DAVAO CONFERENCE DECLARATION

WE, the delegates to the National People’s Conference on Coal and Renewable Energy, representing different networks, movements, non government organizations, faith-based organizations, employee’s unions and organizations, electric consumers, consumer groups and alliances, electric cooperatives, academicians, professionals, interest groups, Bangsamoro and indigenous peoples and coal-affected communities, women and yputh; hereby declare:

The 2009-2030 Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) envisions a gradual transition from a fossil-laden power industry to a low-carbon alternative. While the PEP heralds the promotion of RE to address the country’s growing power requirement, however investment in coal plants remains to be a hallmark of the government’s energy investment outlook;

In 2011, coal’s share in the power generation mix accounted for 38% outdoing the 28.4% power generated from renewable energy sources. Coal occupied 30% of the 16, 162 MW installed capacity for that year.  A three-fold increase in RE power generation is projected from 2011-2030 jacking up the RE share of the mix at 1,088 MW in 2011 to 9,931.3 MW by 2030. However, the government’s promotion of indigenous fossil fuels for the same period would reverse and outweigh the perceived gains in RE. For coal alone, 229.9 MMMT is projected to be generated from 2012-2030;

The country’s untapped RE potential stands at 203,000 MW while existing government-owned pivotal RE generation plants are queued for privatization as in the case of the Agus-Pulanggi Hydro Power Plant Complexes in Mindanao;

In June 8, 2001, the Philippine Congress passed Republic Act No. 9136, also known as the “Electric Power Industry Reform Act” or EPIRA, mandating the privatization of the power industry, thus divesting the control, management and administration of the power generation sector in favor of big corporations. EPIRA shifted the burden of ensuring energy security away from the government to the private corporate sector. This has resulted in the steep rise in coal plant projects commissioned and yet to be go online. From the 17 existing coal plants in 2014, 24 more coal plant projects have been approved and will be constructed by 2020;

The establishment of coal plants is not primarily intended to address the electricity needs of households nor to provide electricity to the 3 million Filipino households that to this day are without electric power but to cater to the power demands of big industries and industrial activities whose power needs dictate the country’s power demand and supply forecast;

To power these coal plants, the country imports most of its coal supply. In 2013 alone, 76.2% of coal was sourced from foreign coal mines. However, domestic coal production is expected to increase with the liberal issuance of Coal Operating Contracts (COCs) which spiked from 39 in 2007 to 76 in 2012. The projected yield from 12 coal rich areas throughout the country amounts to 1.8 billion metric tonnes. Coal plants do not only encourage coal mining, it encourages extractive industries to proliferate. As mining operations expand, so does the need to put up dirty and harmful energy sources such as coal plants to power them;

Our experience in communities hosting coal operations reveal adverse health impacts such as increased morbidity and mortality incidences in the area; environmental degradation and impairment to loss of biodiversity; contamination of aquifers and water stress; displacement of communities; decline in incomes due to loss of livelihood; desecration of cultural heritage areas such as ancestral domain lands and burial grounds, among others. Thus, where coal projects and operations thrive so does a plethora of human rights violations.

The Philippines has been identified as one of, if not the most, vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change. The magnitude of the destruction in the wake of Yolanda (Haiyan) is a testament to this fact;

The excessive concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has been determined to be the leading cause of global warming and climate change. The burning of coal has in turn been identified as the major source of carbon dioxide emissions. The recent Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (AR5) advances the view that to keep global temperature from shooting up beyond the 2 degree-Celsius mark, 80% of the global fossil fuels such as coal must remain under the ground. The Philippines is no exception. That the Philippine Congress passed the Climate Change Act of 2009 (Republic Act 9729) acknowledges the perils spawned by the unabated greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere and the threats and impacts brought about by climate change;

While the country’s greenhouse gas emissions are currently low and the yield from local coal mines are below the pegged production potentials, the government’s business as usual tract that argues for more coal plants and coal production will push the country’s emissions beyond its fair share of the global carbon budget needed to avert a 2-degrees warming. Our right to develop as a country cannot and should not be made a pretext to pollute and tread on a dirty and harmful track heavily reliant on coal energy;

As a country at risk, the urgency of the much-needed shift to renewable energy for the power needs of the population cannot be overemphasized. This transition is prompted not only by the recognition of the negative impacts of coal operations to host communities and the environment, but the pressing necessity to push for transformational adaptation in the face of climate change;

WE affirm the importance of community organizations and cooperatives. We call for the strengthening of the democratic processes which would uphold and foster the rights of communities, basic sectors and consumers in addressing energy issues.

WE call on the National Government, its concerned agencies as well as the local government units, to lead the transition to public, community-based democratic renewable energy systems as an alternative to the promotion of coal plants;

WE OPPOSE the establishment of new coal plants to address the power demand of the country. We thus demand on the government to revisit and amend the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) to reflect the urgency of tapping into renewable energy systems, the promotion of RE and ultimately the phasing out of fossil-fuel based power generation plants.

WE OPPOSE the issuance of new COCs for coal mining operations. Coal mining has no place in a country like ours where addressing the impacts of climate change and boosting our adaptive capacity are the order of the day.

WE DEMAND for reparations for all coal-affected communities.

WE DEMAND for the overhaul of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 which continues to provide imprimatur t the unchecked and liberalized construction of dirty and harmful energy projects such as coal plants.

We further demand the following:

  1.  Transition plan for all existing coal projects.
  2.  End investment incentives and public subsidies to producers that drive the expansion of coal mining and coal energy generation.
  3.  End all public financing of coal projects, including from IFIs, ECAs, development finance institutions and bilateral aid agencies.
  4.  Mobilize public finance to make a just transition to a rights-based democratic, ad appropriate renewable, and clean energy systems for people and communities as fast as possible.

Signed this 06h day of August 2014 at the Finster Hall, Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU), Davao City, Philippines.

Signed By:

Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ),
National Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)- Eastern Visayas Chapter
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)- Cebu Chapter
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)-  Davao Chapter
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)- Western Mindanao Chapter
Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)
Jubilee South-Asia Pacific Movement
BUSECO
MAGELCO
AMRECO
FETRIMICO
ASELCO-AMRECO
SURNECO
Barog-Cooperative
SIARELCO MSEAC/SURNECO SUKELCO BUSECO  II
Greenpeace
MUMAP
Our Rivers, Our Life (OROL)
Gitib
MUST
PCEEM Davao
Y4CJ Davao
FDC Davao
FDC Negros
FDC Cebu
FDC West Mindanao
SanlakasAteneo
Human Rights Center (AHRC)
International Coal Network
Palawan Alliance for Clean Energy (PACE)
POWER Group
Foundation for Sustainable Society (FSSI)
SAPOFFA
Samal Tribe
SAMEC
Cebu Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Society (CASSE)
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
Interface Development
Ateneo de Davao University
UCEAC
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)
1-CARE
PALAG Mindanao
Sanlakas Youth
ALAMIN
Legal Rights and Natural Resource Center (LRC)
XUKKP-SIO FDC Zamboanga Sur
SENTRO
Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL)
HARIBON
Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates ( PAHRA)
ACASARAN
UP One Earth Defend Zambales Greenminds CAPC PAKISAMA HESED FDC Iloilo MDN-CPC Nuclear Free Bataan Movement (NFBM) Kilusan PMCJ Socksargen SAC Marbel
11.11.11.
Mandug
River Watch
Bantay Kita
ISEDI-ADDU

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