Greenpeace delivers solar panels to Malacañang

Calls for 50% Renewable Energy commitment by 2020

Feature story - October 14, 2010
Greenpeace volunteers and members of Solar Generation Pilipinas Youth today delivered solar panels to Malacañang Palace as part of a call to President Benigno Aquino III to lead the Philippines on the road to an Energy Revolution. The group is supporting the President’s vision to become the ‘Renewable Energy (RE) Champion of Southeast Asia’[1] and is proposing a roadmap to increase the Philippines’ use of RE to 50% by 2020. This uptake of RE will be coupled with the phase out of unsustainable sources of energy, particularly climate change-causing coal power, to propel the Philippines toward a green development pathway.

Greenpeace activists deliver solar panels to Malacañang as part of a call for President Benigno Aquino III to lead the Philippines on an Energy Revolution. © Veejay Villafranca/Greenpeace

As part of the activity, Greenpeace activists decorated Malacañang with pinwheels signed by thousands of Filipinos urging “P.Noy” to lead the global Energy Revolution. They displayed banners calling for an “Energy [R]evolution Now!” and for “50% Renewable Energy by 2020.”

“We want President Aquino to enjoy firsthand the benefits of renewable energy. Imagine if we had delivered a dirty coal plant here – or much worse, a dangerous nuclear plant – we doubt that he would relish living beside it. Filipinos want what P.Noy wants -- good, clean, dependable energy. P.Noy knows renewables can provide that. The Energy Revolution Roadmap that shows how our country can achieve this and more,” said Amalie Obusan, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Climate & Energy Campaigner.

“This is also a reminder to P.Noy that people are rallying behind him on this. Pinoys want to see a concrete plan of action toward making the dream of a carbon-free development future for the country a reality. The Filipino people could be leading the rest of the world in an Energy Revolution,” she added.

The Philippines has enacted a landmark Renewable Energy Law last 2008 which has spurred many RE projects throughout the country. But a lot more needs to be done. The RE Law’s vision to steer the country toward a secure and sustainable energy future, while helping mitigate climate change, must be reflected in the Philippine Energy Plan. This entails a corresponding decrease and phase out of fossil fuel use, particularly coal power which is the single greatest contributor to climate change.

“We are also asking PNoy to come aboard the Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, when she visits Manila this November[2], to sign on to the Energy Revolution roadmap. Time is running out. While world leaders wait on each other to be the first to commit, people in places that are most vulnerable and least prepared to deal with climate change – like the Philippines – are regularly suffering from the impacts. If the Philippines makes the first commitment to specific targets, this will send a very strong message to other heads of states that they should already be committing substantial targets. Our country could be leading Developing Asia and the rest of the world toward a clean development path and a carbon-free future. P.Noy should show the world what true leadership and people power are really like!” Obusan concluded.


Notes to editors:
[1] President Aquino made the declaration during a briefing with media at the 43rd ASEAN Foundation Day celebrations at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila, Philippines, 8 August 2010.

[2] The Rainbow Warrior, Greenpeace’s flagship, will be visiting the Philippines in November 2010 as part of the “Turning The Tide” Tour of Southeast Asia, docking in Manila Bay on November 27. The visit marks the last SEA-wide tour, as the ship will be retiring next year. The ship is the second incarnation of the Rainbow Warrior and has already been servicing Greenpeace for 27 years, the most famous and serviceable ship of its kind. The original RW was bombed during a sabotage operation by French secret service agents in 1985 and replaced two years later. The new Rainbow Warrior III – the first ship to be constructed specifically for environmental campaigning – is in the works.