After two days of discussing various mechanisms on how to put in place more renewable energy projects in the country, Renewable Energy Summit participants coming from Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon, and from various government offices, agencies, the academe, non-government organizations, church, and the business sector agreed that pursing the development of Renewable Energy should be a priority.
Atty. Josefina Patricia M. Asirit the current undersecretary of the Department of Energy, showed in her presentation that the Philippines has vast Renewable Energy capacity including the 265 million megawatts Ocean Thermal Energy potential.
Kaira Zoe Alburo, the Executive Director of Research Group for Alternatives to Development Project (A2D Project) one of the organizers of the summit said that with stronger typhoons, flash floods, rising sea level and other physical signs of climate change, and ongoing tensions in the Middle East, said “pursuing the development of renewable energy is not just an alternative, but the only option to free our society from fossil-fuel slavery that raises our carbon budget to almost 400 ppm. We need to bring it down to 350 ppm”.
Environmental Economics Professor Lourdes Montenegro said that “if we are to remove barriers and other challenges of sustainable energy development in our region, we need to develop mechanisms that will encourage stakeholders to put in funds and other initiatives to RE, we already have the Renewable Energy Act, what is needed now is how to translate all of these to our specific areas”
She added that there is also a need to tax more the carbon industry.
Architect Socorro Atega, the executive director of Cebu Uniting for Sustainable Water Foundation, said “Energy is the foundation of our economy, and we need to green it, so the future generation will be able inherit an environment that is sustaining”
“We need to come together and pursue a genuine decarbonized development, one that is socially inclusive, and one that addresses not just our current needs, we in the Cebu City government are committed, and In fact we will lead in our commitment through the installation of mix renewable energy sources in our building, and energy efeciency, and we would like to start the ball rolling, I am so sure others will immediately follow” Said Cebu City Councilor Nida Cabrera, one of the central figure in organizing the summit.
Vince Cinches, one of the organizers and the current Executive Director of Central Visayas Fisherfolk Development Center Inc. and the 350.org Coordinator beamed that “The summit is a landmark initiative, that started a trend for creating solutions in a manner where every stakeholders come together and discuss each of their concerns and is expected to act upon it. 2010 is the year where we identified problems, and 2011 is the year where we will set a roadmap that will discuss in detail solutions to develop a low carbon economy, the pursuit for 350 should be at a wartime speed.
The Renewable Energy Summit is part of the search for local solutions to problems, this led to the formation of the Cebu Green Economy Series, a string of events that allows stakeholders to discuss relevant issues linking environment, society and economy. Its aim is to explore “rapid but low risk” alternatives to the destructive ways in which society has carried out developmental projects that exploit the environment and marginalized the poor. Under the Cebu Green Economy Series, we address themes such as: 1) clean and alternative energy; 2) green jobs and investments; 3) food security; 4) sustainable transportation; 5) sustainable waste management and resource conservation; 6) eco-friendly built environment and architecture, and 7) liveable cities and urban environment, to name a few.
The Summit was organized by A2D Project Inc, RCE – Cebu, FIDEC Inc. PEJC Inc. CUSW, and the Cebu City Government in partnership with SM City, Foundation for the Philippine Environment, ACSF and FENOR, with sponsorship from Optima Printing Press and SIBAT Inc.