FEDERICO R. LOPEZAs we wind down 2022 and usher in a new year, I’m glad to see the COVID pandemic finally easing as we’ve managed to live with it and move forward with our lives and our businesses. Still, we shouldn’t throw all caution to the wind as the virus remains infectious, and the many Christmas celebrations and family gatherings only heighten our risk of exposure and may cause another surge as we experienced at the start of 2022.
It’s often said that the pandemic was just a dress rehearsal for how we will face an even more dangerous world from the impacts of climate change. I no longer have to connect the dots for you as we’re seeing the impacts we’ve been talking about unfolding in the news every single day now. We’re close to the cliff ’s edge today where the overriding goal must be to “solve climate change”—which means mitigating and reversing what causes it as well as adapting to its impacts that are already here, with more yet to come. Because if we don’t get it right, the exponential deterioration of global climate systems and the environment will make it impossible to solve other problems like poverty, inequality, disease, food production, freshwater scarcity, mass migration, social displacement, mass extinction of species and biodiversity loss, among others. This is not solely an environmental crisis. It is an existential crisis for humanity. There’s no other way to describe it. All of this we will feel during our lifetimes.
To “solve climate change,” our country needs a comprehensive, coherent and wellstudied national decarbonization and adaptation plan backed by continuous feedback that engages with what the science is telling us we should prepare for. Having a credible vision and a dynamically executed plan is the most effective way to attract the scale of investment and funding we need to build a resilient Philippines in a climate changed world.
For the Lopez Group of companies, we’ve come to realize that the scale of our climate actions needs to be measured not in size but in collectiveness, in our coming together. We are in a time of crisis, but also one of opportunity if we harness those same forces for positive change in the right direction. Try as we might to solve many of the sustainable development goals, it will be futile if we don’t build for the resilience we need, and if we don’t collaborate locally and as a global community to decisively “solve climate change.”
Our power and energy business platform is well-positioned to be at the forefront of the battle to “solve climate change.” Decarbonizing and scaling up a green electricity grid over the next three decades is probably the greatest energy transition in the history of mankind. It’s not just changing the electricity system but building a new global energy system with components we have never built before and at a massive scale. This will need nothing short of collaborative action among various players that today often consider themselves competitors. And these also need well-coordinated and timely action on the part of leaders, policymakers and regulators who must be decisive and well-versed on the elements that make for a successful and just energy transition.
The just energy transition is at the core of our mission of “forging collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future.” If our eyes are opened and vision clear, how we build for the journey ahead will only be bound by our own creativity and imagination.
I wish you all and your families a blessed Christmas and may the new year shine with hope and optimism for our continuing journey towards a brighter future.
FEDERICO R. LOPEZ