 2020 in New York Times What do you do when the sea comes for your home, your school, your church? You could try to hold back the water. Or you could raise your house. Or you could just leave. An estimated 600 million people live directly on the world’s coastlines, among the most hazardous places to be in the era of climate change. According to scientific projections, the oceans stand to rise by one to four feet by the end of the century, with projections of more ferocious storms and higher tides that could upend the lives of entire communities. Many people face the risks right now. Two sprawling metropolitan [...]

13 Feb 2020|Tags: , , |

OPINION: Is the Philippine national grid vulnerable to cyber-attacks?

by Jessa Ibañez and Kenneth Daniel Quesada, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities Pusblished in ABS-CBN News, Feb 11, 2020 Grid security was identified as an urgent national concern in last week’s Senate energy hearing, given not only that the State Grid Corporation of China's 40 percent ownership of the national grid operating concession but also increased cyber-terrorism activity globally. The Department of Energy (DOE) and National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) have been demanding the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to submit themselves to a technical audit since 2017, but this call is now more imperative as NGCP president and CEO Anthony Almeda divulged that the NGCP has come under attack “a hundred times already” in the preceding two weeks alone. “Cyber-attacks on a power grid is becoming a reality,” Senator Sherwin Gatchalian warned during the hearing, in light of the unprecedented hack on Ukraine’s power grid last [...]

Alas ng Bayan exhibit opens in UP College of Fine Arts for Arts Month

QUEZON CITY, 6 February 2020 -- The pioneering art exhibit Alas ng Bayan opened its two-week run today at the University of the Philippines Diliman’s College of Fine Arts, marking National Arts Month. “Alas ng Bayan couldn’t be more timely in these trying times. We look for heroes, we look for hope, we look for a future. To look back may help us move forward,” UP CFA Dean Mitzi Marie Aguilar-Reyes said as she opened the exhibit. It will be hosted by the college’s Corredor Gallery until February 19. The ‘herstory’ exhibit, jointly organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), the Constantino Foundation, and 350 Pilipinas, features the paintings of five Filipina heroines who resisted national oppression, social injustice, and false gender narratives across different junctures of Philippine history: Gregoria de Jesus (Lakambini ng Katipunan), Apolonia Catra (lone recorded Filipina soldier with Macario Sakay's forces), Remedios Gomez-Paraiso [...]

Alas Ng Bayan opens in De La Salle University

The Alas Ng Bayan exhibit opened at the De La Salle University (DLSU) on January 27, 2020 and will run up to January 31. Jointly organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, the Constantino Foundation, and 350 Pilipinas, the exhibit launched at The Learning Commons of DLSU, hosted by the university’s Department of History and the Libraries. Dr. Ma. Florina Orillos-Juan, chair and associate professor of the DLSU Department of History, welcomed the organizers, fellow faculty and history students to the launch, noting that women have been regarded as footnotes in Philippine history. By putting a spotlight on Gregoria “Oriang” de Jesus, Apolonia Catra, Remedios “Kumander Liwayway” Gomez-Paraiso, Lorena Barros, and Gloria Capitan, the exhibit aims to raise awareness about the intersections between women, history, memory, climate change, and citizenship. “Our intention is to inject history and feminism as fundamental elements in the way young people respond to [...]

28 Jan 2020|Tags: , , , |

Climate Risks increasing worldwide – even for High-Income Countries

Global Climate Risk Index: Japan and Germany hit hardest by heat waves and drought in 2018 Philippines on rank 2 struck by tropical cyclones Puerto Rico, Myanmar and Haiti with highest weather-related losses 1999 - 2018 Nearly 500,000 people killed as a result of more than 12,000 extreme weather events that caused 3.5 trillion US-Dollars in damages Madrid (4th Dec. 2019). Severe heat waves, drought and flooding: Extreme weather events are massive challenges especially for poor and vulnerable countries - but also high-income countries are threatened more and more by climate risks. The Global Climate Risk Index, published today by the environmental think tank Germanwatch, shows that in 2018 industrialized countries like Japan and Germany were hit hardest by heat waves and severe drought. The Philippines were hit by the most powerful typhoon recorded worldwide in 2018. Looking at the years from 1999 to 2018, poor countries had to face [...]

05 Dec 2019|Tags: , , |

Vulnerable Leaders Call: COP25 must secure 2020 action for survival of nations

Vulnerable nations call for COP25 decision to increase ambition of NDCs in 2020 Aim to mobilize $20 billion in the next two years to finance innovations for vulnerable economies Call for UN Special Rapporteur on climate change backed by new vulnerable nations’ Fund Bangladesh announced as incoming Climate Vulnerable Forum Chair for 2020 Download the press release in English (pdf, 0.2mb) View the entire event (hi-res video) Madrid, 2nd December 2019 – Heads of state and government from the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) today linked the survival of vulnerable nations to all parties to the Paris Agreement delivering new nationally determined contributions by 2020 to safeguard the 1.5C degrees limit to warming. The leaders called for a COP25 decision for all nations to adopt higher ambition efforts by next year. President Hilda Heine of the Marshall Islands said: “The most vulnerable already face death row. Not coming forward with a [...]

