Global Energy Alliance eyes renewable energy projects in the Philippines

Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez (2nd from left) at the signing of the Energy Transition Mechanism with Indonesian counterparts at the COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland

GLASGOW—A new private sector-led global organization that has committed an initial US$10 billion to help accelerate the implementation of clean energy projects in developing economies highly vulnerable to climate change is exploring a possible country partnership with the Philippines to assist in hastening its transition to green and renewable energy  (RE) sources. 

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III recently met here with Dr. Rajiv Shah, the President of the Rockefeller Foundation, which is one of the pioneers of the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEPP),  to briefly discuss a possible list of projects that the organization can help fund for the Philippines. 

Aside from the Rockefeller Foundation, the GEAPP was also recently launched by the  IKEA Foundation and the Bezos Earth Fund on the sidelines of the 26th United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) held here.  

The GEAPP aims to deliver transformational programs that will accelerate and scale up an equitable energy transition in developing and emerging economies, while creating millions of jobs in the process. 

During the meeting, Secretary Dominguez said he will discuss the GEAPP proposal with President Duterte so that a list of “actionable” green energy initiatives can be drawn up for consideration by the Alliance. 

Secretary Dominguez discussed with Dr. Shah the decommissioning and repurposing of coal-fired power plants in Mindanao and how the GEAPP can possibly assist in this initiative. 


The Philippines has partnered with the Asian Development Bank (ADB)  to pilot an Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM)-supported project in the country as the government is in the process of rehabilitating the Agus-Pulangi hydropower plant in Mindanao to improve its generating capacity.


As a public-private finance vehicle, the ETM  aims to both reduce coal-fired power generation through accelerated plant retirement and boost the growth of RE using an equitable, scalable, and market-based approach. 


The Rockefeller Foundation has signed a memorandum of understanding  (MOU) with the ADB on designing and establishing the ETM facility, which was launched here with the Philippines and Indonesia on November 3. 


Secretary Dominguez said once the Agus-Pulangi power plant complex composed of seven hydropower plants increases its generating capacity, the government can proceed with its plan to gradually acquire coal-fired power plants in Mindanao and repurpose them through the ETM facility.


During the meeting, Secretary Dominguez also cited the importance of the “blended approach” or sustainable orchestration of grants, investments, and subsidies to make climate finance work for its beneficiaries. 


Mr. Shah said these three aspects are the initiatives that the GEAPP wants to implement in partnership with developing and emerging economies like the Philippines. 


The GEAPP has already raised an initial commitment of US$10 billion from philanthropists, governments, multilateral development banks, development finance institutions, and private sector partners. 


This commitment is intended to grow from US$35 billion to US$50 billion in five years, and over US$ 100 billion in 10 years, according to its proponents. 


Secretary Dominguez, who is also  Chairman-designate of the country’s Climate Change Commission (CCC), headed the Philippine delegation to the COP26. 


The Philippines accounts for only 0.3 percent of global carbon emissions, but as an archipelago sitting on the typhoon belt and the Pacific Ring of Fire, it is among the most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.


As its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement, the Philippines has committed to a projected greenhouse gas emission reduction and avoidance of 75 percent from 2020 to 2030 for agriculture, wastes, industry, transport, and energy sectors.