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Philippines Current situation

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

Emissions profile

Energy, the Philippines’ highest emitting sector, accounted for 58% of emissions in 2017. The Philippines has ramped up coal in the power supply, which it needs to import, and has a strong dependence on oil imports for its growing transport sector. More than half of the total primary energy supply is imported coal and oil, posing risks to energy security.3 Net energy imports have increased 121% over the past decade.4 Renewable energy plays a role in the current energy mix, representing 25% of the power supply and 32% of primary energy in 2017.

Agriculture is the second largest contributor to emissions at 28%. The majority share of agriculture emissions is from rice cultivation (62%), while remaining emissions are from manure (13%), enteric fermentation (12%), synthetic fertiliser (9%) and crop residues (4%).5

The waste sector accounts for 9% of emissions, these emissions are from solid waste and waste water. The Philippines generates 35,000 tons of municipal waste of which a large portion is burned, resulting in emissions.6

Industrial processes and product use accounts for 5% of total emissions. The bulk of this sector’s emissions are from cement. The cement industry emissions intensity (683 KgCO₂/tonne) in 2016 was higher than the world average (614 KgCO₂/tonne).7

1 Climate Action Tracker. Philippines. Climate Action Tracker. (2020).

2 Ahmed, S. J. Philippines Power Sector Can Reach Resilience by 2021 COVID-19 Reveals Regulatory Weaknesses and the Need for Improved Incentives and Policies. (2020).

3 Department of Energy. Draft Philippine Energy Plan. (2020).

4 IEA. Philippines – Countries & Region. International Energy Agency. (2020).

5 FAO. FAOSTAT – Agriculture Total. (2019).

6 Plaza, A. B. Ditch NIMBY to fix Philippines’ municipal solid waste problem. Asian Development Bank. (2017).

7 Climate Transparency. Philippines Country Profile. (2020).

8 Department of Energy of the Philippines. National Renewable Energy Programme (NREP). in (2011).

9 Department of Energy. Philippine Energy Plan 2018 – 2040. (2020).

10 Department of Energy. Memorandum:Advisory on the Moratorium of Endorsements for Greenfield Coal-Fired Power Projects In Line with Improving the Sustainability of the Philippines’ Electric Power Industry. (2020).

11 De Torres, A. Why the midstream and downstream natural gas industries development bills are climate-blind. (2021).

12 Reynolds, S. No Guaranteed Future for Imported Gas in the Philippines. IEEFA (2021).

13 Simeon, L. M. Philippine transport sector to get $15 billion financing from ADB. PhilStar. (2021).

14 Fern. Would BECCS deliver negative emissions? (2021).

15 EndCoal. Global Coal Public Finance Tracker. Last updated: July 2020. (2020).

16 Calculations by Climate Action Tracker. The NDC provides a cumulative BAU for the period 2020-2030. It does not provide information for the absolute emissions levels for 2030. This is calculated from a stakeholder consultation session hosted by the Philippine Climate Change Commission in December 2020.

17 While global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C provide useful guidance for an upper-limit of emissions trajectories for developed countries, they underestimate the feasible space for such countries to reach net zero earlier. The current generation of models tend to depend strongly on land-use sinks outside of currently developed countries and include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches. The scientific teams which provide these global pathways constantly improve the technologies represented in their models – and novel CDR technologies are now being included in new studies focused on deep mitigation scenarios meeting the Paris Agreement. A wide assessment database of these new scenarios is not yet available; thus, we rely on available scenarios which focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology. Accordingly, we do not yet consider land-sector emissions (LULUCF) and other CDR approaches which developed countries will need to implement in order to counterbalance their remaining emissions and reach net zero GHG are not considered here due to data availability.