02 Dec 2019|Tags: , , , , |

5 Filipina heroines lauded in new ‘Alas ng Bayan’ exhibit

PRESS RELEASE QUEZON CITY, 25 November 2019 – A ‘herstory’ exhibit was opened at the University of the Philippines Diliman’s Asian Center today, featuring the paintings of five Filipinas who resisted national oppression, social injustice, and rank misogyny throughout the country’s history. Dubbed ‘Alas ng Bayan’ the exhibit showcases the lives of Gregoria ‘Oriang’ de Jesus (Lakambini ng Katipunan), Apolonia Catra (lone recorded woman officer with Macario Sakay's forces), Remedios Gomez-Paraiso (Hukbalahap's Kumander Liwayway), Lorena Barros (Martial Law activist), and Gloria Capitan (Bataan anti-coal activist). The exhibit is being organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), Constantino Foundation, and Pilipinas to raise awareness on the intersections between women, history, memory, climate change, and citizenship. “We have been taught about the lives of Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio since grade school, while women heroes are rarely featured in history lessons. ‘Alas ng Bayan’ aims to correct [...]

Gov’t, finance sector unite for more accessible climate finance for LGUs

PASAY CITY, 19 November 2019 -- Representatives from the Climate Change Commission (CCC), the finance sector, civil society, and local government units discussed here today how to make climate finance more accessible in the country as part of the week-long celebration of National Climate Change Consciousness Week.“Now more than ever, we need to ensure the mobilization of finance flows towards the adaptation needs of our most vulnerable communities,” said Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman as he opened the event organized by CCC in partnership with the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC). “We need to do this faster, we need it to be in greater scale, and we need to be more responsive.”Speakers from CCC, Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), and Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) shared the current state of climate finance and existing finance mechanisms available in the country, including the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) and [...]

PH corporate directors to address climate change, sustainability in forum

Institute of Corporate Directors Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities Ayala Corporation PRESS RELEASE MAKATI, 14 November 2019 – The Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), in partnership with the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) and Ayala Corporation, is organizing a forum on tackling climate change and sustainability in the boardroom this Tuesday, November 19, at the Makati Diamond Residences. “Integrating Sustainability and Innovation in Corporate Strategy”, the last forum in ICD’s Distinguished Corporate Governance Speaker Series this year, comes ahead of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s new rules requiring all publicly-listed companies to submit sustainability reports starting next year. The first panel, “Integrating Sustainability in Corporate Strategy”, will feature SEC Commissioner Ephyro Amatong; climate change and sustainable development expert Matthew McKinnon, founder and executive director of the Swiss nonprofit AROHA; climate and energy finance advisor Sara Jane Ahmed, analyst of the US-based Institute for Energy Economics and [...]

Maniego: Open all power supply bids

Press statement by Atty. Pedro H. Maniego Jr. Senior Policy Advisor, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities Former Chairman, National Renewable Energy Board Adviser and Former Chairman, UP Engineering Research and Development Foundation Sen. Sherwin T. Gatchalian’s call on the need for an open and transparent bidding in Meralco’s competitive selection process is totally in line with the policy under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of ensuring “transparent and reasonable prices of electricity in a regime of free and fair competition and full public accountability.” In adherence to the prescribed spirit of free and fair competition, both existing and new power plants should be allowed to join Meralco’s upcoming bidding for a 1,200-megawatt power supply agreement (PSA). Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi’s proposal to divide the Meralco supply requirement up for bidding into smaller sizes and to allow stacking of bids will likewise foster the desired competitive [...]

Haiyan survivors lead in climate action as Trump pulls US out of Paris agreement

MANILA, 8 November 2019 – Six years after Haiyan (Yolanda) made landfall in the Philippines, survivors of the super typhoon are standing together to survive and thrive in the face of climate change. The local governments of Coron, Palawan; the three towns of Bantayan Island, Cebu; and Guiuan, Eastern Samar have collaborated on a joint proposal worth over USD 10 million for the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund (GCF). The Climate Change Commission submitted this week to the GCF Board the first phase of the proposal, which aims to address water security issues aggravated by climate change impacts. “In stark contrast to the Trump Administration’s climate cowardice, survivors at the frontline of climate change impacts are standing on the forefront of solutions to the crisis,” said Denise Fontanilla, associate for policy advocacy of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, an international climate and energy policy group based in [...]

The Walk-Through exhibit calls for radical change in the fashion industry

25 October 2019 -- Time to see through the clothes you wear. This was the tongue-cheek challenge of artists and advocates who gathered October 24 at Ayala Malls Circuit Makati for The Walk-Through exhibit. The event confronts negative practices within the fashion industry and calls instead for greater transparency, sustainability, and ethics in the trade. The four-day activity was organized by Fashion Revolution Philippines, part of a global movement that rose out of the Rana Plaza collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2013. Over a thousand garment workers died and another 2,500 were injured in the tragedy. “We don’t know where our clothes come from. We don’t know who makes them. Because of this opacity, we are complicit in a system that’s allowing environmental degradation, exploitation, and other abuses that we would like to stop,” said Lian Sing, Fashion Revolution Philippines head of Creative Commissions. According to the event partner Institute [...]

25 Oct 2019|Tags: , |

ICSC supports Fashion Revolution Philippines’ The Walk-Through

Editor's note: ICSC is supporting sustainable fashion and the circular economy through Fashion Revolution Philippines and its exhibit The Walk-Through, which will be launched this October 24 at Ayala Malls Circuit Makati. ------------------------- THE WALK-THROUGH is Fashion Revolution Philippines’ first artist collaboration activation wherein global fashion industry issues are communicated through creative media. This project seeks to take the conversation on sustainable fashion further, exploring in unexpected ways the delicate web of the industry that we currently find ourselves embedded in. This project is supported by the British Council as part of the Creative Commissions initiative which aims to inspire positive change through artistic collaborations that challenge the social and environmental issues around sustainability and fashion. THE WALK-THROUGH is in partnership with Ayala Malls Circuit, with collaborations with WeWork, Futunst, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, MakeSense, Circulo, DENUO, and ALTUM. As a group show of multi-disciplinary Filipino artists, THE [...]

