Read the statement below and if you want to participate in this initiative, kindly comment your name and/or your organization.
Deadline of signing is until December 23, 2016.

“We, civil society groups, environmental networks, and energy transformation advocates, express our serious concern over the possible harm to health, the environment, the global climate and the Philippine’s national development posed by the government’s decision to remove limits on the type of fuel or technology for power plant use.

The decision to remove the limits through the scrapping of a fuel mix policy – as recently reported in the newspapers – would allow power plants running on dirty, deadly and costly coal technology to dominate the local power industry.

The dominance of coal-fired power plants will aggravate the air pollution problem and create added health hazards to all Filipinos. It will also undermine global mitigation efforts to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which is the leading cause of man-made climate change. Furthermore, it will tie down the Filipino public in committing to pay for an obsolete and costly energy source which is being widely phased out across different parts of the world.

Extensive and authoritative studies have shown the damaging impact of coal combustion on the human body. These studies have concluded that coal combustion releases harmful substances, including mercury, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, which is more hazardous especially to those living near coal-fired power plants.

These pollutants contribute to asthma, lung cancer, congestive heart failure and strokes killing thousands of Filipinos every year. Ash fall from burning coal also contaminate our waterways. The 2016 study of a Harvard University team with Filipino groups found that for an expansion of 29 coal plants, premature deaths due to impacts of pollution to health will rise to around 2,410 annually.

Studies also link coal combustion to adverse environmental effects, including the destruction of water and land resources, where a large portion of the population relies on for their livelihood and sustenance, as well as global warming, which manifests in extreme weather conditions such as more frequent and more devastating floods, typhoons and droughts.

The Government’s decision not to regulate coal’s share in power generation does not take into consideration existing scientific studies citing negative consequences. It does not take into account external environmental and social costs that are inherent with the reliance on fossil fuel energy sources. Coal may seem cheaper in the short run, but its actual costs in terms of impact on the peoples’ health, the environment, the climate and the economy make it one of the most expensive forms of power over the long run.

We strongly appeal to the administration of President Duterte to correct this short-sighted position of the energy department on the matter for the sake of Filipino citizens and for the country’s future.

We likewise urge the government to keep in mind existing choices in developing our energy sources such as renewable energy sources, and to push strongly alternatives, indigenous to the country, that are far better than coal, not only in terms of environmental acceptability but also in economic sustainability.

Initial Signatories:

Green Thumb Coalition
Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ)
Center for Ecology Energy and Development (CEED)
Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM)
Greenpeace Philippines
World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines
Climate Reality Project Philippines”

(Original Photo from PhilStar)

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