Germany to support travelling conference on climate change

  • 22 February 2018

Source: The Philippine Star
22 Feb 2018

LOS BAÑOS, Laguna, Philippines — A travelling conference on climate change and other energy concerns is set to be held in the Philippines and two other Southeast Asian countries in the fourth week of February.

Dubbed "MES 2018 Travelling Conference," the moving workshop will be funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and initiated by the Microenergy System (MES) Research Group at Technology University Berlin (TU). It consists of a series of workshops in the Philippines starting Feb. 26, in Malaysia and Singapore.

The workshop in the Philippines is jointly organized by the government-hosted Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) and University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).

Currently headed by director Gil Saguiguit Jr., SEARCA, now in its 52nd year, is one of the 23 regional centers of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO), an inter-government treaty organization founded in 1965 to promote cooperation in education, science and culture among Southeast Asian nations.

The Germany-funded workshop's main objective is "to establish a platform for knowledge exchange as well as strengthening existing or potential collaboration between Germany and Southeast Asia region in the field of climate change, bottom-up global energy access and energy transition metrics, human-centered product design, and social business development."

The key area of focus is sustainable, bottom-up, global energy with special attention to the micro perspective (the needs and contribution opportunities of households and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and utilizing tools such as the World Bank's Multi-Tier Framework (MTF) for measuring energy access to achieve the transition.

The key takeaways from the workshop, stated TU, SEARCA, and Microenergy Society in a joint paper, are a better understanding of current research in energy systems and energy transition both in Germany and in the Southeast Asian region, specifically in the Philippines; a working knowledge of the MTF and potential joint research agenda, and collaboration with the partners.

"At no other time in the last hundred years has the global energy landscape changed as much as in the last decade, catalyzed by the debates on climate change and the lack of energy access and accelerated by the breakthrough of large-scale renewable energy technologies," they emphasized.

The latter are, however, only part of the transformation.

In parallel, they added, there has been a rapid evolution of small decentralized approaches to energy access. This has not only opened up new perspectives for the 2.8 billion people worldwide who cook and heat with solid fuel and 1.3 billion people without access to the grid but also led to a surge of interest in decentralized power in on-grid region which is supported by academics as well as entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers.