PHL can play a key role in global clean energy market–DENR exec


The Philippines can be in a unique position to be an important player in the global clean energy market and provide sustainable solutions to the climate crisis, an official of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said, underscoring the links among climate change, environment, biodiversity, inclusive resilience and sustainable development and mineral resource development.

Speaking during the kick-off ceremony of Mining Philippines 2023 International Exhibition and Conference at the Edsa Shangri-La in Mandaluyong City, DENR Undersecretary for Environment and Integrated Science Carlos Primo David, who represented DENR Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga, said today’s climate emergency is driving the global clean energy transition, which involves the generation of renewable energy, the need for energy storage and other new technologies, such as those related to the supporting infrastructure and manufacture of electric vehicles.

“These projects are highly mineral-intensive and their accelerated adoption will significantly increase the demand for critical and strategic minerals. These include copper, chromium, and nickel,” David, a geologist and an expert in environmental science, said.

“What this means is that the Philippines can be in a unique position to be an important player in the global clean energy market and provide sustainable solutions to the climate crisis. This demand for minerals comes at a time when the mining sector is expected to help generate government income to bolster our economic recovery,” he said.

David, however, said that while the minerals development sector grows, global studies have shown that responsible mining that marries financial viability with environmental sustainability and social development can ensure a longer life of mining sites, greater acceptability, and license to operate and sectoral stability.

He said mining companies, hence, are now, more than ever, expected to address issues of environmental protection and rehabilitation, social equity, climate action, and disaster risk reduction in their core business value cycles and in their environmental social and governance (ESG) programs.

“A responsive and responsible mining industry that delivers both corporate and national dividends and abides by the guidelines of the Task Forces of Climate and Nature-related financial disclosures is what we envision for the country,” he said.

Organized by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, the event gathered a diverse assembly of participants, including government officials, private sector representatives, academics, indigenous communities, and mining host communities.

Conference participants are expected to chart a path toward maximizing the potential of the mining sector, while addressing market dynamics, industry trends, internal capabilities, environmental concerns, and economic impacts.

The event saw the mining industry’s big players reigniting discussion on the future of mining in the Philippines after a four-year hiatus, reinvigorated by public policy pronouncements from President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. who previously underscored the importance of developing critical minerals needed for renewable energy transition and a pitch towards value-adding through downstream processing.

“Mining, which was treated for years like a pariah because of its environmental impact is now an indispensable part in the fight against climate change and energy transition,” Mike Toledo, COMP chairman said.

In his speech, Toledo expressed optimism for the future of mining under the Marcos administration.

Three large copper-gold projects that were stymied by the policy roadblocks—Tampakan, Silangan, and King King—are now in a better position to proceed with development.

“If we can establish stable mining policies over the long term, we can see more projects coming on stream. The industry’s potential will grow even more over time. And the Chamber of Mines is extremely hopeful that stability is just around the bend,” Toledo added.

More importantly, he said, mining’s hope is magnified by another positive change—a government that has clearly expressed qualified support to the industry.

“The administration of President Bongbong Marcos, through the pronouncements of several Cabinet officials in various forums—including two who were invited to speak here today—acknowledges mining as a priority sector with a high growth potential that will help our economy recover,” he said.