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Philippines supports global renewables pledge at COP28

Philippines supports global renewables pledge at COP28
The Philippine Delegation to the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference (COP28) meets with the Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)./Presidential Communications Office 

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has signed a pledge to triple the world’s renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency during the COP28 climate talks in Dubai, the Department of Energy said Thursday.

The Philippines is among the over 120 countries supporting the European Union-led Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge.

The energy department said the move is aligned with the government’s target of increasing the share of renewables in the country’s generation mix to 30% by 2030 and to 50% by 2040.

It added that the pledge is in line with the Philippines’ goal of reducing electricity and oil consumption by 10% by 2050.

Abandoning coal, oil and gas for cleaner energies such as solar, wind and hydroelectric is essential if the world is to meet the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoiding the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.

“We are united by our common belief that to respect the 1.5°C goal in the Paris Agreement, we need to phase out fossil fuels. We do that by fast-tracking the clean energy transition, by tripling renewables and doubling energy efficiency,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

The first week of negotiations at COP28 ended Wednesday with countries unable to produce an updated version of a draft agreement that includes language on phasing out planet-warming fossil fuels. However, the document also has an option to leave the issue off the final text.

Renewable potential 

Center for Energy, Ecology and Development deputy executive director Avril De Torres welcomed the government’s move to support the pledge, and urged it to translate this “by ditching coal and gas, and halting any exploration of dangerous technologies like nuclear energy.”

“We are a country capable of more than tripling our use of renewable energy,” she said.

An analysis commissioned by CEED suggests that the Philippines should end its coal dependency by 2035 and almost entirely phase out gas-fired generation by 2040 to meet the 1.5C goal.

The power generation in the Philippines heavily relies on fossil fuels, with the country generating 60% of its electricity from coal.

According to the analysis, an additional 152 terawatt-hours will be required by 2050 to meet future electricity demand and phase out fossil fuels.

Weaning off fossil fuels and shifting to renewables will reduce electricity cost and generate around one million jobs, the report also found.

“It’s high time for the country to seize that potential,” De Torres said.

— Gaea Katreena Cabico with  a report from Agence France-Presse

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