DOE sending 2 personnel to COP26

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The Department of Energy (DOE) will be sending two men as part of the 19-man Philippine delegation to the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference, better known as the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, which begins today.

Based on a memorandum signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea dated October 27, the DOE would be represented by Usec. Felix William Fuentebella and Karlo Louise Matias, who according to his LinkedIn profile holds the rank of Science Research Specialist II in the department.

The country’s COP26 delegation is dominated by the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), with Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez III leading the group. Dominguez was assigned by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte as chairman of the country’s Climate Change Commission.

Other than Dominguez, the DOF will be sending eight more delegates, which include Usec. Mark Dennis Joven and Asec. Paola Alvarez. Dominguez, back in April, conveyed the government’s plan to purchase old coal plants in Mindanao to eventually close them. Alvarez, meanwhile, had a pronouncement on the same matter recently, but this time particularly mentioning the energy transition mechanism.

The DFA will be fielding six personnel, led by Sec. Teodoro Locsin, Jr., Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Antonio Lagdameo, and Leila Lora-Santos of the Philippine Permanent Mission to the UN in New York.

The Office of the President and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will also be represented by an official each.

Heads of state including US Pres. Joe Biden are expected to attend the conference, but Duterte won’t be attending himself, Alvarez said in a Rappler report, saying that the Philippines is in a state of national emegency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on a report by The Philippine Star, Manila Observatory Executive Director Atty. Antonio La Viña said that it is good that Dominguez heads the delegation since the COP26 will focus on climate finance.

A former Environment undersecretary and a former climate summit delegate for the Philippines, La Viña also emphasized that the attendance of two secretaries shows the Duterte administration’s renewed commitment to tackling global warming.

Last year, the DOE imposed a moratorium on the building of new coal plants in the Philippines as part of its goal to have renewable energy comprise at least 35% of the country’s energy mix by 2030.