10,000 Filipinos march in Batangas City, where the 600-megawatt
coal-fired power plant is proposed, to demand to the next
administration to cancel all proposed coal plants nationwide and
hasten a transition to renewable energy. The campaign is part of
a worldwide movement and the first in Asia to join "Break Free
from Fossil Fuels 2016", a global wave of peaceful actions
within 12 days and across six continents, including Indonesia,
Nigeria, Brazil, the United States, Germany and Australia.
(Jimmy A. Domingo/Greenpeace)
Saying yes to coal
plant construction, Batangas city council leaves dirty legacy
By The Climate Reality
June 20, 2016
QUEZON CITY – With a
vote of 6-4 in favor of the dirty coal plant to be built in the city
of Batangas, the council gave a company locational clearance for the
building of the new coal power plant (2 boiler units of 300 MW each)
in the city.
Rodne Galicha, Philippine
manager of The Climate Reality Project, a global movement founded by
Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore, said that "the
council denied its people especially the children of their right to a
healthful and balanced ecology in favor of a facility which
historically emits the biggest cause of extreme weather conditions. In
so doing, the council left the next generations of Batangas a dirty
legacy. Allowing coal plants is tantamount to sleeping with the killer
of thousands of lives when Typhoon Haiyan hit the country."
"The science is clear, hence
countries adapted the Paris Agreement to address the cause and
ill-effects of the climate crisis. Sustainable Development Goal 13
aims to 'take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact'
and every local government unit is tasked to achieve its targets."
"We assume that the council
is informed about the Climate Change Commission's Resolution 2016-001
signed by President Benigno Aquino III affirming the commitment to
mainstream a low-carbon development pathway in accordance with the
country's commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) and in the light of the submitted Intended
Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to significantly and
conditionally reduce carbon emissions by 70% by the year 2030.
Eventually, the president signed Executive Order 206, s. 2016, stating
clearly that 'consistent with the Philippines contributions under the
UNFCCC, the government hereby adopts the policy of ensuring
sustainable RE resource management in the country."
Given the recent
international and national policies, the council of Batangas City
would have shelved the proposal pending the national policy review and
framework development ordered by government and the fact that existing
development framework and policies fall under the Sustainable
Development Goals. We hope that the new set of councilors be
enlightened by science; strengthened by the will of the people and be
guided by their city's mission: "To improve the quality of life of the
citizens through sustained efforts to attain a balanced
agro-industrial development; to promote a business-friendly
environment; to generate more employment opportunities and to
adequately provide the basic infrastructure utilities, facilities and
social services necessary for a robust and liveable community."
Why we care? Apolinario
Mabini, a Batangueno, in his "Ang Tunay na Sampung Utos" says:
"Kaya habang di pa napapaui
ang mga patuto ng bawa't bayan o kaharian, na itinayo at inaalagan ng
mga lahi at angkang walang pinagsasakitan kundi ang kanilang sariling
kaginhawahan, sa kanya lamang dapat kang makisama sa ganap na
pakikipag-isa, tungkol sa hinahangad at pag-aari, upang magkalakas ka
hindi lamang sa pakikilaban sa kaaway ng lahat, kundi naman ng maidaos
ang lahat ng pinupunta ng kabuhayan ng tawo." (Because of this, while
the borders of the nations established and preserved by the egoism of
race and of family remain standing, you must remain united to your
country in perfect solidarity of views and interests in order to gain
strength, not only to combat the common enemy, but also to achieve all
the objectives of human life.)
The Climate Reality Project
is a member of Piglas Pilipinas movement in which on May 4 mobilized
8,000+ people in Batangas City, where JG Summit Holdings aims to put
up a 600-Megawatt coal fired power plant that is set to occupy a
20-hectare site in Barangay Pinamucan Ibaba, Batangas City.
The people demand the
cancellation of the coal plant in Batangas as well as all 27 other
proposed plants in the Philippines.