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: , , , , , , |