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 accelerated the demise of coal. The latter is a signal the Bank should have taken in 2009, and would have provided urgent investment advice to its developing member countries (DMCs).
“Sustainable development is the goal of the Bank’s DMCs, and flexible generation is at the center of this just energy transition. Decarbonization will be an outcome of policy signals that elevate the importance of stable, modern grids that are designed to absorb a far greater amount of renewables and utilize emerging technologies.
“However, it is concerning that as the door is closed on coal, the door seems to have opened indefinitely for fossil gas. There is no bridge in the world without an end, and if the Bank will consider fossil gas as a bridge and transition fuel, it needs to stipulate an end. ADB did cite green hydrogen from renewable energy sources, which could eventually replace natural gas. Policies toward this end need to be established with urgency.”
The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities is a Manila-based international policy group advancing climate resilience and low carbon development.
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