Net Zero Carbon Alliance bares framework toward private sector carbon neutrality by 2050

Net Zero Carbon Alliance Executive Director Allan Barcena, First Philippine Holdings' Chief Sustainability Officer Agnes C. de Jesus and Energy Development Corporation's Deputy COO Jerome Cainglet (right) in a panel discussion at the consortium’s first anniversary meet moderated by Danie Laurel (second from right).

MANILA, Philippines — The Net Zero Carbon Alliance (NZCA), a pioneering multi-sectoral consortium seeking to achieve collective carbon neutrality beginning in the Philippine private sector, has reconvened on its first anniversary and bared its strategic framework toward such a goal.

NZCA’s conceptual framework is largely based on the proven approach of renewable energy (RE) leader and geothermal energy producer Energy Development Corporation (EDC) that is centered around two key aspects of climate change mitigation: avoiding and reducing emissions as much as possible and offsetting those that can no longer be reduced as a last option.

“EDC’s emergence as the only carbon-negative Filipino enterprise, by way of our purely renewable geothermal operations coupled with our flagship BINHI forest restoration program, serves as proof that effective climate action is indeed possible and attainable,” said EDC deputy chief operating officer Jerome H. Cainglet.

NZCA was conceived and established in 2021 by EDC to encourage and support as many Philippine enterprises as possible to commit to attaining net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or carbon neutrality by 2050.

This is in line with the Philippine government’s Nationally Determined Contribution to the landmark global COP 21 Paris climate change agreement to reduce emissions by as much as 75 percent by 2030. In the historic meeting, experts warned to keep global warming below 1.5°C to prevent irreversible negative impact on the planet.

NZCA is also EDC’s response to its renewed mission under the Lopez Group of Companies to forge collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future, being the full RE subsidiary of Lopez energy arm First Gen Corporation.

In terms of avoiding emissions, the NZCA framework highlights RE options as the primary strategy, along with energy efficiency and conservation, reduced reliance on fossil fuels in general, and organizational lifestyle and operational changes such as reducing food waste, telecommuting, smarter mobility, and many others. Offsetting emissions, meanwhile, is effectively obtained through forest protection, conservation and restoration. Potential for carbon sequestration in agriculture and food production has also been found through methods such as organic farming.

“Our first year was a learning period for all of us as we worked together, coming from different levels of readiness and climate action in our respective companies, but united in a journey to contribute to our country’s overall climate response,” Cainglet added.

NZCA’s pioneer partners are real estate developer Arthaland, Lopez Group affiliate First Balfour construction company, sustainability communications agency Drink, leading eco-friendly and Christian institution Silliman University in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, and the local offices of multinational firms Knowles Electronics and Unilever.

This year, NZCA welcomed six new partners: leading fiber internet service provider Converge ICT Solutions Inc., global leader in water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions and services Ecolab, air transport firm INAEC Aviation Corporation, boutique property developer Menarco Development Corporation, renowned multidisciplinary professional services firm SGV & Co., and sustainable hotel The Linden Suites.

Commissioner Rachel Anne Herrera of the Climate Change Commission (CCC).

“We are extending our support as we are also feeling a clamor and a growing desire from the private sector to be onboard for net-zero targets and to be active partners of the government in this transformation towards an upper middle income, climate-resilient country by 2050,” said Commissioner Rachel Anne Herrera of the Climate Change Commission (CCC) during the meet.

“We look forward not only to more partnerships and member companies joining the alliance in the coming years but to the palpable results of the interventions we are laying in place today,” Cainglet concluded.

Visit netzerocarbonalliance.ph for more information.

Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is First Gen Corporation’s 100-percent RE subsidiary with over 1,480MW total installed capacity that accounts for 19 percent of the country’s total installed RE capacity. Its 1,188MW geothermal portfolio comprises 62 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity and is the third largest geothermal producer in the world.