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In brief

What is The Philippinesʼ pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Economy wide

Our analysis shows that the Philippines NDC is ambitious as it is consistent with a 1.5°C warming limit required under the Paris Agreement. We estimate a 1.5°C compatible pathway to be around 108 MtCO₂e/yr, or 41% below 2015 levels by 2030. However, current policy projections show the Philippines is not on track to meeting its NDC target, with emissions expected to increase by 34-41% above 2015 levels.

The Philippinesʼ total GHG emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr

Displayed values
Reference year
−100%−50%0%50%100%19902010203020502070
Reference year
2015
1.5°C emissions level
−41%
2021 NDC (conditional)
−45%
2021 NDC (unconditional)
+111%
Ambition gap
+4%
  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Current policy projections
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Historical emissions

2030 NDC

The Philippines updated its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) in April 2021 to a 75% emissions reduction by 2030, relative to a cumulative business-as-usual (BAU) emissions pathway. 2.71% of the target is unconditional, while the remaining 72.29% is conditional on international support. The NDC is equivalent to an unconditional target of 383-423 MtCO₂e/yr in 2030, with a conditional target of 100-120 MtCO₂e/yr. The conditional target translates to 34-45% below 2015 levels (excluding LULUCF). [16]

Fair share

Under the Paris Agreement, international support, including finance, technology transfer and capacity building, will be needed for The Philippines’ to close the emissions gap between its fair share and its domestic emissions pathway.

2050 Ambition

The Philippines does not have a net zero greenhouse gases (GHG) target. 1.5°C compatible pathways would require the Philippines to reach GHG emissions reductions of 68-80% below 2015 levels by 2050 (or 36-58 MtCO₂e/yr by 2050), when excluding LULUCF emissions.17 On the road to net zero, the country will need to balance its remaining GHG emissions with land sinks.

Emissions reductions

Emissions reductions should primarily target the energy sector, as this sector currently contributes the largest share of emissions. There is a potential to increase renewable energy in the Total Primary Energy Supply from 32% in 2017 to 94% in 2050.

Renewable energy

100% renewable energy electricity generation can be achieved by 2040. Accelerating renewable energy uptake is key power system flexibility, resilience, and electricity access for remote communities.

Remaining emissions

Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) can balance out the remaining emissions from other sectors, particularly agriculture, which is expected to take the largest share of emissions in all scenarios from 2050. Favouring climate friendly agricultural methods will reduce the need for CDR.

Negative emissions technologies

The declining prices of renewables and the costs of carbon capture and storage (CCS) at present mean that plans or investment in fossil fuels that would rely on CCS to reduce emissions would place the Philippines in danger of increasing stranded assets. A high renewable energy pathway will prove more feasible and provide more benefits for sustainable development.

Negative emissions technologies

Carbon dioxide removal approaches (CDR) such as land-based CDR or technological CDR, may play a role in bringing emissions to net zero. However, LULUCF emissions remains highly uncertain.

Sectors

Power

Energy sector decarbonisation is crucial as the sector is currently responsible for 58% of emissions or 122 MtCO₂e/yr.

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Power

Renewables could make up 85% of the power mix by 2030 and near 100% by 2040. Current policy reforms include renewable auctions, the curtailment of coal supply contracts under certain conditions, and opt for cheaper renewables by end users, which has the potential to speed up the deployment of renewables.1

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Power

1.5°C compatible pathways show coal and gas could be phased out of the power sector by 2034 and 2035, respectively. Renewable uptake can be accelerated by integrating the current coal moratorium into permanent policy, and scrapping all new coal fired power plants in the pipeline. Depending on the context, Philippines may require international support to achieve these phase out schedules.

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Power

The Philippines could reduce the carbon intensity in the power sector by 85% by 2030 compared to 2017 levels. However, the expansion of gas infrastructure is a barrier to low emissions power, and does not set the country on course for energy independence, while also risking expensive stranded assets.1,2

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Footnotes