Albay Province Vice Governor Brando Sael reads a statement declaring Albay as a COAL FREE ZONE.
On day one, immediately following our press conference in Albay
to explain the campaign, local Governor Joey Sarte Salceda called
for Albay to be a coal-free zone. He said: "We believe there is no
place for coal in a world beset by climate change and certainly
there is no place for coal in Albay." He called on all developed
countries to reject coal.
A few days later the Warrior and crew were outside Pagbilao
coal-fired power plant,
blockading shipments of coal. That unleashed a media frenzy,
with the front pages of the biggest papers in the Philippines
relaying our message that the country needs to quit coal.
We stopped the protest when Senator Zubiri announced in a
communiqué to the Rainbow Warrior: "I will file a resolution in
the Senate seeking a halt in the construction of new coal fired
power plants in the country. In tandem will be a strong Renewable
Energy Bill that shall allow us to shift towards a low carbon
economy, and away from dependence on fossil fuels, particularly
coal. Coal carries huge environmental, health and social
A great start. But then today, we received another statement of
support when Senator Pia Juliana Cayetano, who chairs the Senate
Committee on Natural Resources and is the principal sponsor of the
proposed renewable energy act.
Cayetano declared: "I am one with Greenpeace in aiming for a
coal-free Philippines. The threat of climate change demands a shift
towards a sustainable, clean and low carbon future. Government
should lay out concrete plans for implementing clean energy
solutions in the power sector."
A few hours later the call was echoed by Congressman Lorenzo R.
Coal is the most polluting of all fossil fuels and the largest
single source of CO2 in the world. Currently, one-third of all
carbon dioxide emissions come from burning coal. In the Philippines
eight coal-fired power stations produce 36% of the country's energy
emissions, and the government plans to build or expand nine power
plants. Instead the Philippines need to improve the efficiency of
its energy system, embrace renewable energy and quit coal.
These political developments and statements of support for our
call to Quit Coal show the impact our campaign is having. The Albay
declaration spelled out an agenda, and the peaceful confrontation
at Pagbilao has started a process that could lead to the
Philippines quitting coal for good. We'll be keeping up the
pressure in the coming days and weeks - working to deliver the
energy [r]evolution that the world needs.
The Quit Coal tour is just part of our global campaign against
coal. In recent months we've blocked coal exports in New Zealand
and power plant construction in Holland and Germany. Last week, as
our activists in the Philippines were preparing for action, a team
in Israel were delivering the message to their government. We've
also brought out a comprehensive report showing that the industries
talk of carbon sequestration is just an 'end of pipe' dream used to
justify building more coal power plants that will never be
We're sending a message to the world leaders who will be meeting at the G8 Summit in Tokyo. Ask the leaders of Germany, Japan, the US, Canada, France, Italy, Russia, and the UK join YOU by becoming energy [r]evolutionaries.