Forced outages of power plants result in tight power supply in May

The Philippine power grid continues to be under severe strain, with 21 of the 30 days of May 2024 being placed under red or yellow grid alerts.  Sustained high peak demands due to elevated heat conditions have significantly contributed to the tight power supply experienced in the past few months, but this only tells part of the story: the tight power supply across the country’s power grid is also largely driven by the forced outages of multiple power plants.  A visual representation of the total capacity lost and the number of power plants that went offline each day during the month of May. A total of 30 baseload power plants, all of which are powered by either coal or natural gas, experienced unplanned outages in the last month. The large capacity of a single power plant unit means that the outage of even just a few plants [...]

National and local leaders push for climate-resilient development in Eastern Visayas

TACLOBAN CITY, May 17, 2024 – Officials and representatives from national government agencies and local government units, policymakers, civil society, academia, and the private sector have committed to working together in advancing climate-resilient development in Eastern Visayas. Organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), the Eastern Visayas Summit on Climate-Resilient Development, held from May 14-15 in Tacloban City, brought together stakeholders from across the region to develop community-responsive strategies and implementation plans for inclusive, sustainable, and climate-resilient solutions.  “Eastern Visayas has long been at the frontline of climate impacts, from devastating tropical cyclones to rising sea levels and unpredictable weather patterns. The region is living proof of the urgent need for action. But your resilience, innovation, and community spirit have driven remarkable progress in the face of these challenges,” said Secretary Robert E.A. Borje, Vice Chairperson and Executive Director of the Philippines’ Climate Change Commission in [...]

ICSC to MMDA: Removal of EDSA bicycle lanes derails progress

QUEZON CITY, April 25, 2024 – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced in an interview on Tuesday the possibility of removing bicycle lanes along EDSA, as the agency explores the potential establishment of exclusive motorcycle lanes in the highway through a study with the Department of Transportation (DOTr). While it is still being evaluated, MMDA Chairman Romando Artes argued that bicycle lanes in EDSA are underutilized, with an estimated 1,500 cyclists passing through daily compared to a total of 170,000 motorcycles on the highway every day.  The MMDA, through its Bike Lane Program Office, conducted a year-long bike count in 2022, recording over 1.7 million bicycle trips in only three key areas in Ortigas Avenue, Quirino Highway, and Commonwealth Avenue, within a mere four-hour window. In the Ortigas Avenue and EDSA intersection, the highest count was in April 2022, where 58,898 cyclists were recorded. In contrast, four-wheel [...]

25 Apr 2024|Tags: , , , , , |

El Niño ups chances of yellow alerts in Luzon by mid-May – ICSC

QUEZON CITY, April 16, 2024 – The Luzon grid is expected to experience a tight power supply in May, particularly from May 13 to 26, potentially leading to yellow alerts as El Niño threatens the country’s power sufficiency this dry season. Manila-based think tank Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) launched the report entitled “Philippine Power Outlook: Reviewing the Adequacy of Power Supply for April to June 2024” today, which examined power supply projections in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao based on the power demand and supply outlook presented by the Department of Energy (DOE). It also delved into the impacts of the El Niño weather phenomenon on the country’s hydropower capacity.  “As El Niño reduces the available capacity from hydroelectric power plants, all baseload power plants need to be compliant with the approved Grid Operating and Maintenance Program (GOMP) of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) [...]

Mapping Mangroves: Utilizing UAV Technology for Local Biodiversity Conservation

by Ma. Czarinna de Cadiz DOWNLOAD FULL STORY Mangrove forests are an important ecosystem and environmental support for communities located in coastal areas. The capacity of mangroves to mitigate floods and storm surges, maintain coastlines and coastal ecosystems, as well as their high carbon sequestration capacity, make them essential in the adaptation of coastal communities to the impacts of climate change. In post-Haiyan Eastern Visayas, the significance of mangroves for storm surge protection became evident in its coastal municipalities. Following the typhoon, partial damages were recorded in the mangrove forests of the region. With this, mangrove management through reforestation has been identified as a local key priority area by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and resources have been poured towards this initiative. Despite efforts towards mangrove management and rehabilitation projects, there is still a lack of data on their effectiveness and success rates. [...]

Renewable energy crucial in humanitarian action efforts – Eastern Visayas officials

TACLOBAN CITY, March 22, 2024 – Government officials from Eastern Visayas have underscored the critical role of renewable energy (RE) in humanitarian and disaster response and supported its institutionalization in the local development plans of provinces, cities, municipalities, and barangays in the region. “It has been a long dream for humanitarian action to really come to know about renewable energy as an alternative for disaster emergency response. I know this will not only cover actions on humanitarian aspects, but this will also cover the entire operation of any local government, business, or economic enterprise,” said Ildebrando Bernadas, head of the Tacloban City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO), in his welcome remarks during the Renewable Energy for Humanitarian Action (RE4HA) Marketplace and Summit on March 19 to 20, 2024. “Renewable energy is essential for humanitarian action and DRR… for various humanitarian activities, disaster response, and establishment of resilience,” [...]

Salcedo Youth Advocates for Local Climate Action

by Ma. Czarinna de Cadiz DOWNLOAD FULL STORY It comes as no surprise that the generation projected to confront the catastrophic effects of climate change has expressed significant concerns about its impacts on their lives and future. A key study that surveyed the youth population from 10 countries has shown that 84 percent of respondents from the Philippines expressed emotional distress over climate change—the highest among all surveyed countries. Amidst this prevailing fear, the Filipino youth find ways to harness this emotion to champion locally-driven and youth-led climate action, to mitigate the impending impacts of climate change. In the town of Salcedo in Eastern Samar, an organization was formed by the youth inclined to do something to mitigate the drastic changes they observed in their immediate environment. Since its establishment in 2019, the Sudao G.R.E.E.N. (Generation Ready for Environmental Education and actioN) Minds youth organization has [...]

ICSC: Systems change and stakeholder empowerment are needed for more sustainable public transport

DOWNLOAD PDF QUEZON CITY, March 14, 2024 – Integrating electric vehicles, particularly electric jeepneys (e-jeepneys), in the country’s public transportation system will require systems transformation; thorough analyses of its economic and social impact; active participation and collaboration of all stakeholders, including transport workers, cooperatives, and commuters; and proper leadership and governance, according to a series of reports launched by Manila-based think tank Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC). “Technology alone cannot drive change, and the systems approach to transitioning our public transport system cannot be overemphasized. We have to invest in the capacity of transport cooperatives, workers, and drivers, and strengthen partnerships among all stakeholders. The complementation between subnational and national work is also critical in pushing forward sustainable transport solutions,” said Maria Golda Hilario, ICSC’s Director for Urban Development. National agencies, local government units (LGUs), transport cooperatives, academic experts, and civil society organizations gathered today to [...]

A Case for Mangrove Conservation and Protection in Eastern Visayas

by Ma. Czarinna de Cadiz  Download Full Story In the heart of Eastern Visayas, a world of natural wonders unfolds, from lush forests and vibrant coral reefs to hidden woodlands and thriving seagrass beds, each hosting a diverse shade of life.   Among these ecosystems, the widespread mangrove forests stand out as unsung heroes, critical not just to the environment but to the very survival of local communities.  The region is one of the most calamity-prone areas in the country, attributed to its geographical location. However, Eastern Visayas also benefits from the shoreline protection against natural hazards such as typhoons, storm surges, coastal erosion, and sea level rise that mangrove forests provide. Recent studies have shown that mangrove forests also play an important role in carbon sequestration. It has been established that mangroves have the highest carbon density among all terrestrial ecosystems and can sequester carbon at [...]

ICSC is PH-OGP’s Environment and Climate NGO representative for 2023-2027

The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities was elected as the Environment and Climate NGO Sector Representative of the Philippine Open Government Partnership’s (PH-OGP) Steering Committee from 2023-2027.  PH-OGP, currently chaired by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), aims to promote inclusive, transparent, and accountable governance through empowered civic spaces, enhanced public participation, and strong multi-sectoral partnerships. The Non-government Steering Committee will support the PH-OGP’s direction setting for the country’s National Action Plan and ensuring that openness and inclusivity are integrated into the national and local government processes. As the current Environment and Climate NGO representative, ICSC is committed to help advance participatory and whole-of-society governance by bringing in its expertise on climate and energy policy, leading capacity-building initiatives, developing policy briefs and communication materials, and reviewing policies and programs of the government in order to contribute to PH-OGP’s goals and implement effective reforms.  The full list of [...]

Calicoan People’s Organization at the Frontline of Local Climate Action in Eastern Samar

by Ma. Czarinna de Cadiz  Download Full Story In the remote southern reaches of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, a hidden gem awaits. Far from the bustling cityscapes and tourist hubs, the serene island of Calicoan is a place where only a few lucky travelers find themselves. But what they discover is not just the ‘Surfers Paradise of Visayas’; it’s a sanctuary for both thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts. Calicoan Island, home to 7,692 residents hailing from four different barangays – Baras, Ngolos, Pagnamitan, and Sulangan – is an enchanting blend of adventure and biodiversity.  Nestled within the Guiuan Marine Reserve Protected Landscape and Seascape (GMRPLS), the island is a piece of heaven spanning over 60,488 hectares, encompassing the neighboring islands of Manicani, Candulom, Sulu-an, Tubabao, and Homonhon. However, the very beauty that makes Calicoan a sanctuary is also what makes it vulnerable. Beyond the breaking waves and golden [...]

Eastern Samar health hub gets solar generators [PNA]

by Roel Amazona | January 30, 2024 | Published by Philippine News Agency | READ THE STORY HERE TACLOBAN CITY – The rural health unit (RHU) of Guiuan in Eastern Samar on Tuesday received from the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) two solar generators to ensure the facility's operation amid power outages. During the turnover event, Guiuan RHU chief Maria Socorro Flores said using a renewable source of energy for the electricity needs of the facility will also lessen their electricity cost. “This will also strengthen the RHU’s resilience during emergencies, aside from enhancing the RHU's services,” she said. She said due to power outages after the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda, health services were interrupted, limiting the local health workers’ capacity to respond to medical attention. “The absence of electricity delays and hampers the delivery of services to the people who are in need, especially [...]

31 Jan 2024|Tags: , , , , , |

RE projects need to ease social impact []

by Meg. J Adonis | January 30, 2024| Published by Inquirer | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA  —The Philippine renewable energy sector needs to revisit their business strategies to ensure that infrastructure development does not cause further harm to the environment and communities, allied civil society groups said in a report. The Responsible Energy Initiative (REI) Philippines, a multiyear program promoting responsible energy transition led by six organizations in the country, highlighted in its “Renewable Energy to Responsible Energy: A Call to Action” report that key industry players needed to come up with mechanisms that can “anticipate and manage environmental and social impacts that may arise” from renewable energy development. “We do need to accelerate our actions given the climate crisis, but any proposed solution must take into account the views and interests of marginalized communities, who are most vulnerable to climate change impacts,” said Erika Geronimo, [...]

Policies to address ecological impact of RE urged [Philstar]

by Richmond Mercurio | January 28, 2024 | Published by Philippine Star | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA, Philippines — A group of international and Philippine-based think tanks and civil society organizations is calling for stronger collaboration across the renewable energy sector to integrate policies and practices that will allow the sector to respond responsibly to its ecological and social impacts. The Responsible Energy Initiative (REI) Philippines said not attending to emerging risks in utility-scale renewable energy value chains may likely slow down the energy transition in the country. REI Philippines, a multi-year program designed as a collaborative platform, is currently led by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), Oxfam Pilipinas, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Philippines, Forum for the Future, the Center for Empowerment, Innovation and Training on Renewable Energy, and the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre. “The Philippines’ renewable energy transition is best described by a [...]

New renewable energy strategy pushed [DailyTribune]

by Elmer Recuerdo | January 27, 2024| Published by Daily Tribune | READ THE STORY HERE The Philippines is the second country to launch the Responsible Energy Initiative and the first in Southeast Asia. Various international and Philippine-based think tanks and civil society organizations are calling for a stronger collaboration across the renewable energy sector to ensure the transition towards RE will be ecologically and socially responsible. These groups said that there are emerging impacts in the energy transition including displacement of indigenous communities, threats to biodiversity and environmental pollution from end-of-life disposal, and could impede the country’s energy transition. On Friday, close to 100 representatives from industry, finance, civil society and policymakers gathered for the launching of Responsible Energy Initiative Philippines (REI Philippines) at the Astoria Plaza Hotel in Pasig City. The new formation called for stronger collaboration to integrate policies, practices, norms and behaviors of [...]

New direction needed for Philippines’ renewable energy sector to be at pace with urgency of the climate emergency

January 26, 2023 | Reposted from Forum for the Future | READ THE STORY HERE The Responsible Energy Initiative Philippines consortium argues that not attending to emerging risks in utility-scale renewable energy value chains may likely slow down the just energy transition in the Philippines.   Friday January 26, 2024, Metro Manila, the Philippines: The Responsible Energy Initiative Philippines (‘REI Philippines’) officially launched today on the inaugural International Day of Clean Energy. Launching with an industry-wide case for action, REI Philippines calls for stronger collaboration across the renewable energy (RE) sector to integrate policies, practices, norms and behaviors that will allow the sector to anticipate and respond responsibly to its ecological and social impacts.  While the benefits of RE are widely acknowledged from decarbonization and expanding energy access to job creation, REI Philippines notes that emerging ecological and social impacts of the energy transition, particularly from the production and deployment of utility-scale RE, are inadequately addressed. These impacts include displacement of indigenous communities, threats to biodiversity and environmental pollution from end-of-life disposal, and could impede the country’s energy transition.  With the Philippines’ energy transition showing promise with a forward-looking policy direction, a mature developer sector, and a dynamic civil society, among other promising characteristics, this provides an opportunity for the RE sector to pioneer a shift towards business models that reduce harm, enable social justice and economic resilience, and regenerate ecosystems.  REI Philippines, a multi-year program designed as a collaborative platform, is currently led by [...]

Panay needs more diverse power mix []

by Meg Adonis | Jan 12, 2024 | Published by Inquirer | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA, Philippines  —A diverse and flexible power-generation portfolio is needed to prevent another island-wide blackout that crippled Panay for three days l ast week, a climate and energy think tank said on Thursday. Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) pointed out that diversifying energy sources could make power generation in Panay more resilient and less susceptible to system failures, especially as the Western Visayas island relied heavily on coal-fired power plants to meet growing demand. “Given the recent blackouts in Panay, a reevaluation of the island’s energy mix and grid resilience measures is imperative,” ICSC said in a statement. “This can include exploring advanced energy storage technologies, enhancing grid interconnections, and strategically integrating renewable energy sources to diversify the island’s energy portfolio,” the Quezon City-based group said. Panay, which comprises [...]

Energy policy group issues guidance to avert another widespread blackout on Panay Island [BusinessMirror]

by Lenie Lectura | January 11, 2024| Published by BusinessMirror | READ THE STORY HERE In a bid to prevent another Panay Island blackout, the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) strongly recommended for more power generation, including energy storage system and renewable energy (RE), and completion of transmission projects. “Given the recent blackouts in Panay, a reevaluation of the island’s energy mix and grid resilience measures is imperative. This can include exploring advanced energy storage technologies, enhancing grid interconnections, and strategically integrating renewable energy sources to diversify the island’s energy portfolio,” the group said. ICSC is a climate and energy policy group that promotes climate resilience and low-carbon development. It examined the factors that resulted in the large-scale power outages and highlighted the importance of distributed and flexible power generation in preventing another island-wide blackout. Since the island is heavily dependent on coal-fired power plants, any disturbance can [...]

ICSC: Panay blackouts signal urgent need to reevaluate the island’s energy system

QUEZON CITY, January 11, 2024 – Residents of Panay, the sixth largest island in the Philippines covering the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Iloilo, and parts of Guimaras experienced large-scale blackouts from January 2 to 5 caused by the tripping of major coal-fired power plants.  Local governments and business groups from Panay and Guimaras islands have called for an investigation, demanding accountability from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), Department of Energy (DOE), and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to address the incident. At the Senate energy committee hearing on January 10, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas also cited that the four-day blackouts resulted in an estimated PHP 2 billion worth of economic losses.  In response, the Energy Policy Team of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) examined the factors that resulted in the large-scale power outages and highlighted the importance of distributed and flexible [...]