Senator Gatchalian, Rep. Garcia to promote better competition in the energy sector

CEBU CITY, September 27, 2019 – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian and Cebu Third District Representative Pablo John Garcia of Cebu pledged to push for better competition in the energy sector during the second Renewable Energy Congress held here last week. Senator Gatchalian, chair of the Senate energy committee, refiled last July Senate Bill No. 362 or the Competitive Selection Process for Power Supply Agreements Act. It seeks to foster transparency and competition in power supply contracting by requiring all generation contracts to undergo open bidding. Gatchalian said the bill, which has been referred to the committee level, would “ensure transparent and reasonable prices of electricity.” Representative Garcia, deputy speaker for Visayas at the House of Representatives, expressed his support to Gatchalian and vowed to file a counterpart bill in the Lower House. “I will work with Senator Gatchalian on competition policy to increase transparency, streamline the rules, and rationally decrease electricity [...]

UN oceans report a clarion call to unite behind the science

Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities REACTIVE UN oceans report a clarion call to unite behind the science QUEZON CITY, 26 September 2019 – The Climate Change Commission in partnership with Rare and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) today held a joint press briefing on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on oceans and climate change. In response to the landmark report, which was released yesterday, Denise Fontanilla, associate for policy advocacy of ICSC, said: “The IPCC oceans report serves as a clarion call for humanity to cut back its carbon emissions significantly and to limit global warming to 1.5C, if we are to survive and thrive. “According to the report, sea levels are rising more than twice as fast now compared to the 20th century, with devastating impacts for islands and other low-lying coastal communities. But a 2018 PAGASA report and other studies [...]

Renewable energy BRIGHT Project installed in northern Tacloban school

Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities PRESS RELEASE Renewable energy BRIGHT Project installed in northern Tacloban school TACLOBAN CITY, 23 September 2019 – The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) formally turned over today a solar powered electricity generator to the Scandinavian Elementary School in Barangay San Roque, Tacloban City. It is the pilot project of ICSC's Brighter, Resilient and Thriving (BRIGHT) Schools program, which aims to promote solar technology and best practices in energy efficiency in public schools to reduce electricity costs. "I hope that Scandinavian Elementary School is just the first and one of the many BRIGHT School Projects in the city, paving the way for Tacloban public schools to lead the way in promoting sustainable and eco-friendly schools," said Tacloban Vice Mayor Jerry ‘Sambo’ T. Yaokasin during the ceremony. ICSC installed the Mission Energy System at the two-storey, six-classroom Pope Francis Learning Center of the [...]

Press Release: Vulnerable countries to insure MSMEs amidst worsening climate disasters

DOWNLOAD PDF Vulnerable countries to insure MSMEs amidst worsening climate disasters MSMEs account for 29% of GDP and employ 78% of workforce in vulnerable economies NEW YORK, 22 Sept 2019 – The Vulnerable Twenty (V20) group of economies today rolled out its Sustainable Insurance Facility (SIF) to protect micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that account for 29% of GDP and employ 78% of workforce in vulnerable economies. Worsening climate disasters would further drag down economic productivity and resilience if the MSME sector does not have adequate insurance protection and investment capacity to absorb financial shocks and de-risk the low-carbon transition, according the group. “Our vulnerabilities to climate change are a major strain on our economies. Those of us on the frontline of the climate crisis cannot afford to merely wait and watch the world breach the 1.5 tipping point,” said Honourable Minister, Attorney General Sayed-Khaiyum of [...]

24 Sep 2019|Tags: , , , |

UN climate summit reactive: Heed the call for urgent climate action

NEW YORK, 23 September 2019 – Reacting to the recently concluded United Nations Climate Action summit here, Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, said: “We applaud UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres for injecting far more urgency into climate action by putting on the spot countries with the means to act but who through their inaction are pushing the most vulnerable countries closer to irreversible ruin. Meaningful contributions have been pledged today but we need all countries to now unite in confronting the climate emergency. Will we lift the death warrant that children today face, or will we unite behind the science and thus take drastically different development pathways today? "Governments and businesses around the world should heed Greta Thunberg and our youth. It’s time to listen as well to the leaders of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, where the Philippines is a founding member. We [...]

Vulnerable Leaders Demand Further Action following UN Climate Summit: 2020 Deadline for Survival

DOWNLOAD PDF United Nations, NEW YORK – 23 Sept 2019: Leaders of the Climate Vulnerable Forum today addressed the UN Climate Action Summit to credit progress achieved following announcements today by leaders and highlighting the urgency for more widespread action by 2020. Hilda Heine, Hon. President of the Marshall Islands, which chairs the 48-member state* Climate Vulnerable Forum, said: “My country’s survival is threatened if action doesn’t materialize,” adding that “for atoll nations, there can be none of what some people are calling a ‘managed retreat’ – we simply don’t have such luxury. Our frontline is our last line-there is no fall back. We have to defend that last line. If the line falls that’s it for us.” “Participation in the Summit has been strong, but there are notable absences among large emitting and wealthy nations,” said President Heine, adding “the international community, and the public, can judge [...]

Southeast Asian scientists join forces for stronger regional climate resilience

DOWNLOAD PDF Bangkok, 4 September 2019 – Southeast Asian scientists yesterday called for stronger research collaboration in the region to face the growing threat of climate change. Speaking at the Asia Pacific Climate Week in Bangkok, they warned that higher extreme precipitation will disrupt agricultural production, which in turn may adversely affect the region’s food security. “In a 1.5-degree warming scenario, Southeast Asia will have a 7% increase in extreme precipitation events; while in a 2-degree warming world, there will be a 10% increase in extreme precipitation events. That will have a huge impact in agriculture,” said Lourdes Tibig, a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and a member of the Philippine Climate Change Commission’s National Panel of Technical Experts. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), by 2050 crop yields will decrease by 25% if we do not address climate change now. [...]

