AC Energy readies program to reach net-zero goal by 2050

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — AC Energy Corp. (ACEN) has teamed up with a climate solutions provider as the Ayala Group commits to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“Being at the forefront of the energy transition goes hand in hand with our commitment to net-zero. We will work closely with the Ayala group and continue to collaborate with our stakeholders as we carry out this important journey,” ACEN president and CEO Eric Francia said in a statement.

Like the rest of the Ayala group, ACEN partnered with South Pole, a leading project developer and global climate solutions provider that works with private organizations and governments worldwide.

The partnership enables the group to have an accurate view of emissions across its core business units and a tangible roadmap for reducing them in line with its net-zero ambition by 2050.

In the next 12 months, ACEN and South Pole will assess potential emission reduction activities and strategies to help ACEN prioritize and budget for these interventions across its core business units, ensuring practical steps are taken to reduce emissions as quickly as possible.

The teamup will also establish interim targets aligned with a science-based 1.5°C pathway across the core business units to ensure ACEN has robust and measurable milestones along its journey to net zero by 2050.

ACEN has also been working with many different initiatives such as the Council for Inclusive Capitalism Just Energy Transition in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group, global energy and energy-intensive companies, academic, investor, civil, and social representatives CalPERS, Grantham Research Institute, Inclusive Capital Partners, International Trade Union Confederation, State Street, and the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance.

It is also a signatory to the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and is currently implementing the 11 recommended disclosures.

For governance, ACEN management recently set up a board-level sustainability committee. The company has successfully rolled out its Environmental and Sustainability Policy since 2020, integrating sustainability in the decision-making on strategy, capital allocation, business development, product development, and operations.

To support its commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, ACEN secured board approval last week to transition its generation portfolio to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.

Further supporting this commitment is the management’s plan to use the Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) introduced by the Asian Development Bank for the early retirement of its remaining coal plant, South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp. (SLTEC) by 2040, 15 years ahead of its technical life.

The ETM is an innovative funding mechanism that leverages low-cost and long-term funding geared towards early coal retirement and reinvestment of proceeds to enable renewable energy. ACEN has tapped BPI Capital Corp. be the lead arranger for the ETM for SLTEC, which owns and operates the 2x135-MW coal-fired power plant in Calaca, Batangas.

“As Ayala’s concrete contribution to the well-being of future generations of Filipinos, we are announcing our commitment to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We are aligning ourselves with the global movement for climate action as our way to help secure our country’s future from the threats brought by climate change. We believe that we have the capabilities and collective will to make this happen,” Ayala Corp. chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala said.

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