APEC ministers approve, adopt: Cebu declaration

(The Freeman) - October 13, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Energy leaders from the 21 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation economies have approved and adopted the Cebu Ministerial Declaration and asked the APEC Energy Working Group (EWG) to create action plans that will concretize the recommendations they made.

The Cebu Ministerial Declaration contains proposals such as climate-proofing of energy infrastructures, adopting advanced energy efficiency technologies; promoting the use of clean energy in poverty-stricken areas; and improving energy trade and investment.

Philippine Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada said the instructions from energy ministers are set to be implemented by various working groups on energy efficiency and conservation, renewable energy and clean fossil energy, among others.

Monsada said the ministers have agreed to explore best practices in enhancing the quality of electric power infrastructure, doing vulnerability assessment of energy infrastructure and sharing information on technological innovations in the sector, among others.

She said the ministers have further adopted recommendation to invest into advanced energy efficiency technologies to pursue APEC's aspired goal of attaining the reduction of energy intensity by 45 percent by 2035 from 2005 levels.

Energy officials have also agreed to promote green economy through the use of clean energy.

On increasing energy investments, Monsada said there should be a closer cooperation between the private and public sectors in financing energy projects.

"The private sector should spur investments but the government should provide the regulatory framework and stable policies," she said.

Alan Bollard, executive director of the APEC Secretariat, agreed that PPP is a good scheme to do energy projects.

"We talked about raising funds for energy infrastructure. But it's not just looking for money but for bankable projects also," he said.

Josh Frydenberg, energy minister from Australia, said APEC economies won't meet their energy demands unless they are able to attract investments from the private sector.

"Energy demand grows exponentially," he said.

Low-carbon model

Meanwhile, Mandaue City was chosen among APEC member-economies as low carbon model town (LCMT) promoting low-carbon technologies to manage the rapidly increasing energy consumption.

The proclamation was made last night during the Joint APEC Ministers Press Conference at Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu, although news of the selection was already known as early as last month.

Monsada said one of the highlights of the APEC-Energy Ministerial Meeting was the selection of Mandaue as area of the phase six of the LCMT project. This entitles Mandaue to a feasibility study grant that would determine policy program measures.

The feasibility study specifically would look into the city's proposals and concept, called Integrated Green Growth Areas.

Mandaue City Administrator James Abadia explained that the concept will create and transform infrastructures into green buildings. The construction of green building for plan unit development and new buildings is required under an ordinance, Green Building Code of Mandaue. 

"We identified the next economic drivers of the city where will this be located and we require them to build green buildings… they would be forced assist the government minimizing or mitigating the impacts of their developments in relation to the general community," he said.

Mandaue has identified three to five growth areas based on its City Land Use Plan. These areas are the reclamation area, Marcelo Fernan Bridge to Cansaga Bridge and some interior areas of the city.

"This will lift up Mandaue to a higher sphere of development but at the same time maintain sustainability of the city. Strike the balance between development and sustainability and that's we are trying to address," he said adding that the concept was in line with the transportation programs of Mega Cebu through study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

He said all of these will be connected through infrastructure network or mass transport systems, either Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) or Rail Transit.

AGT is a fully automated, driverless, grade-separated transit system in which vehicles are automatically guided along a "guideway". The vehicles are often rubber tired, but other systems including steel wheels, air cushion and maglev systems have also been used in experiments. Rail transit, on the other hand, is urban public transport using rolling stock similar to a tramway, but operating at a higher capacity, and often on an exclusive right-of-way.

Other pressing problems are solid waste management, drainage and flooding.

For the proposal's funding, Abadia said the amount cannot be determined yet not until the completion of the feasibility study. The amount will be part of the study. Mandaue will provide logistics and other needs for the members of the study.

Mandaue's contenders were Krasnoyarsk City of Russia and Subang Jaya City of Malaysia.   — with Christell Fatima M. Tudtud/BRP (FREEMAN)

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