Philippines eye first coal-plant phase-out by carbon finance


The Rockefeller Foundation has announced a collaboration with ACEN, a major energy player in the Philippines. With the assistance of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the collaboration aims to utilize funds obtained through carbon financing to facilitate the early decommissioning and transition to renewable energy of a coal-fired power plant in the Philippines. If successfully completed, this initiative would set a global precedent.

The "Coal to Clean Credit Initiative" (CCCI) will expedite the decommissioning of a 246 MW coal-fired power plant under the South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation. The goal is to retire and transition the plant by as early as 2030, a decade ahead of the initially scheduled retirement date. 

(Photo: iStock)

Rajiv J. Shah, the president of Rockefeller Foundation and supports CCCI, said “To retire coal plants, avoid those emissions, and create jobs, we need to create the right incentives for asset owners and communities and mobilize additional finance. This innovative CCCI agreement will pilot a coal-to-clean credit methodology in the Philippines, one critical step toward breaking that overreliance and building a better future.”

CCCI was officially launched in June of this year (2023), utilizing funds obtained through carbon offsetting to assist power plants in Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDE) in early retirement and transition. This initiative also aims to help workers from coal-power plants acquire new skills. 

Joseph Curtin, the Managing Director of Power and Climate team at the Rockefeller Foundation, stated that “the methodology will allow you to take an accelerated coal retirement project and its replacement with clean energy, and to measure and monetize carbon savings from that transaction.”

In addition, MAS has collaborated with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to assist in the early retirement of a 200 MW coal-fired power plant on Mindanao Island in the Philippines. The goal is to retire the plant as early as 2026, 5 years ahead of the originally anticipated schedule.

During the COP28 climate summit, the ADB also announced that, it would provide $10 billion USD in climate finance to the Philippines between 2024 and 2029. ADB said the funding forms part of the multilateral lender's new program being developed for the Philippines to support low-carbon transport, renewable energy, the development of carbon markets, flood management, resilient coastal development, food security, and adaptive health and social protection.

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