ICSC at COP28: What transpired in this year’s UN climate conference?

The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) joined this year’s United Nations Conference of Parties (COP28), held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from November 30 to December 13.  The organization actively participated in discussions and activities on the Global Stocktake (GST), adaptation and mitigation, energy, finance, loss and damage, and innovative climate action. ICSC also monitored critical negotiations at the annual climate conference. COP28 marked the conclusion of the first GST, where countries and other stakeholders take inventory of the world’s collective progress towards achieving Paris Agreement goals. Yet, as COP28 concluded, experts and observer organizations fear an overshoot of the 1.5°C threshold of the Paris Agreement is imminent, as the decision on key issues and across the negotiations lacked ambition.  What are the events that transpired in this year’s UN climate conference? What opportunities lie ahead as the world moves forward to 2024? Adaptation The Global Goal [...]

Barbados appointed as new presidency of Climate Vulnerable Forum

CVF move towards independence marks strong political will to advance ambitious climate action, ICSC stated DUBAI, December 5, 2023 – The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), a group of 68 member countries highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, has announced Barbados to be its next presidency starting mid-2024 at the World Climate Action Summit on Transforming Climate Finance last December 1. The Summit was hosted by this year’s United Nations Conference of Parties (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. In the same event, former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed was also appointed as the first Secretary-General of the CVF, following the announcement of an independent Secretariat who will be responsible for operations of the CVF and the Vulnerable 20 (V20) Group of Finance Ministers, including providing technical expertise and support services. The decision to establish an independent Secretariat was made during the 11th V20 Ministerial meeting in September this year.  “More [...]

How Southeast Asia can ensure a swift and just transition away from coal [Agora Energiewende]

November 30, 2023| Published by Agora Energiewende | READ THE STORY HERE Despite their climate commitments, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines expect to build 45 GW new coal power by 2030. Concrete coal phase-out strategies would help reduce emissions and avoid stranded assets if they reassess new projects and retire existing power plants. To ensure a successful implementation of these strategies, international financing partnerships such as the just energy transition partnerships (JETPs) are key. #Coal phase-out Berlin, 30 November 2023. The currently planned new coal power capacities in the Southeast Asian countries Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines could lead to additional 330 MtCO2 emissions in this decade, contradicting the countries’ commitments to peak emissions by 2030. Overall, the countries’ coal pipeline adds up to 45 GW, a new analysis by energy think tanks Agora Energiewende, Institute for Essential Services Reform and Institute for Climate and Sustainable [...]

Industry leaders call for renewable energy hybridization in the country’s energy transition

QUEZON CITY, December 1, 2023 - Leaders in the Philippine energy sector emphasized the pivotal role of renewable energy (RE) hybridization in steering the country’s energy transition agenda during the REalize 2023: Enabling the Just Energy Transition towards Inclusive, Resilient, and Sustainable Development conference held in Makati City on November 28. These leaders stressed the potential of off-grid hybridization to enhance sustainability, considerable savings, and heightened reliability in the energy sector.  “The Department of Energy (DOE) is prioritizing addressing all RE-related development challenges, such as the complex permitting process, access to financing, price discovery mechanism for new and emerging RE technologies, and grid interconnection. We're looking for various ways [to] minimize or optimize the use of existing facilities like reconductoring, or using alternative ways to address these problems,” said DOE Assistant Secretary Mylene Capongcol.  “Everybody wants [electricity costs] to be lower. That’s an easy decision to make,” said Matthew [...]

ICSC, World Vision collaborate on climate finance proposal supporting water resilience

QUEZON CITY, November 30, 2023 – The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) and World Vision Development Foundation, Inc. (WVDF) have partnered to collaborate on a local simplified approval process (SAP) proposal for submission to the Green Climate Fund (GCF).  The proposal, which is currently in development, will aim to support water resources and watershed management in the Philippines through indigenous, ecosystem-based, locally-driven action. Specifically, it will focus on ensuring water resilience in coastal and small island communities, which regularly experience climate-induced or climate-aggravated water supply and quality issues.  Originally called the “Haiyan Project,” ICSC submitted an initial version of the proposal to the GCF in 2019, and has been working with LandBank of the Philippines—one of the country’s accredited Direct Access Entities under the GCF—to address the comments following the Fund’s initial project review. WVDF also reached out to LandBank earlier this year for a similar [...]

ICSC: PSF selection should be transparent, fair, and equitable

QUEZON CITY, November 22, 2023 – The Board of the People’s Survival Fund (PSF), chaired by the Department of Finance (DOF), approved five climate change adaptation projects endorsed by the Climate Change Commission (CCC) last October 23, amounting to a total of PHP 540.3 million.  In the 20th meeting of the PSF Board, the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) presented seven projects from the first batch of PSF proposals recommended for approval by the CCC. Among these proposals, five were approved – specifically Mountain Province; Maramag, Bukidnon; Catanauan, Quezon; Cabagan, Isabela; and Borongan, Eastern Samar – one was deferred (Sadanga, Mountain Province), and one was recommended to access the Project Development Grant, a sub-financing window of PSF (Besao, Mountain Province). In time for this year’s National Climate Change Consciousness Week, Manila-based think tank Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) published the proceedings of the 20th Board Meeting [...]

Where Are We Now?: 10 Years After Yolanda

At the time, I was at the college level; now, I witnessed the youth presenting their ideas and projects, and questions and discussions from their fellow youth. The contentment I felt was unimaginable; the knowledge of these youngsters was quite astounding, and I believe they deserve to be heard. It is natural to adapt and evolve; now, our evolution must come through the development of technology and products. Theses and school projects should not only focus on technology; we must also consider the environmental impacts of their projects.

Mga Kwento ng Pagbangon: 10 Taon Mula Yolanda

In November 2013, the Philippines faced unprecedented losses and damages brought by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), the strongest typhoon ever recorded in Philippine history. This catastrophic event resulted in more than 6,000 casualties and over PHP 95 billion worth of damages, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) A decade later, we proudly present “Kwento ng Pagbangon: 10 Taon Mula Yolanda (Stories of Resilience: 10 Years after Yolanda),” a documentary series that features stories of courage, resilience, and hope from residents, experts and communities in Eastern Visayas. The series is composed of 10 short stories and one full-length documentary that we will release starting today until December. Find more about the Stories of Resilience here:

EV CSOs Meet to push for Renewable Energy [The Calbayog Journal]

by Elmer Recuerdo | October 30, 2023 | Published by The Calbayog Journal | READ THE STORY HERE TACLOBAN CITY – Civil society organizations from the six provinces in Eastern Visayas convened to discuss possible measures to bring prices of electricity down in their respective localities. Arturo Tahup, associate for community resilience of the nongovernment group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), said 27 nongovernment organizations convened for two-days forum last October 24-25 to push for "just energy transition" agenda as part of the energy planning in the local government units. ICSC was one of the early responders during Typhoon Yolanda providing solar charging stations when the main grid went down for almost a year in the aftermath of the typhoon. ICSC, through its local office called RE-Charge Pilipinas, also introduced solar-powered public transportation and energized island barangays in Eastern Samar with a stand-alone solar home [...]

Industry ponders the ‘long road’ before hydrogen becomes viable [BusinessWorld]

by Sheldeen Joy Talavera | October 15, 2023| Published by BusinessWorld | READ THE STORY HERE HYDROGEN is expected to play a key role in advancing the green energy transition, though it will take time before it becomes cost-effective, analysts said. Sam Reynolds, an energy finance analyst at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, told BusinessWorld that hydrogen for power generation has a “long road ahead before it becomes a viable, affordable energy source.” He said that green hydrogen, which is produced from renewables, costs up to $8 per kilogram, equivalent to $60 per million British thermal units — about six times of the price of liquefied natural gas in Asia. “Although the price of green hydrogen is expected to fall over the next several decades, this will depend on the Philippines’ ability to build out enough domestic renewable energy capacity to both meet electricity demand and [...]

V20 Ministerial Dialogue: XI Securing Shared Prosperity and Sustainable Development in a Climate Insecure World [V20]

by Nabiha Shahab & Denise Fontanilla | October 15, 2023 | Published by V20 | READ THE STORY HERE Marrakech, 15 October 2023 – The Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Finance Ministers, comprising 68 countries from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East, and the Pacific, today reiterated their call for urgent reforms in the international financial system. Member ministers also called for recognition of the V20 Finance Ministers as an official group in the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The V20 countries’ comparatively small IMF quotas have resulted in inadequate allocations of SDRs, necessitating a reliance on the unpredictable rechanneling of unused SDRs from more affluent economies. This inequity underscores the urgent need for a reevaluation of global financial governance to ensure that all nations can effectively address the challenges posed by these monumental crises. The imbalance in the IMF’s quota system becomes even more evident when it [...]

Unlocking the green potential: Philippines eyes just energy transition partnerships [BusinessMirror]

by Lenie Lectura | October 7, 2023 | Published by BusinessMirror | READ THE STORY HERE DEVELOPING countries, such as the Philippines, would need financial assistance from industrialized countries in order to fully enforce energy transition plans towards a sustainable and low-carbon energy future, Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said. The Philippines is committed to bring in more clean energy fuels and technologies for the next 17 years; specifically, 35 percent of renewable energy (RE) should comprise the country’s power generation mix by 2030 and 50 percent in 2040. “Any transition is going to entail costs. And this means therefore additional cost not only for the developed countries but also even for developing countries like the Philippines. I am glad that this is a concern common to Asean. But since most of the Asean countries are not the ones responsible for the climate emergency, then the developed countries [...]

Philippines dam aims to solve water shortage exacerbated by climate change [NPR]

by Ashley Westerman | October 6, 2023| Published by NPR | READ THE STORY HERE A dam being built in the Philippines to mitigate an impending water shortage is drawing controversy, and highlighting the disjointed conversation about development in the country. Transcript: In the Philippines, an impending water shortage exasperated by climate change threatens the livelihoods of millions of residents in the capital, Manila. In anticipation, a large dam is being built in the nearby Sierra Madre mountains. But the dam is not without its controversies. Ashley Westerman brings us this report as part of NPR's week dedicated to stories about the search for climate solutions. ASHLEY WESTERMAN, BYLINE: Daraitan is a small, touristy village a couple of hours outside of Manila, nestled in the mountains of Rizal Province on the Agos River. (SOUNDBITE OF MOTOR RUMBLING) WESTERMAN: The village of about 5,000 residents is lush and green. [...]

07 Oct 2023|Tags: , |

ICSC calls for urgency, accountability in the delivery of climate finance pledges

Echoing the call of the Vulnerable 20 Group (V20 Group) of Finance Ministers, Manila-based think tank Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) calls upon leaders of developed nations to fulfill their obligations to climate-vulnerable countries and deliver climate finance pledges with utmost urgency as the Green Climate Fund (GCF) undergoes its second replenishment.   

What air quality monitoring can do for bike commuters [The Inkline]

by Mavic Conde | Sept 22, 2023| Published by The Inkline | READ THE STORY HERE At one o’clock in the afternoon, Joshua Agar parked along Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, a long stretch of road in the most populous city in the Philippines. He was cycling from his hometown in Cavite, about 16 miles southwest of his destination – the University of the Philippines Diliman, where he teaches in the College of Engineering. The temperature that day reached 35 degrees Celsius, with a humidity level of 63 percent, a level of temperature that discourages many Filipinos from cycling, leaving many to take public transport or private vehicles. “Aside from the country’s hot climate, pollution — including from vehicle emissions — can contribute to breathing and thermal discomfort,” he said. Despite the majority of cyclists not being completely aware of its benefits, he emphasises that air quality should be [...]

Harvest Moon lauded for poetry and book design in Gintong Aklat Awards 2022

PASAY CITY, September 18, 2023 – Climate anthology Harvest Moon: Poems and Stories from the Edge of the Climate Crisis has won the “Poetry in English” and “Excellence in Book Design” categories in the Gintong Aklat (Golden Book) Awards 2022.  The book, co-published by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) and Milflores Publishing, featured more than 30 images alongside over 30 poems, stories, and essays about the climate crisis from writers, photographers, and artists in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America.  Harvest Moon succeeds ICSC’s first climate anthology, ​​Agam: Filipino Narratives on Uncertainty and Climate Change, a powerful collection of 24 narratives and 26 images, presented using eight Philippine languages. Agam received three book awards: A National Book Award for Best Anthology, and two Gintong Aklat Awards for Design and English Literature, respectively. ICSC’s Director for Communications Joseph Manalo, Manager for Urban Development Arielle Celine Tabinga, and [...]

Empowering Communities: A Renewable Energy Assessment in Brgy. Commonwealth, Quezon City [350 Pilipinas]

September 12, 2023 | Published by 350 Pilipinas | READ THE STORY HERE 350 Pilipinas, Lilok Foundation Inc, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities’ RE-Charge Pilipinas and five homeowners associations recently collaborated for a community facility energy needs assessment at Brgy. Commonwealth, Quezon City The assessment, facilitated by RECharge’s Arturo Tahup, determines the Renewable Energy systems that can be integrated into community facilities such as multi-purpose halls for energy efficiency and conservation Multi-purpose halls have always been the beating heart of communities, serving as spaces for essential gatherings, social events, mass assemblies, and even as evacuation centers during natural disasters. By powering these facilities with renewable energy, we not only embrace sustainability but also empower communities to save and redirect resources towards their programs and development. This assessment represents a pivotal step toward tailoring energy solutions to meet the unique needs of the community, with a focus [...]

13 Sep 2023|Tags: , , |

Civil society groups from Southeast Asia convened to discuss inclusive, clean urban mobility

CHIANG MAI, September 12, 2023 – Representatives from social enterprises, non-government organizations, civic groups, and coalitions in Southeast Asia working on inclusivity, transport, climate change, and energy gathered in Chiang Mai, Thailand last August 23 to 25 to learn from each other about good practices in advancing inclusive, clean urban mobility in the region. Dubbed the Southeast Asia Urban Mobility Movers, 39 participants from 27 civil society groups in the region gathered in the Amora Tha Pae Hotel in Chiang Mai for their first-ever learning exchange session to promote good practices on inclusive and clean urban mobility in Southeast Asia and discuss how the civil society community can foster regional collaboration in accelerating inclusive, clean, and sustainable mobility in ASEAN cities. The convening was jointly organized by the Philippine-based think tank Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC),  Chiang Mai-based Foundation for Older Persons’ Development (FOPDEV), and the Clean [...]

More Filipinos are cycling now, latest SWS survey affirms [Mobility Awards]

September 5, 2023 | Reposted from the Mobility Awards | READ THE STORY HERE QUEZON CITY, September 5, 2023 – One out of three households in the country, amounting to approximately 10 million households nationwide, now own at least one bicycle, according to the latest survey released by the Social Weather Stations (SWS).  A significant increase from the past two years, with 7.3 million cyclists recorded in April 2022 and 6.2 million cyclists estimated in May 2021, the recent SWS findings highlight the growing reliance of many Filipinos on bicycles for transport, livelihood, and recreation. This year’s respondents cited economic benefits, health improvements, financial savings, and reduced travel time as their main reasons for cycling. In response, Mobility Awards National Coordinator Arielle Celine Tabinga said: “The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has already said that a bike revolution is underway. The latest SWS survey provides solid evidence that this movement [...]

Think tank seeks removal of automatic pass-through fuel cost from power deals [BusinessWorld]

by Beatriz Marie D. Cruz | September 3, 2023| Published by BusinessWorld | READ THE STORY HERE The Government needs to remove pass-through fuel cost clauses in power purchase agreements (PPAs) in order to lower electricity prices, an energy policy think tank said. “The automatic fuel cost pass-through provision is really what causes the high cost of electricity,” Alberto R. Dalusung III, Energy Transition Advisor of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), said in an e-mail. “Amending the EPIRA (Electric Power Industry Reform Act) only (addresses) a small portion of the price burden,” Mr. Dalusung said, adding that the automatic fuel pass-through has a much larger impact on prices borne by the end-user. Under a PPA between a distribution utility and coal power producer, fuel costs incurred by the producer are automatically passed on to consumers, with pass-through charges based on the prevailing global coal [...]

