Greenpeace worked with local people to install wind turbines in a Philippine village which had no electricity.
A 50 megawatt coal-fired power station proposed by a now
bankrupt US company, to be built by a French/UK corporation and run
on imported Australian coal in the province of Negros was declared
officially "dead" by Philippine government officials. They agree
that renewable energy is the solution to the province's power
The death-knell for the Pulupandan coal-power project came as
the Governor of Negros province, the Energy Undersecretary and
several non-government organisations including Greenpeace signed a
Memorandum of Understanding to provide financial and technical
support to renewable energy projects and mainstream clean energy
technologies such as solar, wind and modern biomass.
"The Department of Energy has already abandoned any talks,
plans, whatever you want to call it, to promote the coal-fired
project in Pulupandan," Undersecretary of the Philippines
Department of Energy, Cyril del Callar said. "So let's put it to
rest, OK? And we have to move forward - the answer is we have to
use renewable energy."
Negros Governor Joseph Marañon says they are ready to embrace
renewable energy and chart a sustainable energy future. "I wish to
declare the full support of the province of Negros Occidental for
renewable energy development. I am confident that with all of us
here, united and committed towards this common goal, the quest for
a greener and pollution free Negros, will soon be a reality, today
and in the future," said Marañon.
Two billion people around the world currently live without
electricity and developed nations are trying to push dirty and
dangerous technologies such as coal and nuclear energies on these
developing nations. They are promoting the very technologies their
own citizens reject.
But communities in the Philippines aren't buying their rhetoric.
The proposed coal-fired power plant was opposed by local community
and environmental groups since 1998. Before that, three
municipalities had already rejected it. Communities from around the
world can look to Negros as an inspirational example of how they
can demand - and get - clean energy, even if national governments
or big businesses stand in their way.
And if a developing country like the Philippines can reject
dirty energy, it's time for rich countries to do the same.
Later this month world governments will meet in Johannesburg for
the Earth Summit. We want them to commit to providing clean and
affordable renewable energy for developing nations. We also want
governments to commit to converting 10 percent of their energy
sources to clean, renewable energy 2010.
Governments can't let visionary developing nations down by
continuing to keep the dirty energy industry alive.