A next-generation coalition of youth, local governments, business start-ups, and healthcare professionals laid out today their principles and demands for a responsive and inclusive energy transition in the Philippines.
The OurEnergy 2030 coalition (www.ourenergy2030.org) is calling on government and business leaders to drive forward the Philippines’ bold path towards justly and effectively transitioning our energy future to one that is decarbonised, digitalised, and decentralised.
“This 2020, we begin to change our energy future. We will have an inclusive and responsive transition towards a cleaner, more affordable, smarter, and future-ready energy system that will benefit generations of Filipinos,” said OurEnergy 2030 lead convenor Marlon Apanada.
According to Apanada and members of the coalition, the new decade presents a new and unprecedented opportunity to ensure leadership in a new energy economy; provide a stronger voice from the youth, small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), and grassroots organisations for solutions; take a whole-of-industry approach to encourage industry players to look past competition and promote cooperation and the mutually shared benefits; and ensure a healthy future and a sustainable way of life for the Philippines.
The OurEnergy2030 coalition is guided by a 10-point Manifesto of Principles and Demands and currently consists of the Ateneo de Manila University Student Council (Ateneo Sanggunian), the international NGO leading sustainability in the healthcare sector, Healthcare Without Harm, the NGO leading sustainability among local governments ICLEI, energy trading startup Exora, and global startup incubator New Energy Nexus.
Former Dean of the Ateneo School of Government Professor Tony La Viña, who now chairs a council promoting Philippine energy independence, is also part of the coalition. The coalition is growing rapidly and it continues to invite individuals and organizations to sign its Manifesto to let political and business leaders know that there is widespread clamor for urgent political action and business commitments.
“The OurEnergy2030 Manifesto is a strong manifesto, and I’m excited to see how the Ateneo Sanggunian can contribute to the cause,” remarks Mr. Quiel Quiwa, President of the Ateneo de Manila Student Council. Adds Ms. Nikki Ortiz of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, “ICLEI is fully supportive to the advocacy and has in fact shared the OurEnergy2030 Manifesto to our World Secretariat.”
No to status quo
The Philippines has one of the highest electricity rates in the world, fuelled mostly by imported coal and oil. These fossil fuels are also the most polluting and harmful of energy sources. If we do not change today, the coalition believes, we continue on a path that makes life unaffordable, damages the
environment, and increases our vulnerability as a nation. For millions of young Filipinos, the status quo is simply unacceptable.
The coalition is organizing a big coalition event on the day of Earth Hour 2020, March 28th, and is extending its invitation to other partners from all sectors of society to join, contribute their voices, and collectively send a clear demand signal to government and business leaders for an energy future that is decarbonised, digitalised and decentralised.
The coalition collectively demands for the following:
- • FASTER SHIFT TO RENEWABLES: We should aggressively pursue efforts, and remove all barriers, that allow the Philippines to tap unlimited sources of energy in ways that avoid power shortages and continue to drive our economy.
- • PRIORITISE ENERGY INDEPENDENCE. We should lessen our dependence on imported fossil fuels and harness clean, safe, indigenous, renewable energy.
- • RESILIENT AND SMART GRIDS, NOW. Our electric power grid should be able to withstand or at least recover more quickly from disasters, and must be readily able to take in decentralised, renewables-based, modern, and state-of-the-art energy technologies to allow affordable, reliable, and accessible electricity for all Filipinos.
- • FINANCE THE ENERGY TRANSITION TO BENEFIT ALL FILIPINOS. Ordinary households and small businesses must be able to enjoy the economic, environmental, and social benefits of clean energy technologies and therefore must have wide access to financial products and technologies that enable them to participate in the energy transition today. The financial sector should also take the lead in demonstrating leadership for an energy transition by prioritising investments into decarbonisation, digitalisation and decentralisation.
- • SUPPORT INNOVATIONS TO ACCLERATE THE ENERGY TRANSITION. Energy should be affordable and accessible for all, and innovative policies, technologies, business models, and investments contributing towards this goal must be supported.
- • MAKE THE GREEN JOBS MARKET A REALITY FOR THIS GENERATION. The potential of creating thousands of green jobs via decarbonising, digitalising, and decentralising our energy system during this decade must be prioritised as a unique opportunity to jump-start a new and highly specialised labour market with international ambitions.
“As we start a new decade and aspire for a more sustainable future, we will not allow the Philippines to be constrained to a Business-As-Usual approach of more expensive energy, more import dependence, more pollution, and worsening climate change. We will also not allow the Philippines to be locked out of rapid global developments that can lead to massive investments in a new energy economy, create thousands of high-value jobs, and usher in a new era of clean and cost-competitive technology that can benefit all Filipinos,” expressed Marlon Apanada, OurEnergy2030 coalition convenor.
The coalition thus believes it is time to begin the country’s Energy Transition towards a more sustainable and co-created future. Between 2020 and 2030, the coalition members pledge to contribute meaningfully to the single largest economic opportunity in recent Philippine history: orchestrating an inclusive and responsive energy transition that provides a cleaner, more affordable, resilient and smarter energy system that will benefit this and the next generations of Filipinos. ##
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