Just transition in the Philippines began as a labor movement in the 1970s, which later expanded to include climate agendas. There have been significant developments at the legislative level through the enactment of the Philippines Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), the Renewable Energy Act, and the Green Jobs Act in 2016. The laws were enacted to promote sustainable growth in the energy sector and to incentivize businesses in green job generation to address the challenges of living in a changing climate.
Today, the urgency of just transition is becoming more evident with the increasingly adverse impacts brought by the climate emergency. Stakeholders and concerned citizens are campaigning for a just transition that prepares beyond the transition’s impact on the economy, but also extends a careful outlook on how it would affect all sectors of society.
Just transition, as defined by various stakeholders, is an inclusive transition in line with the interest of the people and the planet. It means creating cooperatives for workers, women’s participation in policymaking, and creating a regenerative economy inclusive for all. And since just transition permeates every sector, the genuine investment and active participation of the government is fundamental to achieving it.
Currently, the Philippines is a signatory to the Paris Agreement in 2015 which takes into account the creation of decent work and quality jobs in accordance with nationally defined development priorities. However, despite being a signatory, there has been no detailed implementation of the laws in the country, nor is there a rigorous study that measures the country’s movement in terms of just transition.
There are still a lot of questions and uncertainties in attempting to detail just the transition in the Philippines. Sectors do agree that going forward without leaving anybody or anything behind is the only “fair” change.