04 Sep 2023|Tags: , , , , , |

In Philippines, climate change tests Indigenous farming like never before [Mongabay]

On #NationalHeroesDay2023, ICSC celebrates the local climate heroes like the Suludnon, who are at the forefront of the fight against climate change and working to secure a liveable, sustainable future for generations to come. We continue to urge the country’s leaders to commit to and invest in ambitious climate action that supports and protects our most vulnerable, and helps provide a brighter future for every Filipino. Written by 2022 Klima Fellow Keith Anthony Fabro.

Philippine cities must step up and prioritize people over cars [Mobility Awards]

August 22, 2023 | Reposted from the Mobility Awards | READ THE STORY HERE QUEZON CITY, August 22, 2023 – Nearing the end of the nomination period for this year’s Mobility Awards, the awards’ convenors urge all cities in the Philippines – especially those who were previously recognized for their leadership in providing safer, more inclusive streets – to heed the call of the majority of Filipinos to prioritize the movement of people over cars. On behalf of the Mobility Awards convenors, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) inclusive urban mobility advisor and MNL Moves founder Aldrin Pelicano said: “The post-pandemic return to normalcy has unmasked a truth that we can not ignore: cycling is not the culprit behind traffic congestion; it is predominantly caused by our overdependence in driving motorized vehicles. As we envision a future where cities thrive with cleaner air, inclusive mobility, and enhanced livability, [...]

Quezon City and Pasig, PH launch new active mobility efforts for more walkable and cyclable communities

August 2, 2023 | Reposted from ICLEI Southeast Asia | READ THE STORY HERE The local governments of Quezon City and Pasig City continue to make their streets more walkable, cyclable, and environment-friendly through the launching of new initiatives that will enable active mobility. Quezon City Mayor Hon. Joy Belmonte and Pasig City Mayor Hon. Vico Sotto launched the initiatives on 25 July 2023 during the memorandum of understanding signing and kickoff workshop of the Sparking Active Mobility Actions for Climate-friendly Cities (SPARK) project being implemented by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC). A kickoff workshop was held after the ceremony which saw technical heads and staff from both cities participating in focus group discussions on key project elements; as well as staff from Philippine national agencies brainstorming the possible composition of the National Project Advisory Group (NPAG). Funded [...]

RE transition won’t happen ‘overnight’ — DoE [BusinessWorld]

by Ashley Erika O. Jose | July 30, 2023| Published by BusinessWorld | READ THE STORY HERE THE Department of Energy (DoE) said it will take time for the Philippines to transition to 100% renewable energy (RE), and called for the industry to be more honest about how long the shift will take. “For those who are saying that we can go 100% renewable overnight, then I would like to have more honesty from this sector that we are not in a position to do it,” Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said at the BusinessWorld Insights forum last week at the Shangri-La in Bonifacio Global City. Mr. Lotilla said that while the government continues to work on expanding renewable energy use, the energy transition will take time. “The energy transition has to take place over time if it is going to be a just transition. But if [...]

Congressional support sought to achieve 100 percent household electrification [Philstar]

by Richmond Mercurio | July 29, 2023| Published by Philstar | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA, Philippines — Congressional support will play a key role in achieving the country’s full household electrification target by 2028 or even earlier, according to the Department of Energy. State-run National Electrification Administration (NEA) has identified inadequate government subsidy to finance the energization of the remaining unenergized areas as the biggest challenge in the attainment of 100-percent rural electrification program. “Of course we are limited. That’s why we want to have Congressional support because these are chargeable to the budget,” Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said. “The President’s target is really to have 100 percent by the time 2028 comes,” he said. During his second State of the Nation Address, President Marcos said the government would spare no effort to achieve full household electrification by the end of his term. “We want to [...]

Eastern Visayas local gov’ts, civil society lead in climate action, biodiversity conservation

Paranas, along with Guiuan and Salcedo in Eastern Samar, are the bioregions of the Multi-Actor Partnership on Enhanced Local Climate Action (MAP-ELCA) project of the Manila-based think tank Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), which was launched in Tacloban City today. 

ICSC dives deeper into SONA 2023: PHL energy, dev’t plans require transparency and concrete data

QUEZON CITY, July 28, 2023 – The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) called for clarity and urgency in implementing the government’s development plans in its response to the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) made by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on Monday, July 24. Given that the President highlighted developments in the country’s energy sector, Atty. Pedro H. Maniego Jr., Senior Policy Advisor of ICSC dives deeper into this year’s SONA.

ICSC reacts to 2nd SONA: Clearer climate, energy solutions needed for PHL development

Reacting to the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered yesterday by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) called for clarity and urgency in the implementation of the government’s development plans, while affirming the need for the country’s climate action to be better incorporated in its economic agenda.

ICSC lauds latest MMDA Bike Count

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has released the results of a year-long bike count done in 2022 by its Bike Lane Program Office (BLPO), with over 1.7 million bicycle trips made along Ortigas Avenue, Quirino Highway, and Commonwealth Avenue. The bike count data supports cycling as a viable mode of transportation in the country, with more people choosing to cycle for everyday trips.

Mobility Awards begins search for 2023 bike-friendly cities, workplaces, and establishments

Public nominations for this year's Mobility Awards opens today, urging citizens, workers, and consumers to nominate bike-friendly cities, workplaces, and establishments in the country. Similar nominations are also open for individuals under the Padyak Power to the People! Awards, namely Siklista ng Bayan and Padyak Champion categories.

Southeast Asian civil society pushes for stronger Paris climate pledges

MANILA, May 18, 2023 - Southeast Asian groups, backed by the Climate Change Commission of the Philippines, called for urgent and significant delivery of Paris climate commitments to help communities, especially the most vulnerable, survive and thrive amid the climate crisis. “As a climate vulnerable region, adaptation remains our response anchor, with mitigation as a co-benefit. We must act on climate change for our long-term resilience and development. We need powerful regional voices in the Global Stocktake (GST), and we hope to achieve that through this collaboration,” said Angelo Kairos dela Cruz, Executive Director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), during the launch of the Southeast Asia (SEA) Hub of the Independent Global Stocktake (iGST) on Tuesday.  The GST was established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to assess the world’s collective progress towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement, which was [...]

ICSC: RE is variable and not intermittent, best fits the country’s energy needs

QUEZON CITY, May 15, 2023 – The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) announced in a virtual briefing yesterday that renewable energy (RE) projects will become operational soon in the Philippine grid, but their harmonization with the existing plan of the transmission system needs to be considered. “The influx of a lot of variable technologies will need a lot of upgrades from the grid and these should be considered in terms of whether the quickest and easiest solution is from the grid’s perspective or perhaps looking at technologies coming in and ensuring these harmonizes with the existing development plan of the transmission system,” said NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Alabanza. Alabanza added that the company is committed to finishing priority transmission projects this year. “But again, we can only commit to developing our part, but the whole energy supply chain needs to be resilient,” she said. In response, Institute for Climate [...]

Luzon Yellow alerts may be raised starting April 24 []

MANILA  -Yellow alerts are expected to be raised in the Luzon grid as soon as April 24 and persist until mid-June despite the Department of Energy’s (DOE) softer projection this year, according to a report by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC). In its 2023 Luzon Power Outlook report released on Tuesday, the international energy policy group warned that the country’s power supply situation may become precarious for around eight weeks as demand steadily increases.

19 Apr 2023|Tags: , , |

Yellow alerts in Luzon grid possible starting April 24 – ICSC report

The report entitled “Luzon Power Outlook: Reviewing the Adequacy of Power Supply for April to June 2023” examined the sufficiency of power supply in Luzon for the second quarter of this year based on the power demand forecasts presented by the Department of Energy (DOE) this March. The report came a year after ICSC warned of a possible shortfall in the country’s power supply in the second quarter of 2022, in time for the national elections. 

Green groups call for end to fossil fuel addiction to avert catastrophic future [PhilStar]

MANILA, Philippines — Staving off the worst impacts of the climate crisis requires governments to kick their fossil fuel habit as soon as possible and shift to renewable energy systems, climate and environment groups said following the release of a capstone report from the United Nations’ climate advisory panel. In a report released on Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) painted a stark picture of where the world is heading — heavier rainfall, more intense heatwaves, other weather extremes and collapse of ecosystems — unless radical actions are taken.

21 Mar 2023|Tags: , , |

REACTIVE: New UN climate report shows urgent, ambitious action can lead to ‘liveable future’

The latest United Nations climate science report released yesterday affirmed that urgent, ambitious climate action can still guarantee a sustainable, liveable future for all even as global warming has already reached 1.1 degrees Celsius (°C) above pre-industrial levels and emissions continue to rise.

Liquefied natural gas: A dirty, costly detour [PCIJ]

Residing in the coastal village of Sta. Clara in Batangas City for three generations, the Mendozas witnessed how a community once lined with aroma and talisay trees had turned into a marshy area now cornered by gas facilities. Located only a few hundred meters away from their home are the Avion, Sta. Rita, San Lorenzo, and San Gabriel natural gas-fired power plants.

Threat of rising seas to Asian megacities could be way worse than we thought, study warns [CNN]

Hong Kong (CNN) — Parts of Asia’s largest cities could be under water by 2100 thanks to rising sea levels, according to a new study that combines both the impact of climate change with natural oceanic fluctuations. Sea levels have already been on the rise due to increasing ocean temperatures and unprecedented levels of ice melting caused by climate change.

Multi-sector group to be set up to boost financial protection from disaster risks [BusinessWorld]

A HOUSE panel approved on Wednesday a resolution creating a multisectoral group that will enhance the country’s financial protection against climate and disaster risks, especially for the most vulnerable sectors. Bohol Rep. Edgar M. Chatto, author of House Resolution No. 213, told the climate change committee that the Philippines must boost its climate and disaster risk financing and insurance (CDRFI) mechanisms to provide social protection to communities that suffer the most from the impact of extreme weather patterns.

Congress adopts resolution on climate and disaster risk financing

The Standing Committee on Climate Change of the House of Representatives adopted today House Resolution No. 213, which supports the establishment of a Multi-Actor Partnership (MAP) on the enhancement of climate and disaster risk financing and insurance (CDRFI) in the Philippines. The resolution was sponsored by Climate Change Committee chair and Bohol First District Representative Edgar M. Chatto.

LNG terminals seen to pose threat to PHL energy security [BusinessWorld]

THE government’s approval of more terminals for imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) may have worsened the country’s looming power crisis, according to organizations focused on the energy sector. “Taking a broader perspective will address the level of dependence we may be placing on LNG given its volatile fuel prices,” said Alberto R. Dalusung III, energy transition advisor of Manila-based policy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, in a Viber message.

‘Move away from coal and transition to more RE sources’ [Radyo Agila]

In an interview on Radyo Agila’s Breakfast on Board last February 19, ICSC energy transition advisor Alberto Dalusung III talked about the urgent need for the country to move away from coal and transition to more renewable energy sources, leading to more affordable, reliable, and secure power. “Ang kailangan natin gawin ay palakihin ang share ng renewables [sa ating energy mix]. Hindi ito madaling gawin, kaya kailangan na ang ating mga polisiya ay klaro para ang mga programa [sa energy transition] ay matutukan (We need to increase the share of renewables in our energy mix. It is not easy to do, which is why we need concise policies for our energy transition programs to be prioritized),” he said. Dalusung added, “[Maganda ring] tingnan natin yung mga programa na meron tayo para sa ating existing systems, gaya ng coal moratorium. Ang direksyon [dapat] natin ay away from coal [...]

‘Climate action must be anchored on resilient development’ [Radyo Pilipinas]

In an interview with Radyo Pilipinas, a station owned and operated by the Philippine Broadcasting Service, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) incoming executive director Angelo Kairos Dela Cruz talked about the work of ICSC in advancing fair climate policy and low carbon development in local, national, and international arenas last February 10, 2023.

‘PHL needs distributed energy infra built on ample supply of renewables’ [Washington Post]

In the Washington Post story entitled "Clean-energy push puts abandoned Philippine nuclear plant back in spotlight" by Rebecca Tan and Jhesset Enano, published on January 25, 2023, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) energy transition advisor Alberto Dalusung III said: "It is costly to ensure that nuclear plants are safely operated in the Philippines, which, like Japan, is in a notoriously active seismic zone called the Ring of Fire. And when nuclear plants go offline, say because of a typhoon, the energy grid can be left crippled, causing brownouts. Instead of a few large power plants, the Philippines needs a 'distributed energy infrastructure' built on its ample supplies of solar, wind and geothermal resources." Read the full story: ICSC also released in March 2022 its stand on the affordability and reliability concerns in reviving nuclear energy in the Philippines. Visit for more information. ###

25 Jan 2023|Tags: , , , , , |

Constantino steps down; Dela Cruz to be ICSC executive director

QUEZON CITY, January 23, 2023 – The board of trustees of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), a Manila-based climate and energy think tank, announced the appointment of Angelo Kairos Dela Cruz as the new ICSC executive director effective January 16, with a one-month transition as the current head, Renato Redentor Constantino, turns over the reins fully by February 17, 2023. “ICSC needs a leader who can maintain, if not surpass, the organization’s current high sense of strategy, but also one who has the vision and competence to help it endure institutionally. We all intend to be around for the long haul, and we believe that Kairos is the best fit for the position. He has our full confidence and support,” said Jasper Inventor, ICSC Board Chair. A former ICSC campaign assistant and consultant from over a decade ago, Dela Cruz last  served as the group’s deputy executive [...]

[Response] UAE national oil company head to lead COP28 climate talks

DOWNLOAD PDF by Angelo Kairos Dela Cruz, ICSC Deputy Executive Director Full response of ICSC deputy executive director Angelo Kairos Dela Cruz for the BusinessMirror story entitled “Groups flag appointment of Abu Dhabi oil boss Al Jaber to lead climate talks” by Lenie Lectura published last January 19, 2023. Representation of the Conference of Parties (COP) presidency by a leader of the global petroleum industry is clearly problematic, but it also needs to be said that the influence of the fossil fuel industry has been overwhelmingly damaging since the first round of climate negotiations began almost three decades ago. Such leadership of COP28 is thus not new, but certainly we see it as the newest, boldest foothold the industry has accomplished, and there can be no doubt the intention is to stymie progress in the talks to make fossil industry companies accountable to the global public. We recognize [...]

Moving On

by Renato Redentor Constantino, ICSC Executive Director DOWNLOAD PDF This announcement comes with mixed measures of relief, gratitude, and joy. After 13 years at the helm of ICSC, it is time to step down and make way for new leadership. It is with pride as well that I welcome the institution’s new executive director Angelo Kairos dela Cruz, risen from the ranks after joining the organization over a decade ago as a former campaign assistant, former consultant, former head of the organization’s climate policy team, and most recently, as ICSC’s deputy executive director. There will be a brief 30-day period to complete the transition, which ends on February 16 – the day I exit my post as chief executive with finality and when Kai fully holds the reins. Internally, this has not necessarily come as a surprise as the transition process began earlier. A large part of [...]

16 Jan 2023|Tags: , , |

Bleak, challenging energy sector outlook seen in ’23 [Business Mirror]

by Lenie Lectura | January 09, 2023| Published by Business Mirror | READ THE STORY HERE INDUSTRY stakeholders paint a bleak and very challenging power sector this year. The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) said rotating brownouts could happen in the second quarter of this year because of two reasons that were not included in earlier projections of the grid operator. “The power outlook for 2023 is bleak. We at ICSC do not foresee much improvement in the supply from both coal and fossil gas power plants,” ICSC senior policy advisor Pete Maniego Jr. said. He cited the weekly demand, supply, and operating margin 2023 report of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in which it cited sufficient operating reserves in the second quarter, specifically from April 24 to May 28, 2023. However, the ICSC said the assumptions of these projected margins are very optimistic [...]

[Klima Reports] Solar power fuels Surigao island’s rise from Odette

On December 2021, Super Typhoon Odette, internationally known as Rai, devastated the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Islands. A year later, Klima Fellows from Philippine Daily Inquirer Erwin Mascariñas and Ivy Marie Mangadlao visited one of the affected villages and documented how solar energy helped the community back on its feet.

[Klima Reports] Raising the bar: Part 2 – Benguet towns to partner with Beneco for sustainable power supply

The Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) initial foray into renewable energy generation in Man-asok Buguias, Benguet is the first of many planned for the province to make Benguet self-reliant when it comes to energy.

