Philippines ready to sell sovereign carbon credits, says lawmaker


The Climate Change Commission of the Philippines and Maharlika Carbon Technologies signed a memorandum of cooperation last Friday to jointly promote voluntary carbon credits and sovereign carbon credits.

Joey Salceda, Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, stated that the Philippines can be the first country to sell sovereign carbon credits. However, the local coal-fired power plant capacity has increased by nearly 14% in the past two years, and the government has yet to set a net-zero carbon emissions target, causing concerns.

Manila, capital and chief city of the Philippines. (Photo: Freepik)

According to the memorandum of cooperation, Maharlika Carbon Technologies will assist the Philippine government set up the registry which will link to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for carbon trading through Certified Emissions Reductions (CER) and Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcomes (ITMOs), including sovereign carbon credits.

Salceda stated, "In short, this is the foundation for entering the market, with developing countries vying to become the first to sell sovereign carbon credits, and the Philippines cannot afford to miss out." Salceda also claimed that President Marcos, by self-proclaiming as the "Green President," could achieve significant milestones for the Philippines by pioneering in carbon credits, providing much-needed funds.

Salceda predicted that the Philippines entering the carbon trading market could bring in an initial USD 14 billion worth of benefits initially to the country, in cash and in kind like climate benign technologies, which are much needed for the Philippine’s shift towards sustainable socioeconomic development". He stated, "In recent years, government-supported carbon credits have gained attention, with some believing that government-backed emission reductions are more reliable. With relevant regulations and stimulus measures in place, the Philippines' goal should be to become the first in Asia and even globally."

However, among the 10 ASEAN countries, the Philippines is the only one without a committed timeline for achieving net-zero carbon emissions. According to the Philippine Department of Energy, the country emitted approximately 146.5 million tons of CO2e from energy consumption in 2022, an increase from the previous year. Despite the government's decision to stop approving coal-fired power plant applications since 2020, the installed capacity still increased by nearly 14% in 2 years.

As of now, coal accounts for approximately 44% of the Philippines' current energy structure, while renewable energy accounts for 29%. The government aims to increase the share of green energy to 50% by 2050, requiring an additional 52,826 MW in installed capacity, six times the current capacity.

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