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Energy transitioning

At the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland last week, a group led by Bezos Earth Fund and IKEA Foundation launched the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), a global fund that can be used by developing nations while they transition to renewable energy.

The Philippines, led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, bared plans to tap the $10 billion fund to help the country reduce its carbon emissions by transitioning to RE. Dominguez discussed with Rajiv Shah, the president of The Rockefeller Organization, the prospects of the country accessing the GEAPP.

Dominguez told Shah of the Philippines’ plan to improve Mindanao’s hydropower facilities to wean the region away from coal energy. He also asked Shah how the Philippines can work with GEAPP to speed up the country’s efforts to transition to renewable energy.

During the meeting, Dominguez said there should be a mix of grants, investments and subsidies in delivering the funding needs of nations most vulnerable to climate change. Shah, for his part, vowed to look into this approach in partnering with developing economies like the Philippines.

The GEAPP obtains its resources from three developed countries and eight multilateral lenders. The global fund is expected to rise to $50 billion within the next five years, and then to $100 billion within the next decade to hasten the transition to renewable energy of more than 60 states across Africa, Asia and Latin America. It will serve as a platform for developmental work among economies involved, as well as a source of financing options ranging from project grants to technical assistance.

Coal currently accounts for at least 54 percent of the country’s energy mix and, in turn, contributed about half of its carbon emissions in 2019. Through the energy transition mechanism, the Philippines can decommission more than half of its coal facilities within the next 10 to 15 years. A successful transition is a big deal for a country that has suffered P506.1 billion in economic losses from climate hazards between 2010 and 2020.

A developing third world country like the Philippines will need all the help it can get if it intends to successfully transition to renewable energy. Accessing to funds and grants will be important and this will depend largely on our government officials who are in a position to push the country’s interests and agenda so we can move forward with confidence, and most importantly, the necessary funding and support from the international community.

We wish our government officials the best of luck as they work to secure funds and grants that can accelerate our energy transition programs so our nation can contribute to the effort to minimize the devastating effects of climate change, not only to vulnerable countries like ours, but the rest of the planet as well.*

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