18 Calculated by the Climate Action Tracker, currently unpublished.

The Philippinesʼ current GHG emissions

MtCO₂e/yr

Displayed values

By sector

  • Combustion
  • Fugitive emissions
  • Agriculture
  • Waste
  • Industry (processes)
  • LULUCF
  • Other
Energy (58%)⟵ LULUCF negative emissions

By gas

  • CO₂
  • CH₄
  • N₂O
  • Other
00

Sectors by gas

Energy
091%0
Agriculture
080%⟵ undefined
Industry (processes)
097%0

Energy system

Fossil fuels accounted for 68% of the primary energy mix in 2017, with the power and transport sectors taking largest shares. The Philippines has seen some renewable energy developments, but this is outweighed by coal and gas plans. Renewables can increase energy security by reducing import dependence and decarbonise the power and transport sectors.

The National Renewable Energy Program (NREP) aims to triple renewable energy capacity level from 4.8 GW in 2010 to 15.3 GW by 20308. The NREP was updated with a target for 20 GW of renewables by 2040, whereas the new draft NREP (2020 to 2040) scales up ambition for the installed renewables capacity to reach 30 GW by 2040.9

The Philippines is undergoing a number of electricity market reforms allowing for a competitive power market favouring renewable energy, including the Green Energy Option, renewable auctions, the Renewable Portfolio Standard, and a carve out clause for the Philippines main utility to curtail coal generation in favour of cheaper renewable energy.1

The Philippines is highly dependent on coal, and the announcement of the coal moratorium in October 2020 indicates a political shift. However, the moratorium excludes committed power projects, existing projects with firm expansion plans, and other criteria such as projects with land or lease agreements or project approvals.10 The moratorium is likely to generate policy spill-over effects leading to the acceleration of renewables.1 It needs to be complemented with a plan to phase out existing capacity by 2040.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has approved four LNG regasification terminal projects for 2022 to 2025 worth PHP 64,632 million, with more investment expected in future.9 The Energy Committees of Congress are deliberating bills to support the development of the gas industry (The Midstream Natural Gas Industry Development Act and the Downstream Natural Gas Industry Development Act).11

The recent expansion plans for LNG will continue import dependence, and lock in fossil fuels in the energy mix or risk expensive stranded assets. The LNG industry faces many issues including lack of transmissions and distribution infrastructure, rapid decrease of renewable energy prices, regulation restrictions, and power market structural changes.12 Scaling up cost effective renewable energy would remove the need for gas in the Philippines.

The Philippines lacks emission reduction targets and policies for the transport sector, which is dominated by fossil fuels. There are no policies to electrify this sector, nor plans to phase out heavy duty vehicles.7 This is a missed opportunity for decarbonisation, electrification, flexible grid management, and energy security (if powered by renewables). The Asian Development Bank plans USD 15 billion to support the transport sector between 2019 to 2023, including mass public transport systems, pedestrian walkways, and transport stations.13 The funding is aim to support climate mitigation and adaptation and presents an opportunity to transform the sector.

Targets and commitments

Economy-wide targets

Target type

Baseline scenario target

NDC target

Unconditional NDC Target:

  • GHG emissions reduction and avoidance of 2.71% against a business-as-usual (BAU) cumulative baseline (NDC excludes LULUCF and BAU includes LULUCF).
  • 111-133% below 2015 by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).

Conditional NDC Target:

  • GHG emissions reduction and avoidance of 72.29% against a business-as-usual cumulative baseline (NDC excludes LULUCF and BAU includes LULUCF).
  • 34-45% below 2015 by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).

Market mechanism

  • Philippines will continue to explore market mechanisms.

Long-term target

  • None.

Sector coverage

EnergyIndustryWasteAgriculture

Greenhouse gas coverage

CO₂CH₄PFCsHFCsN₂O

Sectoral targets

Energy

  • 24% energy savings across all sectors by 2040.

Power

  • Renewable energy targets:
    • Triple renewable energy capacity level from 4.8 GW in 2010 to 15.3 GW by 2030.
    • 20 GW by 2040.
  • Universal electrification of households by 2022.
  • 35% renewable capacity share by 2030 (on-grid) (in the Renewable Portfolio Standard).

Footnotes