In memoriam: ICSC statement on Gina Lopez’s passing

Former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez passed away today, 19 August. Sec. Lopez was embraced fully by communities, environmental groups, and progressive enterprises for her courage, principled life and activism. ICSC executive director Renato Redentor Constantino issued the following statement: ICSC had the extraordinary pleasure and privilege of working with Sec Gina Lopez however briefly. The brand of leadership she displayed during the Marrakech climate talks in 2016 was a classic example. She called out officials, some of whom were Filipinos, as fossil tools and fools for masquerading as developing country stalwarts while supporting the agenda of the oil, gas, and coal industries. Gina Lopez was a fierce and gentle champion of principled environmental action. The way she elevated love, truth, and intellectual integrity as weapons that can heal planetary wounds inflicted by cowardice, avarice and indifference will not be forgotten easily. The way to honor her legacy is to [...]

19 Aug 2019|

DOF Sec. Dominguez underscores need for climate-smart insurance in vulnerable economies

MANILA, 16 August 2019 – “The Philippine government is keen on strengthening its policies on climate financing,” Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Carlos Dominguez stated in his remarks for today’s forum on climate-smart micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) insurance in vulnerable and emerging economies. “The challenges posed by climate change demand all hands be on deck,” Dominguez said in his statement, which was read in the forum by DOF Assistant Secretary Paola Alvarez. “Green financing will allow us to mobilize investments, from the wider use of renewable energy to improving the resilience of our communities.” The forum was organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative in partnership with the DOF; global insurance broker Willis Towers Watson; and the Vulnerable 20 Group of Finance Ministers (V20), which represents around one billion people from 48 countries most vulnerable to climate impacts, including [...]

16 Aug 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

How to invest in ‘green’ financing?

(Published by ANC, 1 Aug 2019) Philippine companies raised around P1.5 billion from so-called "green bonds" since last year. Marlon Apanada, managing director of Allotrope Partners gives tips on how to invest in green financing.

Renewable energy tack in SONA lauded

by Rhodina Villanueva (published by The Philippine Star,  July 25, 2019)  READ THE FULL STORY HERE MANILA, Philippines — Environmentalists lauded President Duterte for emphasizing the need “to fast-track renewable energy (RE) resources to reduce the country’s dependence on traditional energy sources such as coal” in his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday. Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, said, “The President’s call to fast-track renewable energy projects to reduce dependence on coal is the signal policymakers need to hear. No less than the country’s chief executive is echoing what financial institutions now robustly recognize, that the Philippines is needlessly dependent on economically harmful, unreliable and heavily subsidized polluting coal and imported fossil fuels.” “The country already has $21 billion worth of stranding coal plant assets in the pipeline, and we already pay more than $200 million per year in [...]

26 Jul 2019|Tags: , , , |

Duterte’s SONA call for renewable energy confirms PH energy transition underway

Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities REACTIVE: Duterte’s SONA call for renewable energy confirms PH energy transition underway MANILA, 22 July 2019 — Reacting to President Rodrigo Duterte’s statements in his fourth State of the Nation Address today calling for “to fast-track renewable energy resources to reduce the country’s dependence on traditional energy sources such as coal”, Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, said: “The President’s call to fast-track renewable energy projects to reduce dependence on coal is the signal policymakers need to hear. No less than the country’s chief executive is echoing what government and financial institutions now robustly recognize, that the Philippines is needlessly dependent on economically harmful, unreliable and heavily subsidized polluting coal and imported fossil fuels. “The country already has $21 billion worth of stranding coal plant assets in the pipeline, and we already pay more than $200 [...]

Reactive: Japan fails to drive stronger G20 climate pact

Reacting to the G20 Summit’s conclusion in Osaka, Renato Redentor Constantino, Executive Director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities said: “As G20 Chair, Japan’s failure to drive a stronger outcome in support of climate action exposed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s weak leadership in the global stage. Japan wasted its chance to decisively confront the climate emergency and leave behind a legacy of modernity. Instead, it meekly exits the stage bowed low to usher in Saudi Arabia’s climate of impunity. “This weak legacy will inevitably taint Japan’s image on the road to hosting the 2020 Olympics where its leadership and environmental credentials will again be in the global spotlight. We are hopeful that Japan’s financial industry and some of its progressive government leaders will force a significant shift in Japan’s policies towards strong climate action. “Far more worrying than Japan’s tainted image is that it will now be handing [...]

29 Jun 2019|Tags: , , , |

Japan seeks climate leadership at G-20 summit but can’t kick its coal habit

By Simon Denyer (Published June 27 in The Washington Post) TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to burnish his green credentials. Japan, he said, will exercise “firm leadership” on climate change at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka this week, with a focus on “disruptive innovation” that generates economic growth. It also was a theme echoed by G-20 energy and environment ministers in their pre-summit meeting in the Japanese town of Karuizawa. But Abe’s ambitions conceal a dirty secret. Japan is hooked on coal, and it can’t kick the habit, environmentalists say. It is even helping to keep its Asian neighbors burning coal, too. Since 2012, Japan has embarked on a major spending spree to modernize its coal industry, which it boasts as one of the cleanest in the world. Japan has 12 new plants already up and running, 15 being built and 10 in the planning [...]

