Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), a nationwide climate justice coalition expressed its appreciation for the latest Climate Change Commission resolution calling for the review of the Philippine energy policy and harmonization of regulation on new and existing coal plants “in accordance with a low carbon development pathway. “
“This resolution is consistent with the Philippine commitment to contribute to the global effort to keep temperature to below 1.5 degrees, and a significant development in the face of the long standing demand by many communities and peoples organizations in the Philippines to shift away from coal energy,” commented Ian Rivera, the National Coordinator of the broadest climate justice coalition in the Philippines.
The Philippines led the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a group of governments from 20 countries, in successfully pushing for the inclusion in the Paris climate agreement of the aspirational goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“The urgency of addressing the climate crisis is deeply felt by our people, having experienced massive devastation from extreme weather events related to climate change, such as supertyphoons and super-El Ninos. It is only right that we lead in the effort to address change – not only in words but in action” said Rivera. “We hope this resolution will actually lead to the reversal of the Aquino government’s policy of expansion of coal energy, and a swift transition to renewable and clean energy for people and communities,” he added.
“This resolution is long overdue. We have been fighting against coal plants and coal mines for a long time, being witness to the horrific effects of coal projects on communities, on people’s health and livelihoods, on our local environment. We are also against coal energy because it is one of the leading contributors to climate change” said Mr. Roldan Gonzales, Executive Director of Gitib, Inc., and a PMCJ campaigner from the Mindanao.
“We challenge President-elect Duterte to take this further, beyond a review, and make it a priority of Presidency to issue an Executive Order suspending plans, permits and construction of new power plants in the country. Mindanao is host to many of the 27 new coal fired power plants currently in the pipeline“.
Ms. Pines Arcega, convenor of Defend Zambales and a PMCJ anti-coal campaigner in one of the frontline communities from Luzon, echoed this challenge. “A review of energy policy and harmonization of regulations on new and existing coal plants is not enough. Our communities, our country, have suffered enough. Government should act immediately to put a stop to dirty energy. We need an executive order for a moratorium on new coal plans and coal mines in place in the first 100 days of the new administration.