Energy Chief draws inspiration from flying geese formation on decarbonization efforts

Taguig City – To reach the planet’s zero emission goal, collaboration with the international community in a transition process that is gradual rather than overnight is necessary in order to soar together and reach the path towards carbon neutrality as one, Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said in his statement at the inaugural Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) Ministerial Meeting in Tokyo, Japan held on 04 March 2023.

Citing that collective migration to a low carbon future draws parallels to that of a flock of migrating geese, the energy chief describes that when geese fly in V formation, the flock’s overall efficiency increase to 70 percent. Their wings flap at varying speed, reflecting their relative strengths at different points along the way. But their coordinated flight creates air patterns that lift everyone, reduces flying effort for each goose, and stretches the distance that the entire flock can cover. These makes every goose indispensable for reaching the ultimate goal.

While the Philippines is moving forward into a gradual transition to a low-carbon economy with the diversification of  its energy sources into a cleaner and indigenous source to intensify decarbonization efforts across all economic sectors, the country and its people still becomes victims of the climate emergency and extreme weather events.

 “Over the years, the Philippines has made more than its proportionate contributions toward limiting greenhouse (GHG) emission globally, but despite these contributions, we find ourselves victims of the climate emergency and extreme weather events,” the energy chief said in his statement during the Ministerial Meeting.

The Philippines started early in establishing its clean energy program with development of its first hydroelectric power plant in the 1930s and the first developing country to embrace geothermal power with a recorded share of 27 percent in the power mix by 1999. Renewable energy in the power generation mix reached its peak in 1986 with nearly a 50% share until today at 22 percent.

“The Philippines therefore is exerting enormous efforts to regain more fully the path to sustainable energy by building better more. At our President’s direction, climate change will be up, front and center of the country’s energy sectoral and project development planning,” the energy chief said.

The goal is to increase renewable energy share in the power mix by 35 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040. This would translate to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction of 35 percent or around 119 million tons of CO2 equivalent by 2040.

AZEC aims to share the philosophy of promoting decarbonization in Asian nations and cooperation to push forward the energy transition. AZEC recognizes that there are various and practical pathways towards carbon neutrality while achieving economic growth depending on the circumstances of each country.

“Owning that climate transition faced by the Philippines is quite complex with its energy sector situated in an archipelagic setting, decentralized and unsubsidized, working together and collaboration with the international community in managing the climate transition while securing adequate energy for its people is a must in order to reach the planet’s zero emission goal as one,” the energy chief said.

“Access to financing, technology and resilient infrastructure in each case are crucial to avoid transferring the burden of climate transition to those who have contributed less to the climate emergency”, the energy chief said.

The AZEC Inaugural Ministerial Meeting was participated in by Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. ###