28 Jun 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |

PHL shift to clean energy will spur economic growth, development – report

Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities REACTIVE: PHL shift to clean energy will spur economic growth, development –report MANILA, 21 June 2019- The Philippines along with other countries in South and Southeast Asia can transition to renewable energy to fuel economic growth, boost sustainable development and achieve energy security while avoiding life-threatening pollution and environmental degradation, according to a new report. The country’s “increasing reliance on fossil fuel imports comes at a significant cost – 3.5% of the country’s GDP or 11 billion USD in 2017 were spent on fuel imports,” according to the international research group Climate Analytics, which published the report yesterday during the United Nations climate talks in Germany. “The Philippines could benefit from reducing external costs from air pollution with annual average [outdoor] air pollution cost savings in 2025 amounting to about 1.1 billion USD,” it added. The report also cited studies stating that covering even [...]

Kairos Dela Cruz on ANC: Sea level rise and climate action

Kairos Dela Cruz, ICSC's associate for climate policy, talks to Migs Bustos of Early Edition on ANC about sea level rise projections worldwide and in the Philippines, and how the country can ramp up its efforts to respond to this and other climate change impacts.

10 Jun 2019|Tags: , , , |

“Radical action” on climate needed both in UN talks, PH – civil society groups

Aksyon Klima Pilipinas REACTIVE “Radical action” on climate needed both in UN talks, PH - civil society groups MANILA, 6 June 2019 — Aksyon Klima Pilipinas, a network of civil society groups working for a robust climate policy for the country, is taking up the challenge of President Rodrigo Duterte and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. to the international community to take “radical action” on climate change while urging Malacañang to walk the talk. Following President Duterte’s statements last Friday in Tokyo lambasting the lack of progress in the United Nations climate negotiations, Foreign Affairs secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. yesterday announced he was “rejecting all official participation in climate change conferences requiring air travel.” Francis dela Cruz, convener of Aksyon Klima Pilipinas, said: “We echo the frustration expressed by President Duterte and Secretary Locsin on the lack of progress in the UN climate talks given that the Philippines is [...]

06 Jun 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

Young metro mayors challenged to make World Bike to Work Day everyday

DOWNLOAD PDF PASIG, 3 June 2019 -- An international think tank issued today a challenge to Metro Manila's newly elected young mayors, calling for working class-biased solutions to climate change in celebration of World Bicycle Day. "We call on Metro Manila's new leaders to come together and make everyday World Bicycle Day. It's time they work as one to focus on non-motorized transport options and promote cities friendly to those who pedal to work," said Golda Hilario, associate for program development of the Manila-based Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities or ICSC. The group called out Mayors Vico Sotto, Joy Belmonte, Abby Binay, Francis Zamora, and Isko Moreno to pin down a plan of cooperation that would link Quezon City, Pasig, Makati, Manila and San Juan through protected bicycle lanes. “We challenge our incoming mayors in Metro Manila to build better communities and improve productivity by making cycling a [...]

03 Jun 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

STATEMENT: SC decision portends lower rates for electricity ratepayers

10 May 2019 -- The cloud of uncertainty that hovered over stakeholders in the power sector was lifted by the Supreme Court (SC) decision on the competitive procurement of power supply by distribution utilities, mainly for residential ratepayers, last May 3. The aims and expected results of that decision are to be lauded. If the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) hew to the spirit of the court’s decision well, ratepayers can expect lower rates than will otherwise be, and would have been, the case. But there are implementation challenges that have to be addressed. Prior to the regulations enacted by the DOE and supposed to have taken effect in June 2015, the distribution utilities (DUs) could procure power supply for ratepayers even from affiliated entities, as long as the power supply agreement (PSA) passed muster before the ERC. The DOE regulations tried to make the [...]

Cash, political will: Coessential tools vs catastrophic impact of climate change

Reposted from BusinessMirror By Cai Ordinario - May 9, 2019 NADI, Fiji—The greenback may lead to greening the earth, so some believe. However, for experts at a conference here last week, money is just one of the weapons in this perennial contradiction of man against nature as the latter appears to have the upper hand. At the 52nd Asian Development Bank (ADB) Annual Governors’ Meeting on this Pacific island, a panel of experts organized by the ADB Independent Evaluation Department (IED) raised the urgency in addressing climate change. The experts said Asia and the Pacific has a high exposure to climate change. They said that from the start of the millennium up to last year, around 84 percent of the 206 million people on average affected by weather and other disasters globally each year were from the region. These and other disasters equaled 7 percent of GDP from 2000 to [...]

ICSC on ANC: The economic benefits of transitioning from coal to renewable energy

(Posted on Early Edition on ANC, April 16, 2019) ICSC senior policy advisor Atty. Pete Maniego tells Michelle Ong about the economic benefits of transitioning from coal to renewable energy and from centralized to distributed generation systems in today's Early Edition on ANC.

Vulnerable countries and international partners announce collaboration to climate­-proof economic growth

Washington DC, 11 April 2019 — ­­ Finance Ministers from V20 Group of vulnerable economies today announced new financial instruments in collaboration with international partners at the Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund to ensure continued global economic growth in the face of increasing threats from climate change. The group aims to lower the cost of capital and unlock large capital inflows to climate-­proof the economic development of at least 1 billion people living in some of the fastest­-growing regions, but are exposed to severe climate impacts. “Shortfalls in decisive action persist despite the blueprint provided by the Paris Agreement. We must go far beyond rhetoric. The moment calls for a robust response to protect economic growth from the risks of climate change and secure continued progress,” said Minister Benson Wase, Finance Minister of the Republic of Marshall Islands and current chair of the V20. [...]

