The Responsible Energy Initiative (REI) Philippines is a multi-year, consortium-driven program that aims to maximize renewable energy’s potential in the country and works with key actors across the renewable energy value chain to ensure the transition is ecologically safe, rights-respecting and socially just.
While renewable energy (RE) is recognized for its role in decarbonization, enhancing energy access, and fostering job creation, REI Philippines draws attention to a less discussed but significant issue — the impact of RE on people and the planet. There is a pressing need to address these emerging, often unheard challenges, especially in the realm of utility-scale RE production and deployment. Issues such as the displacement of indigenous communities, threats to biodiversity, and environmental pollution from waste disposal are some concerns that must be brought to the forefront.
The present moment is crucial. We are at a pivotal point where establishing robust processes and governance structures that integrate social and ecological considerations into the very foundation of our approach is not just beneficial, but essential. Failure to do so now could lead to a future where the transition is not only slowed down but also becomes mired in inefficiency and counterproductive outcomes.
Done right, the Philippine landscape offers a fertile ground for the RE sector to innovate and lead the way in adopting business models that not only mitigate harm but also foster social justice, economic resilience, and ecological regeneration.
It was against this backdrop that REI Philippines was conceived in 2023. Key organizations including the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, Oxfam Pilipinas, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Philippines, Forum for the Future, the Center for Empowerment, Innovation and Training on Renewable Energy (CentRE), and the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre came together as Consortium Partners. This collaboration is poised to address these challenges head-on, steering the country towards a more sustainable and equitable energy future.
At the onset, REI PH noticed a crucial gap: a lack of a comprehensive study that brought together all the data on the Philippines' transition to renewable energy, specifically its impact on people and the environment. Understanding the importance of this, our team conducted a situational analysis of the ecological and social impacts that may emerge with the scaling of renewable energy and we've compiled it into the Renewable Energy to Responsible Energy: A Call to Action report. It explores:
How these impacts are currently governed,
How market actors respond to these impacts, and,
How the Initiative might effectively contribute towards creating a renewable energy system that is more socially just and ecologically sound.
We are looking for RE developers, manufacturers, financiers, procurers, policymakers, CSOs and philanthropy who shares our ambition of an ecologically safe, socially just and future fit energy system. REI Philippines will be embarking on a collaborative process to codevelop an industry-wide shared vision, and actions that can bring us there.
Reach out to Pauline Darroca via email through Pauline.Darroca(at)fes.de to find out more about the initiative and how you can collaboratie with or join REI Philippines.