Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Cusi to formalize ‘conditional concurrence’ to climate pact

Velasco, M. M. (January 17, 2017)

Relaxing a bit his stance on the country’s pledge under the Intended Nationally-Determined Contributions (INDC) to abating global warming risks, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi noted that he will already formalize his “conditional concurrence” to the Paris-sealed climate change diplomacy under the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The energy chief said he will lodge this as official correspondence to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and will lay down the conditions why the Department of Energy (DOE) cannot fully commit to the 70-percent carbon footprints reduction cast by the Philippines in the COP21 commitment.

Cusi said “to get to that target, the level of emissions for the energy sector shall go back to 2010 level under business-as-usual scenario…but with the economic aspirations of the country, we still need specific technologies and coal would still be part of that future.”  The Duterte administration sets its sight on expanding the country’s manufacturing base for inclusive growth that shall have trickle down effect on the marginal segments of society.

The energy chief said he will make clear with the DFA that the energy sector shall be allowed to push ahead with its charted development path and policies – and that would be anchored on an energy mix of 70-percent for baseload capacity; 20-percent for mid-merit; and 10-percent for peaking capacities and must be done without capping or setting quota on specific technologies.

Cusi will also request the foreign affairs department to make specific inquiries as to the stipulations of the COP21 climate deal on how a “vulnerable country” like the Philippines could have access to funding – at least to make energy facilities or infrastructure more resilient to extreme weather events.

He said “it is not just mitigation that is essential, we also have to focus on adaptation and we would want to pursue that for our energy facilities…but our major question is: How can we have access to funding? I will ask DFA to raise those questions relative to the Paris agreement.”

Essentially, the major criticism thrown against the COP21 climate change pact had been the lacking details on how targeted beneficiary-countries can be helped, including that of funding access – which is akin to the questions being raised by Cusi.

Climate scientists, experts, and diplomats have been noting that the COP21 pact had set the opportunity to protect “vulnerable people” and natural systems that are being disproportionately impacted by risks of global warming – and for it to be effective, it must integrate global goal for adaptation and provide strong solutions to address loss and damage due to climate change.

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