Power for People Coalition Statement on the draft Philippine NDC
We, the undersigned civil society and people’s organizations, consumer groups, faith groups, communities, and advocates for climate justice and clean energy, demand a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) that cements the just transition to a sustainably powered and climate-resilient Philippine society. The draft NDC, as it was conveyed last to stakeholders, is far from this.
On February 3, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) headed by the office of the chair-designate Secretary of Finance presented the latest draft NDC of the Philippines under the Paris Agreement of 2015. It included commitments of the energy sector, which is among the biggest contributors to the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. On February 13, absent its promised sector-specific consultations post February 3, the CCC communicated to stakeholders a revised draft of the NDC document.
Despite increasing its GHG emissions reduction from 30% in December 2020 to 75%, the draft NDC and the recent consultation provide no assurance that the Philippines is contributing its fair share of mitigation efforts to the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement–a goal we so painstakingly fought for in international negotiations as it translates to a greater chance of survival for climate-vulnerable countries like the Philippines. Moreover, the current NDC target asserts only a negligible 2.71% of unconditional efforts in the overall. With a measly unconditional target despite having a high mitigation potential, and with barely any articulation of how it plans to secure climate financing, the Philippines seems to have no qualms in turning a blind eye to climate realities and going about business-as-usual ways. It, too, fails to reclaim leadership in demanding reparations from historically polluting nations and for higher global commitments fully aligned to the 1.5°C climate ambition.
There are likewise neither a clear scientific basis nor transparency as to the assumptions, methodologies, and tools used for reduction and avoidance commitments, and the sectoral contributions adding up to the 75% NDC target in the newly circulated draft. For energy, which logically must provide the biggest share of equivalent reductions among the four sectors, the plans and measures presented by the Department of Energy (DOE) in the February 3 consultation are disappointing, negligible, and unambitious. The DOE committed to a reduction and avoidance target of a mere 2.8% from 2020-2030 and 12.3% from 2020-2040. While the DOE avoided indicating its share in the total 75% goal for 2020-2030, an estimate of the presented GHG reductions from the energy sector reveals that it will contribute approximately only a little over 1%. This insignificant commitment provides no help in the global fight for 1.5°C.
Not only does the DOE commit to share possibly the least contribution in the NDC goal, it also explicitly stated that it would add more coal to the Philippines’ already installed 9.8 GW. By including the entry of “highly efficient coal technologies” in its measures, the DOE’s NDC contribution and its coal-friendly coal moratorium make way for at least 5.4 GW of additional coal capacity even as the world spirals further into climate catastrophe. The Department disregards the swell of resistance from communities who will be impacted by these new projects, which include the Atimonan One Energy power station in Quezon, a province that residents lament as having already turned into the country’s ‘coal capital.’
The DOE also fails to put forward several critical mitigation plans. First, there is no mention of the mandatory retirement of currently operating coal power plants, some of which have reached the end of their lifespan and are now providing consumers with nothing but faulty supply, costly electricity, and extreme pollution. Second, it fails to set plans for transmission and distribution infrastructure, which has proven to be a huge barrier to greater renewable energy integration. Third, and most importantly, no coal peaking target way before 2030 is set. Under its current commitments, the DOE through the NDC is condemning more communities and generations of Filipinos to heightened climate vulnerability and environmental degradation. At the same time, it looks to also increasingly expose them to other detrimental sources of electricity especially fossil gas, with anticipated inclusion of nuclear and waste-to-energy.
An NDC that values the collective survival of the Filipino people from the climate crisis must boldly commit to the 1.5°C goal, and would find no space for coal–the dirtiest of all fossil fuels. This is non-negotiable. While we support the submission of the NDC well before the 26th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, this timeline must not sacrifice genuine consultation with all stakeholders and achievement of a commitment that properly takes into account the suffering of millions of Filipinos from the harmful impacts of coal and of climate disasters. Failure on this by the Philippine Government, especially by the CCC and DOE, would be an abdication of the obligation to lead the Filipino people away from deaths, despair, and destruction, and towards resilience and survival.
POWER FOR PEOPLE COALITION
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)
Aniban ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA)
Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP)
Bishop Gerardo Alminaza – Diocese of San Carlos
Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines – National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA/ Caritas Philippines)
Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED)
Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (CREST)
Concerned Citizens of Sta. Cruz, Zambales (CCOS)
Ecoteneo – Ateneo De Davao University
Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC)
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)
Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) Pilipinas
Green Thumb Coalition (GTC)
Health Care Without Harm
Living Laudato Si’ Philippines
Ministry of Ecology – Diocese of Lucena
NGO Forum on ADB
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)
Quezon for Environment (QUEEN)
REpower Negros Movement
Save Sual Movement
Zambales Lingap Kalikasan (ZALIKA)