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Greenpeace calls on PH President-elect Duterte to champion RE for jobs

Responding to REN21’s “Renewables 2016 Global Status Report”, which showed a record-breaking past year for the renewable energy sector in terms of new installations, policy targets, investments and jobs, Greenpeace urged the incoming administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to fast-track the shift from fossil fuels in order to ensure sustainable national development for the Philippines.

“The Philippines should take advantage of renewable energy (RE), which is outpacing dirty oil, coal, and gas in terms of growth worldwide. President-elect Duterte should champion the country’s shift from fossil fuels to renewables, which would give his administration the higher moral ground when it negotiates lower carbon emissions from developed countries. Doing so would not only lower the main source of climate change, but also take advantage of the growing opportunities for jobs and investments, as shown in the REN21 report,” said Reuben Muni, Philippine Climate and Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

“The report comes at an opportune time for the Philippines, just over a week after the Climate Change Commission issued Resolution 2016-001, calling for a comprehensive review of the country’s energy policy in order to reduce our dependence on coal and urging relevant government agencies such as the Department of Energy, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the National Economic Development Authority, to come up with a national framework for a just transition to renewable energy. This will open the country to a low-carbon economic pathway. Any national development would not be sustainable if our power sector is still hinged on fossil fuels,” Muni added.

The report showed that developing countries put in USD 156 billion in investments globally in renewable energy in 2015. This is a reported 19 per cent increase compared to 2014 and higher than all the investments for 2015 of developed countries combined. Greenpeace is optimistic that the results of the proposed policy review will open more doors for investments in the Philippines and provide more green jobs in the renewables sector in the country.

Greenpeace says that the renewable energy sector showed very clear growth despite the hold of fossil fuel companies on the energy industry.

“Although the deck remains stacked against renewables - with fossil fuel subsidies, low fuel prices, problems accessing the grid, vested interests and government inertia - they are still breaking through. If renewables can add 147 GW of power in 2015 with this economic picture, imagine what they could achieve if the cards were even, said Emily Rochon, Global Energy Strategist of Greenpeace International.

”Governments must accelerate this change by stopping investment in fossil fuels and diverting that money to renewable energy because it is the only chance we have to deliver the Paris Agreement’s objective of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C. The G7 says it will end ‘inefficient’ fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. G7 countries, and all others, need to end fossil fuel use, not just subsidies, and by 2050 at the latest. Accelerating the take-up of renewables is the best way to achieve this,” Rochon added.

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