Coal does not make sense in the Philippines, says former UN climate chief

(Eco Business, 20 Feb 2019) As part of her mission to put greenhouse gas emissions on a downward path by 2020, Christiana Figueres pushes for renewables to electrify one of the most coal-dependent countries in Southeast Asia.

Christiana Figueres, the woman who led the negotiations in the groundbreaking Paris Agreement as executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, steered almost 200 nations through the most complex international deal ever attempted four years ago.

But in her current job as convenor of Mission 2020, a global initiative to curb fossil fuels by the crucial date of 2020, Figueres faces another challenge: stopping coal in Asia, where most of the world’s coal is being mined and burned to generate energy for the world’s fastest growing economies.

As part of the mission’s Asian tour, Figueres was in Japan, the Philippines, and is in Indonesia this week. 

Figueres said the shift away from coal—the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions—for these three coal-dependent countries is expected to be complicated as they have relied on the fossil fuel for many years.

But compared to Japan and Indonesia, the Philippines is predicted to have the highest share of coal in its power mix in Southeast Asia 12 years from now. 

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Eco Business, 20 Feb 2019: Coal does not make sense in the Philippines, says former UN climate chief