The blockade began on the eve of the G8 Environment Ministers
Meeting in Japan, where ministers from the world's richest
industrialised countries are discussing solutions to climate
change, 24-26 May. The Rainbow Warrior action highlights the urgent
need for rejecting coal to top the agenda.
Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Secretary General of the Philippine
government's ruling coalition partner Lakas CMD, today assured
Greenpeace he would seek a moratorium on the expansion of coal
power in the Philippines: "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 costs."
On Wednesday, Governor of Albay Province, Luzon, Joey Sarte
Salceda, declared the province a coal-free zone stressing "there is
no room for coal in a world beset by climate change."
"These calls from leading politicians in the Philippines, a
developing country, deliver a strong message to the G8 to denounce
coal and start making a clean, energy-efficient future possible.
Revolution, developed with over a dozen scientific
institutes from around the world, proves this is possible," said
Jasper Inventor, climate campaigner with Greenpeace Southeast
Despite the fact that the Philippines was last year identified
as the nation most
affected by climate change (1) and has a 54 percent
overcapacity in electricity production, the government plans to
expand the Pagbilao coal-fired power plant and build eight new coal
power plants. The coal plant's expansion would mean an additional 5
million tons of climate-wrecking carbon dioxide pumped into the
atmosphere every year - double the plant's current production.
The Rainbow Warrior's blockade prevented the coal ship Medi
Firenze from unloading a cargo of coal at the plant's dock. It also
prevented the Sam John Spirit from approaching with a bigger
shipment of coal.
Burning coal is the single biggest source of carbon dioxide
(CO2) emissions, and a major cause of climate change. Coal is
responsible for one third of all CO2 emissions and is projected to
increase 60 percent by 2030 in 'business as usual' scenarios. This
is completely unacceptable in a world where impacts of climate
change, including changing weather patterns, can be seen every
The Rainbow Warrior is in the Philippines to spearhead the
Greenpeace Quit Coal Tour in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. The
tour aims to promote an energy revolution to stop climate change,
which includes phasing out the use of climate-damaging coal and a
massive uptake of renewable energy.
Other contacts: Jasper Inventor, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia, +63 917 300 9567Lea Guerrero, Media Campaigner on-board the Rainbow Warrior, +63 920 950 6877 Beth Herzfeld, Media Relations, Greenpeace International, +44 (0) 7717 802 891
VVPR info: Greenpeace International Photo Desk + 44 (0) 7801 615 889 Greenpeace International Video Desk +31 646 16 2015
Notes: (1) GermanWatch: Global Climate Risk Index 2008