[Klima Reports] Renewables best option for cheap energy in Mindanao

Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro, deputy executive director of the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda), loves to remember the time, not so long ago, when electricity rates in Mindanao hovered at P6 per kilowatt-hour, the lowest in the country. This was when hydroelectricity generated from the waters of Agus and Pulangi rivers made up the bulk of the region’s energy supply. The Agus and Pulangi plants had a combined installed capacity of 1,001.1 megawatts.

Local stories on the Philippine energy transition launched

QUEZON CITY, November 28, 2022 – Energy transition stories written by non-energy beat journalists from across the Philippines were launched today under the Klima Reports, an online compendium of stories published by the Fellows of the Jaime Espina Klima Correspondents Fellowship.  Named in honor of the late veteran journalist and tireless media workers’ advocate Jose Jaime “Nonoy” Espina, the Fellowship is the first story grant of the Manila-based think tank Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC).  “​​I hope that this is just the start, that the Klima Fellowship continues to pave the way for courageous, enterprising community journalists to show the country and the world that this is what the regions can do in terms of energy, in terms of changing the problems that we face right now and doing our share to halt the difficulties that come with climate change and the roots of it,” said Inday Espina [...]

[Klima Reports] Raising the Bar: Part 1 – Benguet’s Renewable Energy Quest for Stable Power Source

What are the potentials and challenges in shifting to renewable energy, particularly hydropower, in order to power up Benguet? Our Klima Fellows Carl Taawan and Sam Bautista explore the realities of venturing into hydropower in the province in this two-part story in the Highland Tribune.

[Klima Reports] Regreening Mindanao grid

In the shift to renewables, all hands should be on-deck, from government actors, private stakeholders, the academe, and the community. In this two-part story, our Klima Fellows Germelina Lacorte and Barry Ohaylan speak with academics and engineers from the Ateneo de Davao University to learn about their efforts in greening their university and in extension, Davao City and Mindanao.

[Klima Reports] Solar power lights up, enhances productivity in remote SouthCot IP village

The indigenous Manobo community in Sitio Blit in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato used to be shrouded in darkness, until a government project called “tala” (star) lit up their homes using solar power. This special report by Bong Sarmiento and Carolyn Arguillas, our Klima Fellows from Mindanews, takes us to this foggy village in Mindanao, where households benefit from renewable energy.

[Klima Reports] Jeepney modernization’s rushed timeline neglects drivers’ woes

The transport sector is one of the major contributors to carbon emissions. As the world moves towards renewable energy sources, how do we ensure a just transition for the public transport sector in the Philippines? Our Klima Fellows Mavic Conde and Ronalyn Olea from Bulatlat produced a two-part report exploring the government’s jeepney modernization program, which envisions greener public transport.

[Klima Reports] Solar empowers Pala’wan indigenous women to save basketry tradition, natural forest

In the mountainous Sitio Kamantian in Palawan province, the indigenous Pala’wan women turn to solar power not only to light up their community, but to save their long tradition to weave baskets, traditionally called “tingkep.” This story by Keith Anthony Fabro and Jee Geronimo, our Klima Fellows from Rappler, explores how renewable energy lights up an indigenous village, empowers women to uphold their traditions, and helps save the natural forests.

[Klima Reports] [S]ILAW

What lessons can we learn from a far-flung community in northern Cordillera on securing power from renewable energy sources? Raymund Villanueva and Rosemarie Alcaraz, our Klima Fellows from Kodao Productions, traveled to Apayao to document a small village’s journey and experiences with micro-hydropower.

RE storage now a reality, private sector urged to invest

QUEZON CITY, November 26, 2022 – As renewable energy (RE) technologies have become more efficient and affordable, the reality of energy storage systems (ESS) fills the gap that constrains the increase of RE's share in the power generation mix of the Philippines. With ESS, the variability of RE becomes a non-issue and 24/7 power with renewables is now possible. This was the clarion call issued yesterday by leading business analysts tracking energy trends in the country and Southeast Asia. “Developers recognize that they have to place their bets today. Coal is out of the picture in the next five to 10 years because of this whole eye-opening event of the volatile fossil fuel costs, so it makes sense to have power sources that you can rely on. As long as your projections are correct and you are putting your assets in the right place, you can place your bets accordingly [...]

ICSC awarded for best practices in mainstreaming gender in the environment sector

The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) was awarded by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), and the NAPC Women Sectoral Council for its best practices in mainstreaming gender and development (GAD) in the environment sector, along with Women in Emergencies Network (WENet) and Pambansang Koalisyon ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan (PKKK).

US ties up with Lopez-led EDC to study geothermal potential [BusinessWorld]

A UNITED States agency is providing Lopez-led Energy Development Corp. (EDC) a grant of $413,120 to do a feasibility study for the development of a geothermal power plant in Mindanao. In a press release published on its website, the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) said it launched along with US Vice President Kamala Harris the grant — valued at P23.56 million in the local currency — to study the geothermal potential of the southern island’s Amacan area.

Private sector urged to incorporate sustainability and long-term resilience in business strategies

Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the private sector is urged to incorporate sustainability and long-term resilience into their business strategies in order to thrive in the new normal while dealing with the current economic challenges, which includes investing in the welfare of their employees, suppliers, and customers.

Top emitters urged to provide concrete climate action despite G20 leaders reaffirming 1.5C goal [ABS-CBN News]

The G20 Media Center was set abuzz as members of the information desk announced the joint communique is ready for public view. A draft communique seen by some the night before showed that G20 leaders will close their summit in Indonesia this week with a strongly worded statement against Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. But climate advocates have been waiting on bated breath as there were fears major economy leaders are backtracking on their pledge to limit global warming to 1.5C.

G20 declaration provides momentum as COP27 nears end, but falls short in energy transition [PhilStar]

Leaders of the Group of 20 nations renewed their commitment to keep alive the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and recognized the need to phase down the use of unabated coal, giving hope to boost the climate summit in Egypt.

V20 and G7 jointly launch Global Shield against Climate Risks at COP27

The Vulnerable 20 Group of Finance Ministers (V20) of 58 climate vulnerable economies and the Group of Seven (G7) today officially launched the Global Shield against Climate Risks, an initiative for pre-arranged financial support designed to be quickly deployed in times of climate disasters. Initial contributions include around EUR 170 million from Germany and more than EUR 40 million from other countries. In addition, a broad coalition of countries, multilateral institutions, non-state and private sector partners has underlined their full institutional commitment to Global Shield. The first recipients of Global Shield packages – called Pathfinder countries – include Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Fiji, Ghana, Pakistan, the Philippines and Senegal.

Shifting to RE generates significant savings – companies

QUEZON CITY, November 14, 2022 – Businesses and companies in the Philippines weighed in on the savings and positive impacts on the private sector brought by renewable energy through the Department of Energy’s Green Energy Option Program (GEOP), in the first of three webinars of the “Pilipinas: Aspire, Rise, Sustain” series last Friday. The series, which is certified by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is hosted annually by the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), in partnership with the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) and The Climate Reality Project Philippines. The first webinar focused on GEOP, a policy mechanism under Republic Act 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008 that aims to provide consumers the option to choose renewable energy as a power source. Qualified participants are electricity end-users with an average peak demand of at least 100 kilowatts (kW) for one year. “By sourcing renewable energy [...]

Filipinos most worried about climate change but… [ABS-CBN News]

Filipinos are the ones most worried about climate change in an ASEAN-wide survey. But they also have the biggest proportion of respondents who mistakenly think that their country has a target for reaching net-zero emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.

Tacloban steers local climate solutions 9 years after Haiyan

TACLOBAN CITY, 11 November 2022 – Taclobanons continue to power their communities with portable solar energy systems, strengthening their climate and disaster resilience nine years after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) hit the city. Barangay officials and electricians, government trainers, and humanitarian workers assembled seven portable solar-powered devices or TekPaks as part of the three-day Solar Scholars training carried out by Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) RE-Charge Pilipinas and the Philippine Red Cross Leyte chapter at the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Region 8 training center from November 8 to 10.  Photo (c) Ira Guerrero/ICSC The TekPak can be used to provide light, charge mobile phones, and power small medical equipment during disasters and blackouts. After the training, six units will be turned over to selected high-risk communities in Tacloban, and the remaining unit will be employed by Red Cross Leyte as part of their [...]

CVF Calls Glasgow Climate Pact ‘Broken’, Following New Assessment of NDCs

The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) today at COP27 issued a major new report which uses a traffic light approach to show that G7 and G20 major economies are stuck on ‘red’ in terms of their NDCs’ alignment with the 1.5ºC goal of the Paris Agreement.

PH to seek ‘bolder’ climate action from developed countries at COP27 [ANC]

We must act on climate change for our own long-term development. In an interview with ANC 24/7, ICSC deputy executive director Angelo Kairos Dela Cruz said "The Philippines is a good example of how climate policies can be set up, but the challenge comes with implementation. If we keep on putting climate change as a chapter of our development strategy, it won't make things work. We must act on climate change, not because the UN says so, not because COP27 says so, we must do it for our own long-term development strategies."

10 Nov 2022|Tags: , , |

Sri Lanka Launches ‘Climate Prosperity Plan’ to Power Faster Economic Recovery and Achieve Net-Negative Carbon Emissions

This Preliminary Report presents Sri Lanka’s Climate Prosperity Plan: a national investment strategy to carve a pathway towards prosperity in a climate-insecure world. Sri Lanka’s Climate Prosperity Plan aims to maximise socio-economic outcomes and wellbeing for the population of Sri Lanka. To do so, the strategy focuses on unlocking the maximum domestic renewable energy potential and enhancing resilience through nature-based solutions and financial protection.

09 Nov 2022|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Nine years after Haiyan: Guiuan leads in stronger climate action

In commemoration of the ninth anniversary of Typhoon Haiyan, the local government of Guiuan in Eastern Samar, the first municipality battered by the super typhoon in 2013, gathered together youth groups, teachers, and civil society organizations, to deepen their understanding of climate science and adaptation, empowering Guiuananon citizens to do their part in making the community more resilient.

At least 200K commute on bikes each day, according to tally in key cities [Philstar]

Over 600 volunteers around the country recorded nearly 192,000 cyclists on major roads of ten cities in the Philippines in celebration of World Cities Day on Monday. These findings came off the 2022 Bike Count Program, the second round of its kind carried by the Mobility Awards organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project Philippines, MNL Moves, Pilipinas and Pinay Bike Community.

Nearly 200K cyclists ply major roads nationwide [GMA News]

More and more Filipinos are turning to bicycles, amid worsening traffic, rising fuel and commuting costs, and Covid-19 still lurking in the background. The Mobility Awards, convened by climate groups and bicycle advocates, recently conducted a bike count and learned that 191,578 cyclists ply major roads across the Philippines.

Citizens count almost 200,000 people on bikes nationwide [Cebu News Times]

Over 600 volunteers around the country recorded a total of 191,578 cyclists in major roads of ten cities in the Philippines, providing urgency and basis for national agencies and local governments to accelerate establishment of safer, more inclusive infrastructure and policies promoting active transport.

Volunteer bike count finds: 191K bikers nationwide, 51% helmet use []

PIONEERED LAST year in Manila as non-motorized mobility came into focus because of the lockdowns, the volunteer-driven Citizen’s Bike Count cast a wider, nationwide net for this year’s count. The findings of the more than 600-volunteer strong initiative? A total of 191,578 cyclists pedaling around the major roads of ten Philippine cities, including Naga, Cebu, Mandaue, Davao, Baguio, Iloilo, as well as four cities in Metro Manila.

‘PEDAL METRO’: City Hall counts 22k bike commuters at rush hours [Daily Guardian]

by Joseph B.A. Marzan | April 15, 2021| Published by Daily Guardian | READ THE STORY HERE In a nod to its claim as the country’s bicycling capital, a month-long bike-counting activity conducted by volunteers in Iloilo City a few months ago revealed that more than 20,000 people use their bikes as a mode of transport. The ‘Friday Bike Count’ conducted on all Fridays in June 2022 indicated that there were 22,114 cyclists on major city thoroughfares, including 12,125 riders in the morning (6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.) and 9,989 in the late afternoon (4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.). Per date, 6,710 bike commuters were counted on June 3, followed by 4,359 (June 10), 7,660 (June 17), and 3,385 (June 24). There were more male bikers (95.60 percent) than female bikers (4.30 percent), and the remaining 0.10 percent were undetermined. The data indicates that the city does away [...]

Citizens count almost 200,000 people on bikes nationwide

Over 600 volunteers around the country recorded a total of 191,578 cyclists in major roads of ten cities in the Philippines, providing urgency and basis for national agencies and local governments to accelerate establishment of safer, more inclusive infrastructure and policies promoting active transport.

Gov’t, academe, private sector commit to advance climate finance in PHL

A broad range of stakeholders led by legislators, national agencies, and non-government groups pledged together to accelerate the roll out of climate and disaster risk finance and insurance (CDRFI) initiatives to protect vulnerable communities from the worsening impacts of climate change.

China’s ban on overseas coal power plants is good for the climate … but where’s the support for renewable energy? experts ask [SCMP]

China must do more to redirect resources towards renewable energy projects, even if it has contributed to the world’s efforts to fight climate change by cancelling new coal power projects overseas, analysts said. Beijing’s pledge a year ago has put a “significant dent” in planned coal-fired projects overseas, according to the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and Manila-based environmental policy group, People of Asia for Climate Solutions (PACS).

22 Oct 2022|Tags: , , , , , |

Mobility group observes ‘gender gap’ between male and female cyclists in latest count

Of the nearly 100,000 cyclists counted by the Mobility Awards, the vast majority was male, which advocates say still indicates a "gender gap" in cycling in the Philippines.

The Climate Crisis Is Driving Poorer Nations to Desperate Measures [The New Republic]

As the United States and the world lurch toward a recession, the poorest and most vulnerable countries face a seemingly impossible set of circumstances. The group of 58 climate-vulnerable countries known as the V20 have lost 20 percent of their combined gross domestic product this century due to climate damages, according to a recent report. Meanwhile, these poorer countries also face rising food and commodity costs, the devastating effects of Covid-19, and ongoing vaccine apartheid. As the Federal Reserve moves to raise interest rates in the name of combating inflation, V20 nations appear to be reaching a breaking point. “The climate crisis is the debt crisis,” said Sara Jane Ahmed, finance advisor to the V20.

DOF, other V20 finance ministers call for global finance reforms to manage debt, climate impacts

WASHINGTON DC, 19 October 2022 – At the recently held annual meetings here of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, the Vulnerable 20 Group of Finance Ministers (V20) called for debt restructuring and other global financing reforms to help them manage the economic threats of both debt and climate change. The Philippines was the founding chair of the V20 in its establishment in 2015.

[V20 Ministerial Dialogue IX: “When is Now?”] Climate-vulnerable economies: Climate disasters and debt are a vicious cycle

The V20 Group of Finance Ministers from 58 climate-vulnerable economies today demanded reforms in the global financing architecture as they face mounting economic threats from climate disasters and debt. V20 countries have at least USD435 billion of debt servicing payments due in four years at a time when new investment is severely needed, the Group noted in its V20 Ministerial Dialogue IX Communique.

V20 and G7 agree on financial protection cooperation, to formally launch Global Shield Against Climate Risks at COP27

The V20 Group of Finance Ministers from climate vulnerable economies and the G7 Presidency today announced they have reached agreement on a financial protection cooperation that responds to loss and damage as a contribution to the Paris Agreement on climate change. V20 and G7 will jointly launch the Global Shield against Climate Risks at COP27 in a wider effort to accelerate pre-arranged financing at speed and scale.

DOE, ERC: Energy transition policy developments underway

Officials from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) announced in a conference yesterday the developments in government policies and programs to advance the energy transition in the Philippines, in particular Republic Act No. 9513 or the Renewable Energy (RE) Act of 2008.

Celebrating stories of hope and good trouble: Int’l climate anthology ‘Harvest Moon’ feted in Washington, DC

We need stories of hope and ‘good trouble’ to animate and enliven climate movements around the world, according to policy groups, philanthropists, artists, and activists who gathered yesterday in the Busboys and Poets bookstore and cultural hub to celebrate the publication of the international climate anthology Harvest Moon: Poems and Stories from the Edge of the Climate Crisis (2021).