12 Apr 2019|Tags: , |

ERC promotes cheaper, more reliable energy through new draft rules: think tank

PRESS RELEASE MANILA, 3 April 2019 – An international policy group commended the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) today for promoting fair competition in pursuit of cheaper, more reliable power in the draft rules it recently issued covering power supply agreements (PSAs). “The ERC is right to protect the public from fluctuating fuel prices in its latest draft rules for power procurement. Ordinary consumers and the whole economy would enjoy cheaper and reliable power if the Commission follows through in promoting genuine competition in the energy sector,” said Red Constantino, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC). Captive consumers – or electricity consumers who cannot yet contract their own power suppliers – are exposed to price risks due to automatic fuel adjustment clauses in current PSAs. Constantino said the ERC has taken “a big step in the right direction. The draft PSA rules seek to pass on [...]

04 Apr 2019|Tags: , , , |

ICSC: Climate change to worsen water security risk

MANILA, Updated 14 March 2019 – As residents in areas of Metro Manila grapple with water scarcity issues for several days, a climate and energy policy group cautioned that climate change would only exacerbate existing risks and development issues. Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the Manila-based Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, commented: “As a climate policy institute, we are often the first to convey caution in prematurely attributing adverse economic, ecological or social outcomes to climate change. Many times as well, climate change merely amplifies the impacts of wrong development policies to begin with. “Prematurely assigning blame to climate change for the current water issues of Metro Manila serves to muddle if not downplay actual projected water security risks that are several magnitudes greater than current challenges, if global temperatures continue to rise unabated. Just as important, linking climate change now dilutes critical accountability issues among government [...]

13 Mar 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Eastern Visayas leaders meet to secure regional climate investments

PRESS RELEASE TACLOBAN, 07 March 2019 -- Top representatives of local governments, academic institutions, and businesses across the Eastern Visayas region convened today to tackle challenges and opportunities in crowding in climate and clean energy investments in the region. The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), a Manila-based international policy group, convened the gathering focused on shifting financial flows towards resilient, low carbon development at Hotel Alejandro, Tacloban City. The event was undertaken in cooperation with the Climate Change Commission, Visayas State University’s Institute for Strategic Research and Development Studies, and Action for Economic Reforms. Climate change scenarios vary heavily across the country and will adversely affect the development plans of towns, cities, provinces and sectors in Region VIII, according to Dr. Toby Monsod, associate professor of the University of the Philippines School of Economics. According to Monsod, the good thing is climate appears to be better integrated [...]

07 Mar 2019|Tags: , , , , |

Remarkable Women: Helping Yolanda-hit city with solar power

(Posted on Early Edition on ANC, March 06, 2019) MANILA -- Women are helping Tacloban City rebuild from Super Typhoon Haiyan by installing solar panels. "Recharge Pilipinas" not only helps bring renewable energy to the mainstream, it gives the typhoon-prone communities a power source during disasters.

06 Mar 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Consumers should not pay the price for risky coal deals

Sara Jane Ahmed Note: This commentary originally appeared in Business World. The rapid drop in the cost of renewable energy has opened new possibilities in energy systems around the world, including the Philippines. Coal has become toxic, both in terms of its high cost to consumers and the negative financial consequences for banks and investors. In India, China, Malaysia, and, most recently, Vietnam, a trend of cancellations and delays involving new coal plants has emerged. Vietnam is witnessing a rapid adoption of renewable energy while cumbersome coal power producers struggle to remain competitive. Here in the Philippines, the Panay Energy Development Corporation signed a deal in 2016 to deliver coal-fired power at P3.96 per kilowatt hour (kWh). But because of favorable provisions in the contract, the company was allowed to game the system. The actual cost to ratepayers was 37% higher at P5.41/kWh. San Miguel Corporation Global Power Holdings appears [...]

Former UN climate chief visits the Philippines to promote green investments

(As published in the Manila Bulletin, 13 February 2019) By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz Former United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres is expected to arrive in the Philippines Wednesday evening as part of an Asian tour to draw in more transformative climate investments in the region. Figueres, the architect of the Paris climate agreement and now the convenor of the global initiative Mission 2020, is meeting business leaders and government officials to drum up and develop collaborative initiatives across Asia that promote investment opportunities, as well as assess risks, associated with inaction in the face of worsening climate change impacts. She visited the municipality of Guiuan in Eastern Visayas in 2015 with former French president Francois Hollande in the lead up to the Paris climate talks. On Thursday and Friday (Feb. 14-15), Figueres will meet with Senator Loren Legarda and other government officials, private sector representatives, civil society groups, and faith-based [...]

End impunity: ICSC statement on Rep. Rodel Batocabe slay

23 December 2018 -- The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities joins Filipinos in condemning the murder of Philippine legislator and climate advocate Rodel Batocabe and his police escort Orlando Diaz. Representative Batocabe, who had been serving his third term in the 17th Congress under the Ako Bicol partylist, was shot dead by still-unidentified gunmen yesterday afternoon during a Christmas gift-giving event in his hometown of Daraga in Albay, Bicol. He was running for mayor in the town in next year’s elections against the incumbent, who has publicly condemned the killings. Political violence in the Philippines often increases come election season, with political dynasties employing private armies and mercenaries, long before Duterte was elected president. The number of extrajudicial killings however has since increased; the death toll now stands between 5,000 to over 20,000. Representative Batocabe, a Duterte ally, “was the 21st official murdered since Mr. Duterte took office two [...]

23 Dec 2018|Tags: , , , , |

Tacloban welcomes opening of renewable energy hub

TACLOBAN, 17 November 2018 – Tacloban Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin led today’s opening of the city’s first ever Renewable Energy Hub (RE-Hub), a community resource center on renewable energy (RE) and sustainable solutions, within the RE-Charge Pilipinas facility of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC). At the RE-Hub, located in Burgos Street, downtown Tacloban, people can inquire about appropriate RE systems to address their household and community needs while RE technology providers showcase their products and services. It was a welcome addition to the current renewable energy initiatives hosted by Tacloban, according to Vice Mayor Yaokasin, such as the city’s electric jeepneys and tricycles. “For us Yolanda survivors to survive and thrive in the midst of a changing climate, we need to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius based on the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report. We want to lead the big shift [...]

