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 single word: potential. Driven by our abundant clean and indigenous sources, the roadmap of our efforts for energy transition has long been underway. This is supported by the significant impacts that we have seen of renewable energy helping to ensure affordable, reliable, and secure energy for Filipinos,” ICSC executive director Angelo Kairos dela Cruz said.

REI Philippines noted that while the benefits of renewable energy such as decarbonization, expanding energy access and job creation are widely acknowledged, emerging ecological and social impacts of the energy transition, particularly from the production and deployment of utility-scale renewable energy, 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, it said.

“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,” Oxfam Pilipinas executive director Erika Geronimo said.

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