The Philippines in Transition

A Climate Tracker Asia project

Reporting Climate | What is the Just Transition?

Science has made it clear that inaction is not an option as impacts of climate change increasingly grow. Just transitions in energy, transport, manufacturing, and cities are at the heart of the fight against the climate crisis.

But what does this concept mean? Just transition, according to the International Labour Organization, entails “greening the economy in a way that is as fair and inclusive as possible to everyone concerned, creating decent work opportunities and leaving no one behind.

This means that such a shift should address the impacts of the moves to phase out fossil fuels to workers of these industries, address the human rights issues in wind and solar value chain, and increase the access to transformative energy systems.

The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the effects of climate change despite being a minor contributor to the warming of the planet. But it is taking significant strides in climate action.

In 2016, the Philippines passed Republic Act 10771 or the Green Jobs Act, which seeks to incentivize individuals and business enterprises that will help create a green economy. Green jobs, as defined by the law, are those that contribute to preserving or restoring the quality of the environment that respect the rights of workers, and provide a fair income and security.

In 2021, the country committed to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 75% by 2030, which would come from the sectors of agriculture, wastes, industry, transport and energy.

The government of President Ferdinand Marcos has made the shift to renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal power a priority. But he is also pushing for the development of fossil gas and nuclear, which might hamper a genuine transition to clean energy.
We recognize that there is a very little understanding of what just transition is here in the Philippines despite it being a vital component of climate action and sustainable development.

In a bid to help mainstream the concept and drive conversations about it, Climate Tracker, through the support of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, worked with journalists across the country and produced a video series and stories about just transition.

The stories identified the challenges and opportunities for a just transition in the Philippines such as problems faced by young professionals who want to be employed in green jobs. The stories also discussed the shifts in non-energy sectors such as transport and labor.