Greenpeace statement on the 2013 State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino III

Press release - July 23, 2013
We are gravely disappointed with the President’s statement on energy. While he claims support for renewable energy, he contradicts himself by poking fun at the same. He continues to use antiquated arguments that the coal industry uses to slam renewable energy, most of which have been already debunked. His preference for coal is clear despite the overwhelming scientific evidence of its contribution to climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions.

Members of "No to Coal Davao" and Greenpeace march at the historic Freedom Park in Davao City as part of the Global Day of Action Against Coal. All over the world, communities, business groups and civil society are standing up and taking bold steps to pressure their governments to switch from coal to clean, sustainable, renewable energy.Globally, the realities of climate change have pushed governments and businesses to abandon coal and invest in renewable energy. Some of the fastest growing investments are in solar and wind energy, as the benefits are clear: more jobs, a healthier environment and healthier people. 

Our country is so rich in renewable and clean energy sources. It is alarming that President Aquino is making all these excuses—and using the State of the Nation Address to broadcast these excuses not to invest in renewable energy sources.

Our country is already reeling from extreme weather events as we have seen in Typhoons Ondoy, Sendong and Pablo. These disasters have resulted in the loss of lives, damage to property and other economic losses and should have been the President’s wake up call to join the global community in an effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

If countries—such as the Philippines—who are themselves already the worst victims of climate change, aren’t leading the call for climate change solutions or the shift to renewable energy, what chance do we have to gather the global community to implement  the necessary  solutions?

President Aquino should change his tune, ditch his outdated fossil fuel playbook and wake up to the realities of the 21st century. Renewable energy is not just technologically capable of powering nations sustainably and safely, it is a key solution to climate change.

The impacts of climate change are no laughing matter especially for a country that as annually faces a massive toll extracted by extreme weather events like floods and typhoons. President Aquino should be mindful of the realities instead of being blinded by fossil fuel fallacies. For the next three years we challenge the President to pursue a program that would maximize the country’s renewable energy potential while stopping and eventually reducing reliance on coal power, instead of pursuing a backward and misguided policy of promoting fossil fuel use to the detriment of his country and people.

For more information, please contact:

Beau Baconguis, Program Manager, +63917-8715257

Therese Salvador, Media Campaigner, +63917-8228734