Philippines Signed Paris Agreement
Earlier this week, the Philippines officially acceded to the Paris Agreement. According to its Climate Change Commission, the next step for the country will be to integrate and integrate the “country`s commitments into national policies, plans and programs” resulting from the agreement. Among these commitments is a conditional commitment to reduce emissions by 70% from forecasts by 2030. Meralco, the Philippines` main electricity supplier, has introduced a discount clause in its electricity purchase contracts in 2020 (Ahmed- Dalusung, 2020). This clause reduces coal energy if demand is lower due to the pandemic. These developments can, together, help to abandon coal-fired electricity, although large distributors can still pass on higher production costs to end consumers (Department of Energy, 2018). The moratorium on new coal could reduce emissions by 32-35% by 2030 compared to our current policy projections. The Philippines is the first of Southeast Asian coal-dominated countries to implement such a moratorium. This could stem the Philippine emissions curve and bring the country closer to its NDC target. The uncertainty is great, as the total impact of the COVID 19 pandemic or stimulus measures on economic development is not yet clear. However, the economic downturn in 2020 will affect emissions for many years to come. CTU`s current policy forecasts show that emissions in 2030 are 2 to 7% lower than our previous December 2019 estimate. The “accession instrument” is a document that involves the ratification by the Philippines of the historic agreement on climate change.
The document became ready for Duterte`s signature when the 33 Certificates of Compliance (CCC) were signed after being submitted to various Philippine government agencies. This measure alone could reduce emissions by about 60 million TCO2e by 2030 compared to our current policy scenario, a reduction from 32% to 35%. These emission reductions have been quantified on the basis of independent projections that do not necessarily reflect the government`s plans for the use of renewable energy sources, but reflect the maximum impact of the policy, including the possibility of political outreach (Ahmed-Brown, 2020). The Philippines` decision to accede to the Paris Agreement should be a wake-up call for countries that have not yet joined the agreement. Although the country has a president who initially rejected the Paris agreement, it has now shown a firm commitment to the agreement. After President Duterte took office, he called the agreement “stupid.” When an ambassador from an industrialization nation reminded him of The New Filipinos` climate commitments, Duterte said he wanted to “hit” him because he had the hypocrisy of having an evolved nation recite a less industrialized nation about its greenhouse gas emissions. The Paris Agreement to Limit Global Warming came into force on November 4, 2016. Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte approved and signed the accession instrument on February 28, 2017. Membership of the Paris Agreement will give the Philippines an active role in negotiations for their implementation.