EPIRA amendments urged to allow government role in power auctions [BusinessWorld]

THE power industry law needs to be amended to allow the government to play a role in power auctions, a senior legislator said. “There is a lot of fine tuning that we need for EPIRA (Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001); for example, the government should be allowed to hold a bidding process. As of now, under the CSP (Competitive Selection Process) regime, it’s Meralco (Manila Electric Co.) that seeks bids. The government should be allowed to hold a bid as well,” Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian told reporters on Friday.

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NO BASIS FOR PETITION: ERC rejects rate hike sought by Meralco, SMC power subsidiaries [Inquirer]

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has denied the joint petition of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and listed conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) for higher power rates. Meralco and electricity suppliers South Premiere Power Corp. (SPPC) and San Miguel Energy Corp. (SMEC), both owned by SMC, earlier filed the petition as a temporary relief measure to cushion the impact of skyrocketing coal and fuel prices caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.

ICSC welcomes ERC ruling on SMC-Meralco rate hike petition

QUEZON CITY, 4 October 2022 – The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) denied yesterday the joint proposal of Meralco and San Miguel Corporation (SMC) of a PHP0.30 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) increase in power rates. In their official ruling, ERC reminded both parties, especially Meralco as a regulated entity, of their obligation to preserve the 2019 power supply agreement (PSA) they have voluntarily entered under the approved terms to protect consumers in its franchise area. The PSA, according to the Commission, “provides no room for price adjustment and only a guaranteed supply of energy to Meralco consumers at a fixed price.” SMC Global Power Holdings (SMCGP) applied for the PHP0.30 per kWh increase to be able to recover from the PHP5.2 billion worth of revenue losses due to the surge of fuel prices in the global market from January to May this year. “The fact that the PSA is financial in [...]

ICSC begins 4-day work week

DOWNLOAD PDF MANILA, 3 October 2022 – The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) has begun implementing a four-day work week at full pay beginning this October 2022 for all staff. The organization tested several approaches leading to flexible and reduced workweeks over the last two years. This is in keeping with ICSC's human resources principle that, across ICSC’s teams, staff are more productive and efficient when they gain more personal time for rest and renewal while nourishing domestic and personal pursuits. Friday is now officially adopted as the standard ‘ginhawa day’ (rest day) across the organization in order to further empower staff while providing predictability to partners. The four-day work week policy seeks to complement existing benefits such as monthly menstrual leaves, and annual 15-day sick and 15-day vacation leaves. ICSC will sustain its work-from-home policy which was instituted even before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic [...]

03 Oct 2022|Tags: , , |

More foreign investments in RE projects expected [BusinessWorld]

by Ashley Erika O. Jose | October 3, 2022 | Published by BusinessWorld | READ THE STORY HERE The Philippines’ efforts to replace coal with renewable energy (RE) will likely get a boost after the Department of Justice (DoJ) issued a legal opinion stating that RE investments are not subject to foreign ownership restrictions. The Department of Energy (DoE) on Sunday said foreign ownership restrictions on investments in the RE sector may be eased after the DoJ’s legal opinion that “exploration, development, and utilization of inexhaustible RE sources are not subjected to the 60:40 foreign equity limitation, as mandated by the Section 2, Article 12 of the 1987 Constitution.” “This would further facilitate the increased shift to renewable power from coal/oil/petroleum to reduce carbon emissions/footprint and also reduce reliance on imported oil/coal/petroleum,” Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. Chief Economist Michael L. Ricafort said in a Viber message. Mr. Ricafort noted [...]

Noru became a super typhoon in 6 hours. Scientists say powerful storms are becoming harder to forecast [CNN]

by Kathleen Magramo and Jan Camenzind Broomby | October 1, 2022 | Published by CNN | READ THE STORY HERE Residents on the small resort island of Polillo are accustomed to severe weather -- their island sits in the northeastern Philippines, on the edge of the Pacific Ocean where storms typically gather strength and turn into typhoons. But even they were stunned by the intensity of Typhoon Noru, known locally as Typhoon Karding, that turned from a typhoon into a super typhoon in just six hours before hitting the region earlier this week. "We're used to typhoons because we're located where storms usually land," said Armiel Azas Azul, 36, who owns the Sugod Beach and Food Park on the island, a bistro under palm trees where guests drink coconut juice in tiny thatched huts. "But everything is very unpredictable," he said. "And (Noru) came very fast." The Philippines sees [...]

Southeast Asia Information Platform for the Energy Transition launched

A data hub designed to enable dialogue and promote coordination in the power sector in Southeast Asia was launched today by the regional initiative Clean, Affordable, and Secure Energy for Southeast Asia (CASE) to help accelerate the region’s energy transition.

Remember the lessons from Tropical Storm Ondoy 13 years after its onslaught [The Chiefs]

After Typhoon Karding hit provinces in Luzon yesterday and in time for the 13th anniversary of Typhoon Ondoy, ICSC deputy executive director Angelo Kairos Dela Cruz joins One News' #TheChiefs to talk about climate change impacts in the Philippines, as well as current adaptation and mitigation measures in place for the country.

As disaster hits the Philippines again, a farmer’s sorrow reveals the stakes [Washington Post]

PALAWAN, Philippines — The skies were still clear when the farmer went to take a final look at his crops. A massive tropical cyclone was hours away from making landfall in the northern Philippines, and the province of Nueva Ecija, known as the “rice granary” of the country, was in the center of its path. Officials warned that more than a million hectares (2.47 million acres) of farmland could be flattened just before harvesting season, devastating the poor, rural communities that have increasingly shouldered the brunt of the country’s natural disasters.

Poorer nations face rising debt servicing costs in 2024 – report

Some of the nations most vulnerable to climate change face a sharp rise in debt service payments in the coming two years, hampering their ability to invest in climate proofing and shoring up their economies, a research report found. The Vulnerable Group of Twenty (V20) - a group of 55 economies exposed to the fallout from climate change - expect debt service payments to rise to $69 billion by 2024 - the highest level in the current decade, according to calculations from the V20 and the Boston University Global Development Policy Centre.

Baguio City’s protected bike lane design could be something Metro Manila needs [Top Gear]

Metro Manila may have the biggest bike-lane network in the country just because of the sheer size of the region, but a good chunk of that network probably isn’t the most cyclist-friendly. If we’re talking about properly built bike lanes, there are places outside the capital we can look to.

Youth ChangeMakers: An idea can change the world… [CNS]

Over 70 young people from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and Philippines, who are working for social change in their communities to improve gender justice and gender equality, are participating in this Youth Festival. Their main focus is on sexual and reproductive health and rights. Also at the festival are youth leaders working on the impact of climate change on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Ahead of World Car-free Day Baguio City counts people on bicycles

In advance of the celebration of World Car-Free Day, cycling advocates and the local government of Baguio City counted cyclists in seven areas in the city from September 17-19, 2022. They undertook this count to establish baseline data on the number of residents using bicycles for daily transport, to help local policymakers make informed decisions on transport route network planning.

More lending pushed for RE investments [Philstar]

Manila-based climate and energy policy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) has called on the government and banks to provide more lending opportunities for renewable energy investments in the country. The total energy investment requirements indicated in the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) for the next 20 years are estimated at $153 billion.

PHL urged to decentralize power generation with more solar plants [BusinessWorld]

THE Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) said the Philippines needs to move towards more “distributed” power generation, which would involve the construction of more solar generation facilities while abandoning the current model of centralized baseload power, currently dominated by coal-fired plants. In an e-mail interview on Sept. 9, Pedro H. Maniego, senior policy advisor of ICSC, a climate and energy policy group, said that the dependence on coal renders the Philippines vulnerable to volatile international energy prices, and put forward solar as an alternative.

As cost of climate change rises, UN urges compensation [Washington Post]

From drought to floods and sea level rise, the cost of damage caused by climate change will only get higher as the world warms, sparking concerns from both top officials and activists about how to pay for it. “Loss and damage from the climate crisis is not a future event. It is happening now, all around us,” said United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on a visit to Pakistan, which recently suffered from devastating floods that displaced hundreds of thousands of people and left over a thousand dead.

Poor air quality increases TB risk among the vulnerable [BusinessWorld]

AIR POLLUTION has an unequal impact on health, with the most vulnerable people bearing the brunt of its ill effects, according to Greenpeace. In a report released on Sept. 1, the independent global campaigning network said that socioeconomic deprivation increases an individual’s vulnerability to air pollution and chronic health conditions.

Transforming climate science into actions of hope

Baybay City gives you a glimpse of the wonders of nature of the Visayan region, and more so of the Philippines. It is heartbreaking to imagine that these same wonders are threatened by climate change. This reality makes VSU a fitting place to showcase climate awareness to the youth and vulnerable communities through Klima Eskwela: Climate Science, Adaptation, and the Arts.

DOE, ICSC: More RE needed to sustain PHL energy needs

Last August 31 to September 1, Manila-based climate and energy policy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) participated in the World Clean Energy Conference Philippine Edition (WCEC PH) 2022. Held in official partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE), Global Zero Carbon Partnership, and Escom Events, WCEC PH 2022 was a venue for leading international experts, policymakers, scientists, engineers, technology developers, and business professionals to tackle pressing issues in the advancement of innovative sustainable energy sources and the achievement of the energy transition.

Green foundation urged for recovery

Efforts to counter climate change must be built into plans for a global economic recovery from the pandemic, Indonesia's environment chief said in urging countries in the G20 to promote "environmental multilateralism". Indonesia holds the 2022 presidency of the grouping, which brings together the 20 major developed and developing economies.

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Storms, floods to cost PHL $124 billion by 2050

STRONG STORMS, heavy flooding and prolonged droughts may result in around $124 billion in losses to the Philippine economy between 2022 and 2050, according to research firm GHD. This translates to an average annual gross domestic product (GDP) loss of 0.7% for the Philippines, GHD said in a statement following the release of its report “Aquanomics: The economics of water risk and future resilience.”

Science and arts merge for climate action in Eastern Visayas

LEYTE, August 31, 2022 – Students, teachers, and officials of the Visayas State University (VSU) in Baybay City, Leyte, along with representatives from Eastern Visayas civil society and local governments, joined a two-day learning event held at the school last August 25-26, 2022. Their aim: build climate change resilience in the region through science and the arts. “Climate change is already happening in different regions around the world and on multiple levels. We are all affected, whether we come from rich or from developing countries. Everyone has to participate and do their part,” said Filipina climate scientist and Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) climate science advisor Lourdes Tibig, one of the main speakers in the event. The knowledge exchange session, entitled “Klima Eskwela: Climate Science, Adaptation, and the Arts,” was organized by ICSC, The Climate Reality Project Philippines (Climate Reality Philippines), and the VSU Regional Climate Change Research [...]

Weaving territories and cultural knowledge at the Fiky Gota festival [Agam Agenda]

The Agam Agenda, in collaboration with Myska Simty Uta collective and Camino de Wayra medicine house, launched its first cultural festival ‘Fiky Gota’. Photo by María Faciolince. | August 15, 2022 | Published by Agam Agenda | READ THE STORY HERE Throughout history, communities have developed systems to learn, heal, and rebuild after periods of loss. Many of these systems—composed of practices, rituals, beliefs—help to tackle the deep, complex damage to both people and the environment. The Indigenous peoples of the Andes have the cultural practice of minga or minka, a collective process of unity and engagement that enables communities to reach a common goal together. This tradition of community work for the benefit of buen vivir (good living) has extended to other populations in the highlands, including mestizo and campesino communities. Such cultural practices can be found worldwide, often originating and kept alive by Indigenous communities. In the face of a rapidly changing environment, these processes [...]

15 Aug 2022|Tags: , , , |

[Agam Agenda] Creative collaboration for climate action in Lipa City, Batangas

by Agam Agenda | August 11, 2022 |  READ THE STORY HERE Storytelling and art are powerful companions in facing the climate crisis. At the first-ever Philippine Book Fair (PBF) in Lipa City, Batangas, the Agam Agenda mobilized creative climate action initiatives that showed audiences how artists, writers, musicians, and storytellers give us hope and inspiration during challenging times. Contributors and editors of Harvest Moon showcased this climate literature anthology book last August 7, 2022 during the Philippine Book Fair event in Lipa, Batangas. The event is accompanied by mural making led by young artists in Batangas in support of the When Is Now poetry/arts campaign. The Harvest Moon anthology is a book of poems, stories, and images on the climate crisis, by award-winning writers and photographers from all over the world. It is published by Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and Milflores Publishing. Photos by Leo Sabangan © [...]

11 Aug 2022|Tags: , , |

Sandra Smithey, in memoriam

Sandra Smithey passed away last week. From the US to Brazil, from Tanzania to China, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Kyrgyzstan, and more—Sandra was embraced by so many around the world. She was considered a mentor and source of inspiration by countless advocates and activists. She was a comrade, colleague, adviser, friend, and sister. I loved her deeply and find it difficult to imagine a world without her.

[Agam Agenda] Hearing the voices of small island states

by Agam Agenda | August 08, 2022 | READ THE STORY HERE Small island states are some of the most vulnerable countries to climate change. Rising seas levels and increases in natural disasters threaten the ecosystems, livelihoods, and homes of millions of islanders across the globe.The Marshall Islands are a group of five islands and 29 coral atolls located near the equator in the Pacific Ocean. Inhabited by just under 59,000 people, the Marshall Islands possess the most water territory than any other nation state. With sea levels rising at twice the global average, the Marshall Islands are acting now to make their realities seen and for change to happen nationally and internationally.Kathy Jetn̄il-Kijiner, cultural ambassador of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and Marshallese poet, has since 2019 engaged the youth of the Marshall Islands to navigate and develop solutions to the environmental challenges threatening their home islands. Through Jetn̄il-Kijiner’s organization, Jo-jikum (which means [...]

Former Aboitiz legal counsel new ERC chair

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has named a former chief legal counsel and compliance officer of Aboitiz Power Corp. as chair of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Malacañang announced Friday. Marcos Jr. signed on Monday the appointment of Monalisa Dimalanta, who replaces Agnes Devanadera following the latter’s retirement on July 10.

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SE Asia on the hunt for green-shift funds

Southeast Asian countries are tapping the international credit markets to raise funds to help put their economies on a low-carbon path as the threat of climate change becomes more urgent in the region. Analysts say emissions reduction, and the need for financing to help achieve it, has become a pressing issue as extreme weather events such as typhoons, drought and intense heat wreak havoc on the region.

SEA experts present renewable energy transition status in three SEA countries

Renewable energy experts from the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia presented the status, challenges, and opportunities in the realm of renewable energy in their respective countries during Session 5 of the Enercon 2022: The 3rd International Conference on Energy and Environmental Economics hosted by the Department of Economics of the University of the Philippines Los Baños over a virtual forum on Thursday, July 28. Jephraim Manansala, the chief data scientist of the Philippine-based Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), kicked off the session with his discussion on the reliability and viability of variable Renewable Energy sources (vRE) in the Philippines over the last four years, as opposed to the existing coal dependency. In his presentation, Manansala emphasized the benefits of vRE, saying that compared to coals, vREs are cheaper and more reliable. “When we have too many baseload power plants, we will have too much power when we do not [...]

ELEVENTH HOUR: Driving the clean energy transition through the Green Energy Option Program

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Green Energy Option Program (GEOP) empowers business enterprises to save electricity costs while driving the country’s clean energy transition. This was the key takeaway of advocates during the first run of “REalTalk: A Communications and Movement Building Workshop on Renewable Energy” held this month.

SONA 2022: ICSC responds to President Marcos, Jr.’s energy roadmap

Reiterates calls for renewable energy push, abolition of pasa-load, reduction of power cost, and increase in power supply QUEZON CITY, 26 July 2022 – Reacting to President Marcos, Jr.’s pronouncements in his first State of the Nation Address citing cheap and reliable energy as a fundamental requirement for economic growth, ICSC Senior Policy Advisor Pete Maniego said: “ICSC agrees that the Philippines should increase the level of energy production to meet its current demand. It should take advantage of the best technology available, especially in the area of renewable energy. “The Philippines has one of the lowest electricity per capita consumption in ASEAN – not because we are energy efficient, but because of insufficient and undependable power supply. “Renewable energy is abundant in the Philippines. Solar and wind plants have the advantage of lower levelized cost of electricity compared to fossil fuel plants. Renewable energy sources have [...]

