THE DEPARTMENT of Finance (DoF) said it will seek financing sources and develop programs that will attract investment for the shift away from carbon-intensive energy.

“The DoF is fully intent on mobilizing financing for climate change mitigation. We are establishing a sustainable financing ecosystem to synergize investments from both the public and private sectors, and we look forward to building, very soon, green social projects that will have a lasting and permanent impact on the environment,” Finance Assistant Secretary Paola Sherina A. Alvarez said in a forum Tuesday.

She said the DoF is exploring all possible instruments with the potential to shift investment in favor of renewables during the transition away from coal.

“What we don’t want to have is a scenario where you set a moratorium on coal but don’t provide foundational policies that will help the environment be more conducive to investment,” she said.

Ms. Alvarez said the government is working with the Asian Development Bank on a Coal Replacement Fund that will support the acquisition of coal-fired power plants in Mindanao and eventually elsewhere in the Philippines to provide momentum to the shift to renewables.

The initial goal is to set up a fund to acquire all power plants in the region and eventually shut them down while the generating capacity of the Agus-Pulangi hydropower plant is upgraded.

“The shift to renewable clean energy sources and green technologies and the adoption of modern, and low-carbon approaches to help mitigate this climate crisis, will make our economy more resilient, and our growth more sustainable,” she said.

Aside from financing, Ms. Alvarez said the government will also collaborate more with international partners and the private sector to achieve the country’s climate change mitigate goals.

She said $121 billion worth of total investment is needed between 2020 and 2040.

“Investments, technology and capacity building are needed to scale up, and speed up energy transition,” she added.

The Energy department has imposed a moratorium on new coal-fired power plant projects and allowed foreign investors to fully own geothermal plants.

The Philippines aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emission by 75% by 2030 according to its Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The Philippines is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries, hit by typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, which cause P177 billion worth of losses in public and private assets annually. — Beatrice M. Laforga