Power firm launches multi-sectoral movement for carbon-neutral PH

By Mary Judaline Partlow

September 21, 2021, 6:20 pm

<p>Energy Development Corporation's Southern Negros Geothermal Project in Valencia, Negros Oriental. <em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

Energy Development Corporation's Southern Negros Geothermal Project in Valencia, Negros Oriental. (PNA file photo)

DUMAGUETE CITY – Racing against time to address the worsening climate change crisis, multi-sectoral representatives have joined a movement initiated by geothermal power leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) aimed at attaining zero carbon emissions among businesses in the country.

EDC, the country’s largest renewable energy producer owned by First-Gen, which operates the 222.5MW Southern Negros Geothermal Plant in Valencia, Negros Oriental, spearheads the movement dubbed Net Zero Carbon Alliance, a media release from the power utility said Tuesday.

Launched virtually on Monday, the movement pushes for the country to become carbon neutral, in line with the Department of Energy’s goal to reduce emissions by as much as 75 percent. This is part of the government’s Nationally Determined Contributions to the landmark global United Nations’ Paris climate change agreement or COP 21 (Conference of the Parties).

“We are putting into action our revitalized mission in the Lopez Group to ‘forge collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future’ by seeking partnerships and synergies with fellow enterprises in the country,” EDC president and chief operating officer Richard B. Tantoco was quoted as saying.

The Net Zero Carbon Alliance Program aims to “provide partners with a roadmap to attain carbon neutrality through the sharing of best practices and scaling up of carbon emission offsetting and tracking, as well as assistance in obtaining third-party certification of carbon emissions and offsets, and even access to “green” financing, among many other capacity-building tools,” EDC said in its media release.

Partners in the carbon-neutral alliance will be guided by EDC’s experience as a carbon-negative company through its 100 percent renewable energy operations and the protection and restoration of the forests within its geothermal project sites.

Partners can also adopt practices from EDC decarbonization mechanisms.

The pioneering members of the Net Zero Carbon Alliance include homegrown enterprises ArthaLand property developer, Lopez Group affiliate First Balfour construction company, Drink sustainability communications agency, Silliman University, as well as the local operations of multinational firms Analog Devices, Coca-Cola, Knowles Electronics, and Unilever.    

“We are extremely excited with the enthusiastic participation of our partners and we are looking forward to working with more and more enterprises in the local business sector as we move toward our common goal of mitigating the global challenge of climate change,” Tantoco said.

EDC is the country’s biggest 100-percent renewable energy (RE) company that accounts for over 40 percent of the Philippines’ RE output and serves about 10 percent of the country’s overall electricity demand with its installed capacity of almost 1,500 megawatts (MW).

Its 1,181MW geothermal portfolio accounts for 62 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity and has put the Philippines on the map as the world’s third largest geothermal power producer. (PNA)