ICSC welcomes secretary nominations for DOE, DENR

QUEZON CITY, July 15, 2022 – International climate and energy policy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) welcomed the nomination of Raphael “Popo” Lotilla as the next secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE) and Ma. Antonia “Toni” Yulo-Loyzaga as the next secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Marcos Jr. administration’s Cabinet. Lotilla, whose nomination was announced Monday, previously served as energy secretary from 2005 to 2007 and as deputy secretary general of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). He is currently a law professor at the University of the Philippines. Aboitiz Power, where Lotilla served as independent director, announced his resignation yesterday, citing his nomination for the government position as the main reason. Yulo-Loyzaga, whose nomination was announced Tuesday, was executive director of the Manila Observatory (MO) for nine years and currently chairperson of MO’s International Advisory Board “where she worked [...]

Empower the children and youth to act on climate change

by Ira Dominique Guerrero | July 13, 2022 | Published by | READ THE ABRIDGED VERSION HERE “When I came to think of my life in those days, considering my youth then, I am surprised how I stood it all,” Gregoria (“Oriang”) de Jesus, the nation’s ultimate Lakambini and Katipunera, wrote in her autobiography.Oriang was no stranger to hardships in her youth, but she had no fear of facing danger. She learned "how to ride, to shoot a rifle, and to manipulate other weapons” and she "accompanied soldiers in the battle, impelled" by the desire "to see unfurled the flag of an independent Philippines."Youth today do not have to do as Oriang did in her time, but the struggle for a better tomorrow remains, especially the fight for freedom from fear, from fossil fuels that make our economy fragile in the long run, and freedom from a climate-vulnerable future. [...]

Environment group calling for immediate appointment of ERC chief

by Alena Mae S. Flores | July 11, 2022 | Published by Manila Standard | READ THE STORY HERE Climate and energy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) called for the immediate appointment of the Energy Regulatory Commission chairperson amid the prolonged shutdown of power plants and the thinning of Malampaya gas reserves that have led to high electricity prices. ICSC also welcomed the appointment of former Energy Secretary Raphael Perpetuo Lotilla replacing former Secretary Alfonso Cusi. ICSC senior policy advisor Pete Maniego Jr. said Lotilla’s appointment is a good choice since he is competent to lead the industry. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has not announced the appointment of a new ERC chairperson to replace Agnes Devanadera, who recently retired. “The appointment of an Energy Secretary is very urgent due to the many serious problems facing the sector. There is insufficient power supply mainly due to [...]

12 Jul 2022|Tags: |

Philippines, ASEAN must tap solar, wind to meet rising electricity demand — report

by Jhesset O. Enano | July 7, 2022 | Published by GMA News | READ THE STORY HERE Countries in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, must ramp up solar and wind capacities to meet the rising demand for electricity and avert more carbon emissions from the power sector, according to a new report. Despite its huge potential for renewable energy sources, Southeast Asia continues to lag behind in the energy transition, analysts said in a report released Thursday by climate and energy think tank Ember. Southeast Asia is one of the world’s fastest growing regions in terms of economic growth and power demand. It is also among the world’s most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as increasingly intense typhoons, droughts and rising sea levels. The report showed that five of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) make up 89% of the region’s [...]

Mapping Report on Climate Change Laws and Policies in Climate Vulnerable Countries

The first detailed compendium of climate change laws and policies in 48 of the world’s 55 most climate vulnerable nations 30 June 2022, LONDON: Today the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and GLOBE International publish the first detailed compendium of climate change laws and policies in 48 of the world’s 55 most climate vulnerable nations. Launched during London Climate Action Week, the midway point as the UK COP26 Presidency hands over to Egypt’s COP27 Presidency, the Mapping Report on Climate Change Laws and Policies in Climate Vulnerable Countries reveals for the first time the extent of progress in creating legislative architecture and policy frameworks to address climate change in the world’s frontline nations. The report also brings back into the picture the crucial constitutional role of parliaments in ensuring that promises made at international fora are delivered. In their Foreword, four leading CVF parliamentarians – Hon. Emmanuel Marfo (Ghana), [...]

30 Jun 2022|Tags: , , , |

We are Here for Queers

The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities stands firmly with the LGBTQIA community. Solving the climate crisis means standing in solidarity with the most vulnerable and marginalized. Gender and climate lenses can and must be better utilized–together–in government planning to ensure that development outcomes are truly inclusive and resilient. Solidarity is not a passive stance. Among the most important steps allies can take is to help articulate conditions of marginalization along with how important central democracy is to fully face the climate crisis, so that the most vulnerable and marginalized among us can do more than just survive. They must be among the first to thrive in the climate-constrained future. The LGBTQIA community confronts impacts of ostracism, discrimination, and prejudice that communities living on the frontlines of the climate crisis know too well, having been subjected to similar periods of exclusion, violence, and exploitation. Denied similar access to [...]

More than 500 volunteers count people on bicycles nationwide

Cycling community pays back to cities, counts people on bicycles to push momentum for bike revolution by Mobility Awards | June 28, 2022 | READ THE STORY HERE QUEZON CITY, June 28, 2022 – Over 500 cycling volunteers across the country joined this year’s June Bicycle Count today to help establish baseline data indicating the number of Filipinos using bicycles for daily transport.  “Often, pedestrians, cyclists, and personal mobility devices are not reflected in official data which only monitors motor vehicle traffic. Through the June Bicycle Count,  we can provide policy makers a better sense of  the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who have chosen cycling as the superior mobility option and why they deserve far better bicycle infrastructure such as bicycle lane networks and end-of-trip facilities,” said Aldrin Pelicano during the Metro Manila leg of the bike count simultaneously held in Quezon City, Pasig, Marikina, and San Juan.  [...]

Jaime Espina Klima Correspondents Fellowship names its inaugural class

Fellows to highlight stories of the transition to renewable energy in communities across the Philippines QUEZON CITY, June 27, 2022 – Seven teams composed of 14 journalists and editors, mostly from Luzon and Mindanao, have been chosen as the inaugural Fellows of the first Jaime Espina Klima Correspondents Fellowship which will support the production of in-depth and creative narratives focused on the country’s accelerating transition towards modern energy systems.  “This fellowship is about the energy transition. It’s really important to understand there is more in the world of energy reporting than just what is happening in the power sector. It involves development, tourism, culture, history, households, small and medium enterprises, education, and a lot more. This is our contribution to broadening the narratives of the energy transition underway,”  said Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC). The fellowship, hosted by ICSC, honors the [...]

ICSC: Outages on Luzon grid show need for flexible, distributed energy

by Angelica Y. Yang/ | June 22, 2022 | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA, Philippines — Problems with power supply on the Luzon grid, which was placed on red alert and saw power outages last Saturday — highlight the need for flexible and distributed power system that is not dependent on large centralized power plants, a local climate and energy policy group said. Supply has been tight this week, with coal-fired plants going offline in Tuesday and Wednesday. Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) chief data scientist Jephraim Manansala said in a statement Wednesday that making up for shortfall has meant the use of more expensive diesel power plants. Manansala said several baseload power plants, including the state-owned Ilijan plant, went on "unscheduled and overlapping" downtimes in the past weeks. Plants owned by AboitizPower, Semirara Mining and Power, Pangasinan Electric Corp. and Southwest Luzon Power Generation have also [...]

Red alert status affirms urgent need for flexible, distributed power generation

QUEZON CITY, June 22, 2022 – Manila-based climate and energy policy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) reiterated the urgent need for flexible and distributed power generation in the Philippine power system as the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) raised a red alert status over the Luzon grid on Saturday, affecting over one million households in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. “While the June 18 transmission line tripping pushed the power system into the red alert level, the power system was already showing abnormal operation even weeks before, as indicated by the skyrocketing Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) generation costs,” said ICSC chief data scientist Jephraim Manansala who co-authored the “Luzon Power Outlook: Determining the Adequacy of Power Supply for April to June 2022” report released earlier this year. The Luzon Power Outlook report predicted a shortfall in the country’s power supply in the second quarter [...]

Solar power lightens load for Filipinos

by Prime Sarmiento | June 17, 2022 | Published by China Daily | READ THE STORY HERE Analysts look to Beijing cooperation in Philippines' low-carbon transition It was his eye-popping electricity bill that pushed Filipino entrepreneur Wendell Adrian Tamayo to look for a cheaper source of energy. Tamayo dug up a research paper on renewable energy he did in his previous job at a government agency. Then, with further research, using a portion of his back garden as a makeshift laboratory, he tapped a free and clean energy source for his home: The sun. Tamayo's success using solar energy to cut his electricity costs has turned him into a solar power evangelist. He launched GenWatt in September and has since installed solar panels in several households and at small and medium-sized enterprises in the capital region of Metro Manila and nearby provinces. For Tamayo, using solar power will [...]

ELEVENTH HOUR: Building bikeable and walkable communities

by Celine Tabinga (through The Climate Reality Project Philippines' Eleventh Hour column) | June 10, 2022 | Published by Manila Bulletin | READ THE STORY HERE About the author Celine Tabinga is a Climate Reality Leader and an urban transition analyst at the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities. She is currently the National Coordinator of the Mobility Awards, a platform that recognizes acts of leadership by Philippine local governments, workplaces, and commercial establishments promoting cycling as a reliable, efficient and sustainable mode of transport among their constituencies, customers, employees and communities. A climate change mitigation report recently released by the United Nations confirmed that now, more than ever, immediate and deep cuts in emissions, combined with systemic and transformative actions across all sectors, are needed to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100. For the transport sector to help keep the target temperature in reach, it will [...]

[REACTIVE] New V20 report reveals staggering climate-induced economic losses over last 20 years

Report underscored emergency need for crisis-level action via loss and damage funding for the most vulnerable economies MANILA, June 9, 2022 – A report released yesterday by the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Finance Ministers detailed the massive economic damage wrought by climate change on the economies of the V20, representing countries considered the most vulnerable to climate change. V20 finance ministers called for the immediate establishment of an international financing facility to provide countries with direly needed funding support. The Climate Vulnerable Economies Loss Report, authored by climate research firm FinRes, showed that the V20 would be 20 percent wealthier than they are today if not for losses and damages brought by climate change over the last twenty years. In the most at-risk V20 economies, economic losses due to the climate crisis exceeded half of the growth in their economies since 2000—despite having contributed the least to causing [...]

Climate change wiped out fifth of vulnerable countries’ wealth over last 2 decades- report

V20 Group of 55 economies reinforce demands for international funding for loss and damage Reposted from the V20 Group of Finance Ministers | READ THE STORY HERE BONN, Germany, 8 June 2022 – The V20 Group of Finance Ministers from climate vulnerable economies are calling for the immediate establishment of a separate and dedicated international funding for loss and damage crisis-level adaptation action. A V20-commissioned report launched today alongside the UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany, shows how climate change has already eliminated one fifth of the wealth of these countries, or 525 billion USD, over the last two decades. The report, titled “Climate Vulnerable Economies Loss Report: Economic losses attributable to climate change in V20 economies over the last two decades (2000-2019)”, shows that for the top ten percent of worst at-risk of the V20 countries, economic losses due to climate change for the past two decades are [...]

Data gathered from ‘Friday Bike Count’ to boost bicycle use in Iloilo City

by Tara Yap | June 3, 2022 | Published by Manila Bulletin | READ THE STORY HERE ILOILO CITY – A multi-sector team has started gathering data on bike usage in this city which coincided with the commemoration of World Bicycle Day Friday, June 3. Dubbed “Friday Bike Count,” it will count the number of people using bicycles as part of gathering information “to help craft more inclusive and responsive policies that will further encourage active mobility, road sharing, and safety.” The bike count that will be held for four Fridays this month is a collaborative project of the Iloilo City government, the Iloilo Folding Bike Riders (iFOLD), the Department of Public Works and Highways Region 6 (DPWH Western Visayas), and the Mobility Awards. Data collected will be used to plan and monitor existing road infrastructure as well as other potential infrastructures. According to Mayor Jerry Treñas here, [...]

04 Jun 2022|Tags: , , , |

Make climate finance pro-poor, equitable, and people-centered – Asian countries

BALI, INDONESIA, June 1, 2022 – Governments and civil society groups from South and Southeast Asia signed an agreement to enable inclusive, gender equitable, and human rights-based climate and disaster financing for vulnerable nations. “Worsening climate change impacts, particularly episodic extreme weather events, are threatening no less than the long-term economic viability of developing countries. Climate and disaster risk finance and insurance (CDRFI) is thus central to the response to such an existential threat by making urgently needed resources available and by providing more inclusive and responsive services. Through CDRFI, countries can develop stronger, more coordinated climate change and disaster strategies,” said Sönke Kreft, executive director of the Munich Climate Insurance Initiative (MCII), in a workshop hosted by the Manila-based international think tank Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) from May 30 to June 1. The workshop was carried out under the Multi-Actor Partnership (MAP) project on climate and [...]

Climate-resilient ASEAN a win for economic development – local scientists

Countries in the region must step up collaboration, in parallel with undertaking emissions cuts, adaptation measures, and finance initiatives, to reduce significant projected losses MANILA, May 25, 2022 – Climate scientists from across Southeast Asia called for developing countries to boost collaboration and participation in regional and global initiatives to combat climate change more urgently, as the latest reports of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) brought to light the dire implications of the climate crisis on critical sectors and economic development in the region. “We can strengthen the participation of countries in the international arena through research input – by mobilizing developing countries’ leading experts, practitioners, and scientists to strengthen the regional climate science agenda to build a common understanding,” said Dr. Mahawan Karuniasa, chairman of the Indonesia Expert Network for Climate Change and Forestry (APIK Indonesia Network) and co-founding member of the [...]

Storytelling and climate science

by Carissa Pobre, Padmapani L. Perez | May 22, 2022 | Published by PhilSTAR | READ THE STORY HERE Science and policy dominate the arenas of decision-making on climate change. From multilateral negotiations to pivotal assessment reports and international conferences, science and policy are essential to understanding the scale of the crisis and the pathways that can bring humanity back to safer shores. They are essential but also insufficient, especially if we aim to restore a sense of collective public agency – something so sorely lacking in negotiations for our common future.More than ever, we need storytelling, arts and the humanities to generate new ways of responding to the challenge we face, which science has already sketched out for policymakers. Art touches our deepest emotions. Often we are compelled to act and move by our feelings more than by reason or logic. Artists and writers can make the invisible [...]

23 May 2022|

DOE readies submission of energy transition plan

by Danessa Rivera | May 15, 2022 | Published by The Philippine Star | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA, Philippines — The incoming administration will have to push harder to develop indigenous and clean power sources to strengthen the country’s resiliency amid global energy issues as the Department of Energy (DOE) prepares a comprehensive report for the transition. DOE Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said the agency is coming up with a comprehensive report and proposals to be turned over to the next administration. He said the agency’s energy policy and planning bureau has been collating inputs from other bureaus and services since February. “It has not been finalized how we propose it, but the keyword being used is the energy transition. We are undergoing energy transition already, we have a big push for technology, not only nuclear but also renewable technologies,” Fuentebella said. The current administration has faced [...]

Philippines inquiry finds polluters liable for rights violations, urging litigation

The human rights commission in the Philippines found 47 “carbon majors” acted “immorally” and could be brought to court – giving fresh impetus to legal challenges by Chloé Farand | May 10, 2022| Published by Climate Home News | READ THE STORY HERE An inquiry by a human rights commission in the Philippines found some of the world’s largest historic polluters liable for causing global heating – giving fresh impetus to lawsuits centering climate change as a human right issue. The much-delayed publication of the seven-year inquiry’s findings show that 47 coal, oil, mining and cement giants “engaged in wilful obfuscation of climate science”, obstructed efforts towards a clean energy transition and delayed meaningful climate action. Among the “carbon majors” concerned are BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Glencore, Shell, Suncor, Total and RWE. The report found that “at the very least, [their acts] are immoral” and may [...]

