Climate advocates hit Aquino for ‘dirty’ energy dependence

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MANILA, July 27, 2015 – A group of climate advocates, in a press statement on July 27, blasts the Aquino administration for what it calls poor implementation of climate policies and the country’s growing reliance on polluted energy.

“We will not forget how blatantly he dismissed the merits of renewable energy sources in his 2013 SONA,” said Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) national coordinator Gerry Arances.

Aquino “slammed renewable energy sources” for falling short of providing the required electricity baseload despite its potential to generate over 200, 000 MW, based on government data, Arances said.

READ: Vatican ropes in global leaders to fight climate change, modern slavery 

More coal power

But the government has “approved the operation of 27 coal plant projects, and 118 coal mining permits during Aquino’s term, with 15 more coal plant projects still in pipeline,” he said.

“Based on this, it is projected that the country will be 70 percent dependent on coal by 2030,” he noted.

Atty. Aaron Pedrosa, PMCJ secretary-general, said the power industry should “shift towards renewable energy in order to combat the adverse effects of climate change, specifically for the most vulnerable communities in the Philippines.”

He reminded Aquino of the Renewable Energy Law of 2008 and Climate Change Law of 2009.

READ: Climate advocates raise alarm on coal power 

Mining-related deaths

Citing the recent mining disaster in Semirara, where 9 miners perished underground, Pedrosa said it “is a clear manifestation of the hazards posed by coal mining to human life and livelihood.”

“It is not only the miners who face death, but also the communities exposed to polluted air and water,” he said.

The climate advocates called on Aquino to revoke policies that threaten the environment before he steps down from Malacañan.

Recent geothermal explorations in several parts of the country, however, were met with protests due to alleged environmental destruction and health hazards. One was a probe for energy deposits near Bulusan Volcano in Sorsogon. (Oliver Samson/CBCPNews)

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