RE project should involve environment and community safety— society groups

DOE eyeing Renewable Energy limitation on power grids

The Responsible Energy Initiative (REI) Philippines, a program advocating for energy transition, urged the Philippine renewable energy (RE) industry to reexamine its strategies to make sure that infrastructure development continues to safeguard the environment and communities around them.

Inquirer reported that in a study conducted by REI, named “Renewable Energy to Responsible Energy: A Call to Action”, the analysis iterated that leading players should formulate a system overseeing social and environmental repercussions that could potentially exist.

Civil society groups detailed various environmental repercussions, including the surge in greenhouse gas emissions from aluminum manufacturing, potential threats to water inflows affecting irrigation, and the supply of potable water. Additionally, concerns were raised about the displacement of indigenous communities due to the utilization of their lands for development purposes.

Oxfam Philippines’ executive director Erika Geronimo explained that although the acceleration of RE aims to address the climate crisis, the communities as well as the environment should also be taken into consideration. 

Issues like this, when not addressed, could not only damage the environment but also slow down the advancement of RE. Hence, REI coaxed the developers to put in place an impact monitoring system that would oversee the entire duration of the project. 

Oxfam is a member of REI along with the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), Forum for the Future, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Philippines, as well as Business and Human Rights Resource Center, and Innovation and Training on Renewable Energy.

At present, the government is working to improve the RE share in the power mix from 22% to 35% by 2030, and 50% by 2040.