17 Nov 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

Ahead of fifth Yolanda anniversary: Women lead solar-powered drill in Marabut, Samar

MARABUT, Samar, 27 October 2018 – Women leaders of Marabut lit the way for one hundred residents of this coastal town this afternoon by deploying solar-powered lights and charging devices during their evacuation drill at the Marabut municipal hall. They facilitated the typhoon and storm surge drill with the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, RE-Serve Humanitarian Corps, Marabut Women’s Federation, and Marabut Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) in commemoration of the fifth anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) on November 8. Twenty participants from Marabut and Tacloban were trained as Solar Scholars by a pool of women, most of whom are members of the RE-Serve Humanitarian Corps. They were taught to use TekPaks - portable solar-powered devices designed and built by Yolanda survivors - to power LED lights, mobile phones, and medical devices in times of emergencies. At the end of the drill, ICSC turned [...]

Vulnerable economies call for accelerated financial shift

Bali, 14 Oct 2018 – Finance Ministers from the V20 Group of climate vulnerable countries today sought large-scale changes to global finance flows, saying the funding shift needs to happen sooner, covering far larger amounts that can help protect economies from the worsening impacts of climate change. Convening at the World Bank-IMF Meetings in Bali, V20 countries said “the need to unlock investments for ambitious climate action is not only urgent but an absolute necessity given combined impacts from economic and climatic threats.” In its official communique, the group expressed fear that continued over-reliance on carbon-intensive energy systems is building accumulated financial risks globally. It highlighted an Ernst and Young report which indicated that €86 billion in carbon-intensive utility assets were already written off in Europe between 2010 to 2014. Similar write-offs within V20 economies would severely impair economic stability and growth of their economies, it said. The International [...]

14 Oct 2018|Tags: , , , , , |

UN launches landmark climate science report: PHL to survive, thrive if with bold climate action – policy group

MANILA, 8 October 2018 — Immediate and ambitious action to limit global warming is not only crucial for the Philippines to stave off the worst impacts of climate change, it is also key to unlocking economic growth, according to the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), citing the highlights of a major UN scientific report released today. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change today released the summary of a special report on the impacts of limiting global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius (°C) above pre-industrial levels, an upper limit which the Philippines and other vulnerable countries helped enshrine in the Paris climate agreement. “The IPCC report is a call for governments to step up their act in avoiding the worst impacts of the climate crisis,” said Red Constantino, ICSC executive director. “What is stopping the world from holding warming to 1.5°C throughout the 21st century, while reaping considerable [...]

PHL, Pacific island nations meet to ramp up public health, climate action

Editor's Note: Below is the press release of the Climate Change Commission on President Rodrigo Duterte's statements urging for global climate action. He and Health Secretary Francisco Duque spoke on the need for public health promotion and disaster and climate resilience in vulnerable communities across the Pacific.   DAVAO CITY, 26 July 2018 – A historic meeting between the Philippines and Pacific island nations opened here today to tackle urgent health problems in the region and seize opportunities to increase investments in public health and climate resilience. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who also chairs the country’s Climate Change Commission (CCC), gave a rousing speech in last night’s welcome dinner of the Asia Pacific Healthy Islands conference. Duterte framed the region’s health sector challenges within the context of the climate crisis, calling on all countries to honor the Paris Agreement and contribute their fair share of global climate action. “Climate change [...]

NGO hails Duterte admin approval of P192M for local climate action

PHOTO: Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez signs local climate fund agreements with 4 LGUs on March 7. (c) AC Dimatatac/ICSC   REACTIVE MANILA, March 7, 2018 – A Manila-based international climate policy group applauded the Duterte administration’s move granting close to P200 million in climate funds to four local governments. The approval is a response to communities grappling with food security and water scarcity in the face of climate change. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, chair of the People’s Survival Fund board, today signed financial agreements worth a total of P191.70 million with the mayors of Del Carmen, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte; Lanuza, Surigao del Sur; Gerona, Tarlac; and San Francisco, Camotes Island, Cebu, all of whom welcomed the development. Reacting to the commitment, Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, said: “Setting up direct climate adaptation finance access for local governments is difficult but [...]

Policy group lauds Duterte signing of tax reform law including coal

©parys/123rf Historic coal tax hike targets imported coal from Indonesia, Australia MANILA, 19 December 2017 -- A policy group lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for signing into law today the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill, which includes excise and value added taxes on imported coal from Indonesia and Australia. The Philippines imports 75% of its coal supply, 70% of which comes from Indonesia and 15% from Australia, while most of the 25% domestic coal comes from the Consunji-led Semirara Mining and Power Corporation [1]. “The historic coal tax hike is a courageous start even if the playing field remains biased towards expensive, polluting, subsidized coal. We intend to work harder to ensure real competition prevails in the power sector,” said Red Constantino, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities. “Signing into law the excise tax increase on coal is an act of leadership by the [...]

19 Dec 2017|

ICSC hails bicam approval of coal tax hike

REACTIVE MANILA, 12 December 2017 — The bicameral conference committee agreed yesterday to increase the coal excise tax under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill, from its current rate of ten pesos (P10) per metric ton to P50 up to P150 per metric ton over the next three years. Reacting to the development, Red Constantino, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, said: “The coal tax hike stands as a solid rebuke to the coal industry despite its best efforts to maintain their virtually-tax-free status for four decades. Once signed into law, this bicam measure would mark the beginning of even more comprehensive energy and industrial policy reforms under the Duterte administration. “This long overdue increase in the coal excise tax is a welcome start in signaling investors that the Philippines is ready to transition to cheaper and more reliable energy which happens to [...]