11 May 2022|

[ANC] What are ways to lower electricity costs in PH?

by ANC News| May 8, 2022  "Transitioning to renewable energy sources, which are indigenous, will lower the prices and will provide stable prices for our consumers," said ICSC senior policy advisor Atty. Pedro Maniego Jr. Watch the full video by ANC Digital:

ICSC praises efforts to stave off power interruptions during 2022 elections

QUEZON CITY, May 6, 2022 – The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), a climate and energy group, lauds the concerted efforts of the Department of Energy (DOE), National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC), power producers, Meralco and other utilities, large end-users, business groups, and the general public in ensuring sufficient power supply during the election period. Barring simultaneous unplanned outages of large base-load plants, these initiatives should enable the country to have a smooth election process from start to finish. “We are glad to see the energy sector is taking action to ensure that power outages can be avoided and that in turn will ensure credible elections this May 9. As we said in February, getting households, institutions, and companies to act was the main purpose of our report. We released the analysis to ensure that everyone is informed and ready to [...]

HIPPE Solar Scholars Training: Enabling communities to use RE in disaster risk reduction

With just three days before Filipinos choose the country’s next leaders, Solar Scholars continue to embody the true meaning of community cooperation and leadership through #RenewableEnergy. ICSC’s RE-Charge Pilipinas team, in cooperation with the Hinatuan Partnership for Peoples Empowerment (HIPPE), trained 18 new #SolarScholars less than two weeks before #TyphoonOdette ravaged the Caraga Region and another 29 Solar Scholars in key municipalities and cities in Surigao del Norte more than three months after the Super Typhoon hit. Participants were taught how to assemble, use, and maintain #TekPaks, a solar-powered portable device that can be used by communities to provide light, charge mobile phones, and power small medical equipment during disasters and blackouts. This initiative was also done in collaboration with local governments and communities under the Hinatuan Passage Development Alliance (HIPADA) and was funded by Johanniter International Assistance. Learn more about the training in this short video. [...]

PAGASA scientist reiterates warning on rising sea levels in PH amid climate change

by Job Manahan | April 30, 2022 | Published by ABS-CBN News | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA — The sea level in the Philippine Sea has risen to about 12 centimeters or nearly 5 inches in the past 20 years, a PAGASA climate scientist said on Saturday. The Philippine Sea had an average yearly increase of 5.7 to 7 millimeters between 1993 to 2015, Dr. Marcelino Villafuerte said, citing studies conducted using satellite data for such period. This is "double" the global average rate of around 2.8 to 3.6 milimeters yearly, as the global temperature continues to rise, he noted. "In another statement po ‘no related doon sa COP26 meeting, it was said that our country is sinking four times faster than the global average," Villafuerte said in a public briefing. Experts have observed the rise of sea levels in the country's eastern portions. He said this was [...]

30 Apr 2022|Tags: , , , |

[Podcast] “Now or never”: Scientists urge mass shift to renewable energy

The Philippines is vulnerable not just to the effects of climate change—think stronger typhoons, and in the unlikeliest of places—but also to global events that affect power supply. Which is why the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change matter to us. Speaker: Denise Fontanilla, Associate for Policy Advocacy, ICSC Produced by Teka Teka News Photo: AC Dimatatac/ICSC

Outages likely during elections, says group

by Alena Mae S. Flores | April 29, 2022 | Published by Manila Standard | READ THE STORY HERE Despite government assurances to the contrary, rotating brownouts are likely during and after the national elections on May 9, a climate and energy policy group said Thursday. The group, the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), said forced shutdowns of baseload coal power plants continue to occur less than two weeks before the elections. “The latest data shows that the GOMP (grid operating and maintenance program) is not being followed as multiple coal plants still experience unplanned shutdowns,” said ICSC chief data scientist Jephraim Manansala. Manansala said the Department of Energy (DOE) highlighted in January that the key to averting the looming blackouts during and after the election period is to strictly follow the approved GOMP. Just this month, the DOE called on generation companies and the [...]

Power outages still possible during, after May 9 elections

Experts echo initial call to urgently eliminate “pasa load” in electric bills QUEZON CITY, 28 April 2022 – Rotating brownouts are still likely to happen during and after the national elections on May 9, according to the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), as forced shutdowns of baseload coal power plants continue to occur less than two weeks before the country chooses its next leaders. “Last January, the Department of Energy (DOE) highlighted that the key to averting the looming blackouts during and after the election period is to strictly follow the approved Grid Operating and Maintenance Program (GOMP). Just this month, the DOE called on generation companies and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to ensure that the country has enough power supply by holding off maintenance activities one week before and after May 9. However, the latest data shows that the GOMP [...]

Group warns anew of power outages during elections amid coal plant shutdowns

by Angelica Y. Yang | April 28, 2022| Published by | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA, Philippines — Manila-based policy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) stood by its power outlook for the 2022 elections, warning anew that power interruptions may take place during and after polls as baseload coal-fired power plants continue to go on unplanned shutdowns. ICSC earlier forecasted that there will be tight power supply during the second quarter, with a chance of a red alert status- which may cause rotating power outages- across the Luzon power grid. In an emailed statement on Thursday, it said it is standing by its projections. “Last January, the Department of Energy (DOE) highlighted that the key to averting the looming blackouts during and after the election period is to strictly follow the approved Grid Operating and Maintenance Program (GOMP)," ICSC Chief Data Scientist Jephraim Manansala said. [...]

Vulnerable nations set to design and test loss and damage funding facility

Finance ministers from vulnerable nations have agreed to use philanthropic funds to demonstrate how a funding mechanism for victims of the climate crisis could work by Chloé Farand  |  April 25, 2021 |  Published by Climate Home News  |  READ THE STORY HERE A coalition of vulnerable countries is getting to work to develop an international funding mechanism for victims of climate disasters. Finance ministers of the V20 group of vulnerable nations, a coalition of 48 developing countries, have agreed to design and test a funding facility to address the losses and damages of lives, livelihoods and infrastructure caused by climate impacts. They will use resources from a joint V20-Climate Vulnerable Forum fund. In a communique, the groups said “growing loss and damage due to insufficient adaptation responses” and a gaping hole in climate protecting finance was “fast emerging and major macroeconomic concern for the [...]

[#RapplerReads] Harvest Moon puts into words our fears, frustrations about the world’s climate crisis

by Julian Cirineo | April 22, 2022| Published by Rappler | READ THE STORY HERE Through poems, pictures, and stories – see how the world is changing from those closely watching I wouldn’t call myself an environmentalist, but there was a brief period in my life when I was working actively to get environmental stories out there. And I do carry the same fear and frustrations that many in the environmental sector feel nowadays. Many of my friends and former colleagues are disheartened by the apathy and sometimes animosity that people (whether the public, the government, or corporations) show towards efforts to reverse climate change. And in reading Harvest Moon: Poems and Stories from the Edge of the Climate Crisis, I’m given an even clearer picture of how the lack of action is affecting people on the ground. Harvest Moon: Poems and Stories from the Edge of [...]

22 Apr 2022|Tags: , , , |


Washington DC, 21 April 2022 — Finance ministers from the V20 Group of climate vulnerable economies pushed for partnership with the G7 and G20 to improve the global financial system. V20 leaders called on the G7, the G20, and the IMF to act decisively on loss and damage while ensuring the inclusion of vulnerable economies in their decision-making processes. V20 ministers pointed to the InsuResilience Global Partnership as an example of collaboration deserving of replication. Intensifying climate change impacts, consistent with projections from the latest IPCC reports show growing losses and damages due to inadequate adaptation responses and a prevailing 98% financial protection gap, which has today translated into a rapidly deteriorating macroeconomic burden for V20 members. Currently, the 55 countries that comprise V20 represent 1.4 billion people. The V20 held its Eighth Ministerial Dialogue in the World Bank headquarters on April 21, alongside the World Bank and IMF [...]

21 Apr 2022|Tags: , , , |

Asia’s bet on gas looks increasingly risky

The region’s bloated pipeline of gas projects could lock in decades of high emissions, but recent price volatility may soon force a rethink by Chloé Farand | April 19, 2022| Published by China Dialogue | READ THE STORY HERE Across Asia, there are plans for more than 285 gigawatts of new gas-fired power plants, an expansion that would nearly double the region’s gas power capacity, according to Global Energy Monitor. Southeast Asian countries are planning about half of the additional capacity in response to an expected surge in post-pandemic demand, while dwindling domestic gas production drives a rush to scale up imports of LNG. This year, the Philippines and Vietnam are anticipated to import their first LNG cargoes. Two new LNG terminals are expected to come online in Vietnam and one in the Philippines, while another is set to open in Thailand, which is the [...]

Fukushima dumping plan toxic as ever

By PRIME SARMIENTO in Hong Kong | April 14, 2022 | Published by China Daily | READ THE STORY HERE Year after Japan's decision, anger over release of tainted water undiminished International opposition to Japan's move to dump toxic water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean is as strong as ever a year on from the decision that sparked fears for the impact on neighboring nations. The Japanese government said on April 13, 2021, it would discharge over 1 million metric tons of contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company will carry out the process gradually from spring 2023. A year after the announcement, governments, global environmental groups and experts remain vocal in their condemnation as they step up the pressure on Japan to use a safer alternative than the ocean discharge. The water has been used to cool [...]

[ANC] Power Play: Developing Renewable Energy Solutions for the Philippines

ANC NEWS | April 13, 2022  Financial Futures Center founder and V20 Group finance advisor Sara Jane Ahmed and speakers from the Department of Energy Philippines, ACEN, Solar Philippines, Citicore Power, and BDO Capital discussed the current and future energy landscape of the country on ANC 24/7's webinar entitled "Power Play: Developing Renewable Energy Solutions for the Philippines." ICSC energy transition advisor Alberto Dalusung III was also featured in the webinar through a pre-recorded interview. Watch the full video:

Powering Limasawa after Super Typhoon Odette

Rebuilding communities with renewable energy by Kathleen Lei Limayo  |  April 11, 2022  |  Published by | READ THE STORY HERE In San Agustin, one of the six barangays in Limasawa, a small island in the Philippines, renewable energy is helping rebuild the community after Super Typhoon Odette (internationally known as Super Typhoon Rai) hit in December 2021. Energy access is often overlooked by local governments during and after disasters. Residents are often left with unreliable sources of electricity when power lines are destroyed. Renewable energy provides easy access to electricity post-disaster for island communities like Limasawa. ICSC staff, RE-serve volunteers, Limasawa DRRMO, and Barangay officials of San Agustin pose in front of the PV system turned over by ICSC and 350 Pacific. Photo: Kathleen Lei Limayo/ When Super Typhoon Odette ravaged the Visayas region in the Philippines, it left [...]

Climate change a major threat to global health — WHO

by Neena Bhandari | 11 April 2022 | Published by | | READ THE STORY HERE [SYDNEY] Climate change poses a serious threat to human health that calls for urgent action and global collaboration on scales seen in the COVID-19 response, says the World Health Organization (WHO). “If we don’t take action today on planet health, we are putting our future health at risk. And when health is at risk, everything is at risk. That’s what we have learned from COVID-19,” Takeshi Kasai, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific Region said addressing a virtual press conference from Manila on 7 April, World Health Day “Climate crisis is also a health crisis since climate change affects health in many different ways,” Kasai said, emphasising the need to build sustainable, climate-resilient health systems. Annually, 3.5 million people across the WHO Western Pacific Region [...]

Think tank says hidden costs erode appeal of cheap coal power

by Ram Christian S. Agustin  | April 10, 2022 |  Published by Business World | READ THE STORY HERE THE low-cost argument for using coal-fired power does not consider hidden costs as well as price volatility in times of crisis, such as the present time, the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) said. In an e-mail interview, ICSC Executive Director Renato Redentor Constantino said the “coal-is-cheapest” argument is undermined by the higher-than-expected cost of coal-fired power generation and the power industry’s ability to pass on the cost of more expensive coal to the end user. “A quick look at actual coal generation costs of major distribution utilities shows that these costs range from over P4.00 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to approaching P9.00 pesos per kWh. Not only are these costs much higher than expected but they are also volatile as they reflect the ‘Pasaload’ of fuel costs to the [...]

11 Apr 2022|Tags: , , |

[EDITORIAL] We need assurance of stable power supply on election day

by MANILA BULLETIN | April 8, 2022 | READ THE STORY HERE Every election cycle, voters and groups are up in arms to raise concerns about our country’s power supply. They fear that fraud, hacking, or cheating may happen if there will be a shortage in electricity during the May 9 national elections. And in a hotly contested election such as this one, a brownout is the last thing that our country needs. With this, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner George Garcia called on the Department of Energy (DOE) to assure the public that there would be sufficient and reliable power supply for the upcoming elections. Worry not, assured the DOE, in response to the Comelec and to assuage the uneasiness felt by the public The agency sees no shortage in generation reserves during the first weeks of May — a crucial time not only because electricity is needed [...]

DOE firms up dispatch of RE plants in WESM

by Lenie Lectura | April 06, 2022| Published by Business Mirror | READ THE STORY HERE THE Department of Energy (DOE) targets to issue in the third quarter of this year a new policy declaring all renewable energy (RE) plants as preferential dispatch units in the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM). During the second day of the 1st Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (REEE) Summit organized by the Meralco Power Academy, DOE Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB) Director Mylene Capongcol said the agency is currently studying and pushing for this. At least two public consultations, in fact, were already conducted on the draft department circular (DC) on preferential dispatch. “The proposed DC is targeted to be promulgated on third quarter of 2022,” she said during her presentation. The DOE has collaborated with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) and the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) for [...]

06 Apr 2022|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

DOE, ICSC: RE, not baseload coal, will best address PHL energy needs

MANILA, 06 April 2022 – The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Manila-based policy group Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) reiterated today that renewable energy sources – through flexible, distributed generation – best suit the power generation needs of the Philippines. “Renewable energy can definitely compete with coal. In the renewable space, you only pay for the cost of developing, and naturally, the supply is available for use. This is why the DOE is looking for strategies to buy down the cost of RE in the country, not just in the investment side but also for the consumers,” said Mylene Capongcol, director of the DOE Renewable Energy Management Bureau (REMB) in the second day of a virtual conference organized by the Meralco Power Academy (MPA). ICSC energy transition advisor Alberto Dalusung III presented the findings of the report entitled “Toward an Affordable and Reliable Grid with Energy Transition [...]

[REACTIVE] New UN report: Renewables key to securing energy, economy

Next admin also needs to improve urban mobility, protect biodiversity MANILA, 5 April 2022 – The United Nations’ newest climate change mitigation report released yesterday confirmed that, now more than ever, immediate and deep cuts in emissions combined with systemic, transformative actions across all sectors are key towards achieving an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable economic recovery. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) examined current emission trends across the energy, transport, agriculture, buildings, and industry sectors in its mitigation report, which is the contribution of the Working Group III (WGIII) to the panel’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6). The report also looked at projected levels of future warming based on the policy commitments of governments, and the urgent action needed to transition to a low carbon economy in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100 in line with the Paris Agreement. The report comes [...]

05 Apr 2022|Tags: , , , |

Experts to next admin: Abolish ‘pasa-load subsidy’ of power companies

Electoral bets challenged to prioritize affordable, reliable, secure power QUEZON CITY, 30 March 2022 – Entering the final month before the May 9 elections, energy policy experts called on candidates running for national posts to make the energy transition central to their infrastructure agenda. The experts called for the immediate removal of the “pasa-load subsidy” applied for decades, which has allowed power generation companies to automatically pass on volatile fossil fuel price fluctuations to consumers. “Without a truly level playing field, Filipino households and businesses can’t enjoy what they have always deserved in the form of affordable, reliable, and secure power,” said Atty. Pedro Maniego Jr., senior policy advisor of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), in a virtual press briefing today. “The COVID-19 pandemic and Ukraine invasion only worsened what was already a fragile and inflexible energy system. Indigenous renewable energy is vital to [...]

Gov’t urged: Treat environmental challenges as serious as security issues

by Martin Sadongdong | March 30, 2022 | Published by Manila Bulletin | READ THE STORY HERE Like insurgency, terrorism, and maritime disputes, the national government should address environmental challenges with the same intensity as solving security issues to ease its worsening impact on the lives of the Filipinos, a think tank has disclosed. Stratbase ADR Institute President Victor Andres “Dindo” Manhit said that global warming, climate change, and other environmental issues “[affect] the security of states and the welfare of our people.” “This underscores the importance of fostering cooperation to address these emerging challenges with the same urgency as conventional security threats,” he noted. The Stratbase ADRI recently organized a virtual town hall discussion titled “Convergence of Health and Environment in Shaping the Strategic Policy Agenda of the Next Administration.” There, Manhit said that environmental challenges have undermined the country’s capacity to respond to crises and [...]

