People's Domain

Climate Reality Leaders laud ADB plan to stop funding coal projects

Climate Reality Leaders working on the development and deployment of energy in the country have expressed support to the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) plan to stop funding any coal-related projects and decommission coal-fired power plants in the Asia Pacific Region.

This plan was conveyed in the draft policy paper, entitled, “Supporting Low Carbon Transition in Asia and the Pacific,” which was released on the ADB website for public consultation. The said paper will be submitted to the ADB’s Board of Directors for consideration by October 2021.

Climate Reality Leader Sara Ahmed said that it is great to see that the ADB is finally following the global trend of clean energy transition. “Capital markets are shifting decisively towards cleaner investments. Over 145 globally significant financial institutions have coal exclusion policies and over 50 globally significant financial institutions are including oil and gas,” she noted.

Ahmed is an advisor to the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a dedicated cooperation initiative of economies systemically vulnerable to climate change, and the founder of the Financial Futures Center which aims to support climate prosperity in vulnerable developing countries.

“Considering the deflationary price trajectory of renewable electricity generation and storage options, it is therefore prudent for the ADB to finance the use of modernized technologies in a way that can take advantage of improved pricing, reliability, and reduced exposure to inflationary pressures and international volatility,” she added.

Climate Reality Leader Johnny Altomonte, meanwhile, said that the implementation of the draft policy will serve as a big market indicator in the region, signaling that a sustainable energy transition is on its way in the Philippines.

Altomonte is the Chief Executive Officer of Verne Energy Solutions, an organization that provides clean and green energy solutions to private firms and city governments in the country.

“Sustainable energy has not only become the environmental and social choice but the prudent financial one as well. However, incumbent support for fossil fuels has insofar prevented renewable deployment in Asia. Given this, we welcome and support ADB’s draft energy policy that finally brings an end to financing coal and upstream oil and gas,” Altomonte said.

Echoing Altomonte’s optimism, Climate Reality Leader Christianne Santos said that the ADB’s withdrawal of support to coal is “one great step forward in our collective efforts to fight the climate crisis.”

Santos is currently the Social Transformation Manager at WeGen Distributed Philippines, a next-generation energy tech business that uses rapidly advancing renewable energy, battery storage, and software technologies to develop energy solutions for a range of applications.

“As the Philippines started to open its doors for a more competitive renewable energy mix, ADB’s recent announcement clearly provides for better leverage to enhance the country’s renewable energy advances, including that of the local market players,” Santos said.

Santos added that the ADB’s decision to stop funding coal projects also affirms existing policies against extractive industries that are not only counter-productive to economic development but also harmful to the health of communities.

The Climate Reality Project (TCRP) Philippines joined its roster of Climate Reality Leaders in welcoming ADB’s draft energy policy plan. It noted, however, that the plan indicates that the multilateral bank will continue to finance natural gas projects under certain conditions.

“The draft energy policy could still be improved by setting a specific time for its fossil fuel exit strategy, including natural gas projects. We must remember that all fossil fuels and natural gas are not sustainable. Banning coal is not enough. Nevertheless, we remain optimistic that the ADB will do right by the people by helping accelerate the global transition to a clean energy system,” Nazrin Castro, Branch Manager of TCRP Philippines, said.

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