12 Dec 2017|Tags: , , , |

Policy group backs Senate’s P0.10/kg coal tax hike proposal for TRAIN

MANILA, 5 December 2017 – The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) today called on Congress to adopt the former’s proposed coal tax hike of P0.10 per kilogram in the bicameral conference committee for the tax reform bill. The Senate and House of Representatives are expected to tackle today the increase in the excise tax on coal, which for 40 years has been pegged at P0.01/kg. The Senate version of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill calls for the tax to gradually increase to P0.10/kg in 2018, P0.20/kg in 2019, and P0.30/kg in 2020. However, coal companies have been scrambling to prevent the increase of the coal tax, however small, according to ICSC executive director Red Constantino. “The coal industry has been getting away with paying just one centavo per kilogram in coal taxes for four decades. For too long, it has forced consumers to shoulder [...]

05 Dec 2017|Tags: , , , , , |

COP23: Philippine, Ethiopian leaders preview Islamic-based V20 insurance facility

BONN, Germany, 13 November 2017 – Climate-vulnerable economies comprising the Vulnerable 20 Group of Finance Ministers (V20) previewed an Islamic finance-related insurance facility this afternoon (midnight Manila time) on the sidelines of the United Nations climate conference here, proving that investing in climate action is necessary and critical for inclusive development and economic growth. Philippine senator and head of delegation Loren Legarda, Ethiopian state minister Kare Chawicha Dabessa for V20, and Climate Smart Network (CSN) climate finance advisor Sara Jane Ahmed led the presentation of the Sustainable Insurance and Takaful Facility (SITF) in the event organized by ICSC, the Philippine government delegation, and the Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies. Also part of the panel were Dr. Saleem Huq and Dr. Ainun Nishat, who shared innovative climate finance solutions they are working on in Bangladesh. “The SITF integrates the fundamental principles of Islamic finance to close the insurance protection and [...]

15 Nov 2017|

$21B worth of coal plants in the Philippines face imminent stranding – report

PRESS RELEASE MANILA, 12 October 2017 – The Philippine’s financial sector is massively exposed to the imminent stranding of proposed coal plants in the country, which amount to over 10,000 megawatts or US$21 billion (PHP1.05 trillion at PHP50 to US$1), according to a report released today by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC). “Prudent reform is required to level the playing field in the energy sector and to hold investors accountable for their own investment errors. The Philippines is heavily but needlessly over-dependent on coal, which is a losing gamble. The entire nation could be locked into two decades of paying for coal power it may not end up using,” said IEEFA energy finance analyst Sara Jane Ahmed, co-author with ICSC energy policy advisor Jose Logarta Jr. of “Carving out Coal in the Philippines: Stranded Coal Plant Assets [...]

12 Oct 2017|Tags: , , , , |

Philippines’ first solar factory promises bright energy future

By Ping Manongdo, Eco-Business, 25 August 2017Project developer Solar Philippines opened the country’s first photovoltaic (PV) panel factory on Wednesday, a facility which was inaugurated by President Rodrigo Duterte and hailed by observers as a step forward in helping ease the Filipinos’ energy woes and advancing the country’s climate fight. Solar Philippines’ factory is located in Santo Tomas, Batangas, a province south of Manila. The company promises Filipinos a 30 per cent savings on their monthly electricity bill by making solar panels and batteries more accessible to local communities. Solar Philippines also announced an ambitious plan to replace fossil fuels with 5,000 megawatts (MW) of solar power. The country currently relies heavily on fossil fuels, particularly coal, which makes up 44.5 per cent of the Philippines’ power generation mix. Speaking at the inauguration, Duterte noted that the opening of the factory is timely as the country needs to address increasing demand for renewable energy. “It is high time that we [...]

A brighter and greener future after Yolanda

  by Lottie Salarda Originally published in The use of solar power and other renewable energy sources, like solar or wind, is not common to the people of Eastern Visayas, until typhoon Yolanda hit the region November 2013. Several international organizations donated solar lamps to families living in tent cities and shanties. The contributions came at the right time—during the spate of power outages in many towns in Leyte province including Tacloban City. Word spread and the people became more curious about power harnessed from sunlight. Using solar power to light homes made a difference in the lives of many Yolanda survivors fortunate enough to have access to the technology. Most have kept and used the solar lamps even after the total restoration of electricity in typhoon-devastated areas. Yet is it possible to do more than just distribute lamps, many of which do not appear to have been [...]

12 Sep 2015|Tags: , , , , , , |

Mother’s kindness inspires heroism

Gigie Cruz, text and photos, with a report by Red Constantino Originally published in ABS-CBN A mural of heroes featuring Corporal Anjantte Obligado, Lottie Salarda, Joaquin Corrigidor, at the Re-Charge Tacloban project site, a solar energy and sustainable services training facility in the City of Tacloban, Leyte. Photo courtesy of iCSC The air was thick with the sense of anxiety as Corporal Annjannette Donato Obligado, while on duty at the Armed Forces of the Philippines General Headquarters, and her husband PO2 Oliver Obligado, who was also based in Manila with the Philippine National Police, monitored news on Super Typhoon Yolanda on November 8, 2013. She had family in Eastern Samar while the kin of her husband lived in Tacloban City. Obligado, with her own daughter Mary Olive, in their residence in Camp Aguinaldo. Photo by Gigie Cruz After learning about the severity of Yolanda’s [...]

31 Aug 2015|Tags: , , , , , , |