China, ASEAN need chopstick and broom spirit to fight climate crisis

By Sara Jane Ahmed,Renato Redentor Constantino | | READ THE STORY HERE On March 24, 2022, the Belt and Road Initiative International Green Development Coalition (BRIGC) launched the report, Green and Low-Carbon Transition of ASEAN Member States under the BRI Framework – Potentials and Opportunities. The report points out, as its title suggests, that "China and ASEAN's cooperation in green and low-carbon transition is at a historical juncture of huge opportunity." Member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), in the face of tortuous recovery of the world economy and climate crisis, are now in a critical period of economic development and industrial transformation and upgrading. According to the ASEAN Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016-2025 Phase II: 2021-2025, member states will deliver an energy intensity reduction target of 32 percent by 2025 based on the 2005 level. On Renewable Energy (RE), [...]

ICSC launches media fellowship honoring veteran journalist Jaime Espina

Applications for energy story grants open until May 16 APPLY NOW QUEZON CITY, March 28, 2022 – A six-month media fellowship seeking to support the production of energy transition stories was launched today in honor of Jose Jaime “Nonoy” Espina, a veteran reporter, fierce press freedom campaigner, and outspoken advocate of media workers’ welfare. This is the first story grant organized by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), an international non-government organization advocating fair climate policy and low carbon, climate-resilient development, the Jaime Espina Klima Correspondents Fellowship aims to amplify energy transition stories in the Philippines. It will run from June to November 2022. “This Fellowship seeks to honor Nonoy’s unparalleled life and legacy by providing space for the most compelling local energy transition stories, particularly narratives that focus on transformational challenges, and those which go beyond vulnerability and dwell on agency and hope,” said [...]

Profiting from outages

Windfall earnings from spot market spikes go to a blessed few, while the public chafes under rising electric bills. by Atty. Pedro Maniego Jr. | March 26, 2022 | Published by BusinessMirror | READ THE STORY HERE POOR Filipinos. On top of their suffering from the pandemic, they have to cope with ever-increasing electricity prices. Lower economic activity during the lockdowns resulted in lower power demand. But why did electricity costs remain high during this period? The higher rates are mainly traceable to higher spot market prices. Theoretically, available base load supply is more than enough to meet current demand. But the grid experienced a high number of yellow and red alerts, which generated spot market cost spikes. The culprit: extended and frequent power outages of several coal power plants as well as the derating of fossil gas power stations. While the lower output of fossil gas plants is [...]

CNN Philippines: Improving the energy mix | The Exchange

CNN Philippines: Improving the energy mix | The Exchange March 25, 2022 CNN Philippines senior anchor Rico Hizon interviewed experts to find out how to improve the energy transition in the Philippines in the March 25 episode of “The Exchange.” In his segment, ICSC energy transition advisor talked about the findings of the Luzon Power Outlook report and tackled how the government, businesses, and consumers can help address power supply issues in the long run, and advance the energy transition in the country by prioritizing affordable, reliable, and secure power.

25 Mar 2022|Tags: , , , |

Baguio awarded as one of Luzon’s most bike-friendly cities

March 16, 2022 | Published by the Mobility Awards | READ THE STORY HERE  Valerides founder, other local entrepreneurs also recognized BAGUIO CITY, 16 March 2022 — Mayor Benjamin Magalong received for the City of Pines the distinguished recognition of the Mobility Awards as one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the Luzon region in 2021.  Mayor Magalong expressed his gratitude to the organizers for their visit, saying the city will strive to prioritize pedestrians and cyclists as it advances the city’s “shared roads” concept along with establishing more bike lanes. “Baguio will go for gold,” Magalong pledged during the turnover ceremony at Baguio City Hall last Monday. “We challenge Baguio City’s government, its businesses and citizens to further elevate cycling and active mobility as priority initiatives of this great city. You now have the momentum and we would not be surprised to see you as gold awardees in the near future,” [...]

US to help Philippines develop nuclear power program; groups push renewable energy instead

by Angelica Yang | March 14, 2021 | Published by | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and the United States signed a memorandum of understanding last week to work together to develop the Philippines' nuclear power program. The MOU was signed by Energy Undersecretary Gerardo Erguiza and US Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Bonnie Jenkins. Erguiza said he believes the partnership with the US will help improve the country's capacities in building nuclear infrastructure. "Through our cooperation, we hope to ensure the peaceful use of nuclear energy and fulfill our decarbonization goals," Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez, who witnessed the signing, said in a statement posted on the Department of Foreign Affairs' website on Monday. This comes a few weeks after President Rodrigo Duterte signed an executive order committing the Philippines to introducing nuclear power in its energy mix and developing a [...]

Kidlat de Guia, in memoriam

A shattering loss: cinematographer, visual artist, and photographer Kidlat de Guia passed away yesterday, March 9. He was 47 and is survived by his wife Lissa, their son Kalinaw, and daughter Amihan. With Agam Agenda’s Padmapani Perez, Kidlat helped produce the short international video Midnight. Climate. Survival which was the final creative expression in 2020 of the 55-government strong Climate Vulnerable Forum’s (CVF) global campaign to persuade countries to raise their climate ambition. We grieve with Padma, who considered Kidlat her twin brother, and we grieve with Kidlat’s siblings Kabunyan and Kawayan, and his parents, National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik and cultural activist Katrin de Guia. Kidlat was deeply loved by so many. To write about him in the past tense is painful. To say Kidlat and Padma were close is an incredible understatement. Padma and Kidlat grew up together and like the closest of kin quarreled, laughed, [...]

Climate change survivors pay it forward in PH and Pacific

Limasawa, Fiji residents receive solar charging systems TACLOBAN, 07 March 2022 – Residents of Barangay San Agustin in Limasawa Island, Southern Leyte can now enjoy lighting and power after a community solar charging system was installed in their island town last week, two months after Typhoon Rai (Odette) devastated the island. Residents of Suva, the capital of Fiji, likewise received a similar set-up as Fijians trained by Supertyphoon Haiyan (Yolanda) survivors assembled and installed their own system last week. Fiji and the Philippines continue to face storms supercharged by warming seas and creeping climate impacts, but survivor communities are paying it forward by reaching out across the ocean to empower other survivors  by lighting up communities across the Pacific. Two solar charging systems were set up by the Solar Scholars’ initiative which was established shortly after Haiyan slammed into the Philippines. The modular power [...]

‘Nuke can do’

by LENIE LECTURA | MARCH 5, 2022 | Published by Business Mirror | READ THE STORY HERE The urgent quest for new power sources amid a grim outlook for imported fuels gives Executive ground to push—at the last minute—nuclear energy, sparking even more debates. AFTER years of extended debates in and out of government, the Duterte administration has embraced nuclear energy, a move that could change the landscape of the power sector and possibly revive a 37-year-old plant. On Thursday, Malacañang Palace dropped a bombshell of sorts, binding the next administrations to include nuclear power in the country’s energy mix, which is still dominated by coal. Executive Order (EO) 164, entitled “Adopting a National Position for a Nuclear Energy Program, and for other Purposes,” was released more than a year after an interagency body submitted its recommendations. There had been attempts to pursue nuclear energy in the country, [...]

06 Mar 2022|Tags: , , , , , , , |

It’s too late for Duterte’s nuclear energy push as term nears end

by Angelica Yang | March 3, 2022| Published by | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA, Philippines — There is not enough time for President Rodrigo Duterte to accomplish something that would turn his nuclear energy ambitions into reality as he enters the final months of his term, leaving the fate of the plan to his successor who might adopt or reverse the new energy policy. Under the Executive Order (EO) 164 released Thursday, the state will work towards introducing nuclear in the country's power mix and develop a nuclear program for it. In the order, Duterte described nuclear as a viable alternative which will address the projected decline of coal-fired power plants, and can help reduce carbon emissions. The EO was signed more than a year after an inter-agency body submitted its recommendations. "President Duterte's nuclear policy comes a little too late to achieve real strides not [...]

04 Mar 2022|Tags: , , , , |

As new UN report sounds alarm on PH climate impacts: Next president should prioritize climate emergency – ICSC

MANILA, 02 March 2022 – The United Nations’ latest climate science report released on Monday confirmed that climate change poses an existential threat to the long-term viability of the Philippine economy even as it has already hammered vulnerable communities. Climate change impacts are projected to worsen until world leaders ramp up emissions cuts, climate finance, and adaptation measures. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) launched its Working Group II (WGII) report, its most comprehensive review of climate vulnerability, impacts and adaptation measures since 2014. The report cited the latest research on current and future projected climate impacts to the Philippines, which includes reduced agricultural and fisheries productivity, death and major public health risks, climate-induced migration and displacement, and decreasing but intensifying typhoons. The IPCC report stressed that if anthropogenic global warming breaches the 1.5 degrees temperature threshold by 2040, warming impacts can lead to an “unavoidable increase in multiple [...]

Power supply for elections, rest of Q2 2022 in critical state – ICSC report

QUEZON CITY, 8 February 2022 – A climate and energy policy group predicts an electricity shortfall across the Luzon grid this summer, especially during the weeks leading up to and immediately after the coming elections this May, in a new report released today. The report by the Institute of Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), entitled “Luzon Power Outlook: Determining the Adequacy of Power Supply for April to June 2022”, challenges projections of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) that the Philippines will have sufficient power supply in the second quarter of 2022. “Unreliable electricity supply would undermine the credibility of the elections. We need our electrical power system to provide reliable supply especially during election day and while transmitting data; otherwise our political power system might fail if the results are not accepted by our people,” said Atty. Pedro Maniego Jr., ICSC senior policy advisor. ICSC asserts [...]

Activists help Tongans build resilience in wake of disaster

by Matt Manukuo | January 21, 2022 | Published by Pacific Media Network | READ THE STORY HERE Environmental activists in Tonga are preparing to teach Tongans how to produce solar power in the wake of the devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami. The disaster has destroyed homes, cut communication lines, and caused major power outages. The goal is to help build greater resilience in the Pacific following natural disasters, says Joseph Sikulu, managing director of the organisation 350 Pacific. “Next month we are launching our solar scholars training that will be running on the island. “This teaches communities how to pull together solar power packs with bits and pieces from the hardware store, to ensure they have access to power in the aftermath of disaster”. The Charge TekPak is a portable solar generator made for off-grid use. First used in the Philippines, the training to make these solar packs proved [...]

Indonesia’s retreat on coal export ban highlights battle to meet climate goals

by Prime Sarmiento | January 20, 2022 | Published by China Daily | READ THE STORY HERE Indonesia's decision to lift its coal export ban, in response to lobbying by its key clients in Asia, illustrates why the region continues to struggle with its climate commitments, experts said. The Southeast Asian nation, the world's largest thermal coal exporter, announced on Jan 1 a monthlong ban on coal exports to avoid domestic outages caused by low coal supplies. It partially lifted the ban on Jan 13 after Japan, South Korea and the Philippines lobbied against this move. Most Asian governments have signed the Paris climate treaty and pledged to reduce carbon emissions to limit global warming to well below 2 C. But while there are moves to develop clean energy resources, experts said it will be difficult for Asia to wean itself away from coal-fired power plants since coal is [...]

Building back better agenda to help minimize impacts of climate change

by Rizal Raoul Reyes | January 16, 2022 | Published by BusinessMirror | READ THE STORY HERE Being a disaster-prone country, it is said that the “Build Back Better” philosophy is needed in the Philippines for it to be able to at least minimize the impacts of severe typhoons and other natural disturbances caused by climate change. However, it seems the country has not learned its lesson well as Supertyphoon Odette (international name code Rai) mercilessly pummeled large parts of Visayas and Mindanao. Renato Redentor Constantino, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities executive director, told the BusinessMirror in a recent phone interview that the local government units (LGUs) in the affected provinces did not even have solar powered units and satellite phones as part of the contingency plans. “Bohol, Cebu, Siargao and Puerto Princesa should have benefitted from the lessons of Typhoon Yolanda [in November 2013],” he said. Philippine Institute of [...]

Indonesia poised to ease export ban on thermal coal

by Ashley Westerman | January 12, 2022 | Published by The World | READ THE STORY HERE In an effort to protect Indonesia’s thermal coal supply, the country imposed an export ban in early January. But after several countries in Asia that depend on the crucial commodity lamented the move, the country has indicated an imminent ease of the ban. In an effort to protect Indonesia’s thermal coal supply, the country imposed an export ban in early January. Indonesia has now indicated that it will ease the ban after several countries across Asia that depend on the crucial commodity — such as Japan, South Korea and the Philippines — came calling on Jakarta to continue exporting coal. Indonesia is the world’s largest exporter of thermal coal. The Jan. 1 ban was put into place just a day after the country’s main electricity supplier, PLN, warned the government that its coal reserves were critically low. Fearing widespread power disruptions, however, [...]

‘Government should include MSMEs in its climate change agenda’

by Rizal Raoul Reyes | December 19, 2021 | Published by BusinessMirror | READ THE STORY HERE To help the country’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) confront the challenges of climate-change, the government must develop a bigger perspective of the total picture on the threats posed by unpredictable climate patterns. Renato Redentor Constantino, executive director of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), said MSMEs would have a hard time getting the assistance and resources of government agencies until they realize that the aspect of climate-change does not only involve disasters or the environment. “Slow onset effects, such as rising seas, ocean acidification and the steady decline or increase of rainfall across decades, take place without the drama of calamities and body counts. But they are likely to bring the economy to its knees in the long run if we don’t act fast,” Constantino told the BusinessMirror [...]

Philippine women switch on solar to light their way in a storm

by Geela Garcia | December 14, 2021 | Published by Reuters | READ THE STORY HERE MARABUT, Philippines, Dec 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Haiyan, one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded, smashed into the central Philippines in 2013, the town of Marabut in Eastern Visayas region suffered zero casualties. More than 1,000 residents scrambled up 32 feet (9.75 m) of slippery soil and limestone to take refuge inside the Tinabanan Cave, known for providing shelter since colonial times. Lorna dela Pena, 66, was alone when the super-typhoon landed on Nov. 8, killing more than 6,000 people nationwide and forcing about 4 million from their homes. She remembered how everything was "washed out" by the storm, but despite being "lost in a daze", she managed to evacuate. "There still weren't stairs to comfortably climb up to the cave. My grandfather's dream was for it to have stairs," [...]

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 [...]

People: PWD and Typhoon Haiyan survivor among Siklista ng Bayan winners in Mobility Awards 2021

by Anton Onato | December 7, 2021 | Published by Adobo Magazine | READ THE STORY HERE MANILA, PHILIPPINES — Between 7:00 am and 8:00 am every day, Lito Sudario and Peter “Jojo” Montalban would rush to start their days for work. Jojo, a resident of Danao City, Cebu, sells newspapers, while Lito, who hails from Tacloban City, runs a small bicycle repair shop at his home. Although from different provinces, Lito and Jojo share one thing: they are among the winners in the Siklista ng Bayan category of this year’s Mobility Awards spearheaded by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), The Climate Reality Project Philippines, MNL Moves, Pilipinas, and Pinay Bike Commuter, in collaboration with the League of Cities Philippines and twenty-seven (27) regional partners composed of civic groups and active mobility advocates across the country. Announced on November 25, Lito and Jojo finished as second and third placers and will receive P8,000 and [...]

‘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 [...]

Killer air

December 5, 2021 | Editorial published by Philippine Daily Inquirer | READ THE STORY HERE A week into the initial COVID-19 lockdown in March last year, residents of Metro Manila, the country’s economic hub, looked out of their windows and saw clear, blue skies and pronounced skylines they hadn’t seen in decades. With people locked inside their homes after public and private vehicles were banned from the roads, and business operations such as factories and construction activities halted, the metropolis’ notoriously noxious air cleared for once. But it wasn’t for long, because as soon as restrictions were partially lifted in May 2020, the polluted air returned. A recent report corroborates what experts have been warning for decades: Air pollution is a silent killer, and the impact on the Philippines has been grim. Per the report “Aiming Higher: Benchmarking the Philippine Clean Air Act,” approximately 66,000 premature deaths every year in [...]

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 [...]

29 Nov 2021|Tags: , , , , |

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. [...]

29 Nov 2021|Tags: , , , , |

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) [...]