Greenpeace criticizes non-prioritization of RE Bill

Calls on lawmakers to recognize the urgency of climate change

Feature story - November 9, 2006
Greenpeace today criticized the non-prioritization of the Renewable Energy (RE) Bill in Monday’s Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meeting, saying that the Philippines is playing blind and deaf to the urgency of renewable energy solutions which will address both the issue of energy security, and climate change impacts which are certain to further cripple the country’s already weak economy.

Pilipinas: Go Renewable!

Greenpeace expressed their disappointment during the last day of their  three-day climate change exhibit at the Philippine Senate. The exhibit,  which was formally opened by Senate President Manny Villar, shows the  catastrophic impacts of climate change such as disasters associated with  extreme weather events, and presents renewable energy solutions. It is  currently on display in the Senate building as part of the environment  group's 'Pilipinas, Go Renewable!' campaign which calls for a massive  shift to renewable energy to combat climate change.

"Developing countries like the Philippines are at the mercy of the cruel  and disastrous impacts of climate change. But the government in its  shortsightedness still refuses to recognize that climate change is a  critical issue that will have major economic and ecological  repercussions," said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Climate and Energy  Campaigner Jasper Inventor. "The Philippines must join other countries  in the world in taking immediate steps to implement renewable energy  solutions-or else we can be overtaken by this catastrophe."

The RE Bill hurdled its third reading in Congress last September, but it  has yet to move in the Senate despite the support of some senators,  including the Senate President. Greenpeace has been lobbying at the  Senate this week to gather commitment from lawmakers to fast-track the  passage of a stronger Renewable Energy (RE) Bill. So far, only four  senators have expressed support for this critical issue. The senators  stamped their handprints and signatures in the exhibit's 'Pilipinas, Go Renewable!' commitment board.

"The commitments from Senate President Manny Villar, as well as Senators  Edgardo Angara, Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Jamby Madrigal, and Kiko Pangilinan  are commendable in that they show valuable foresight which the  government sadly lacks. But right now it seems that they are the only  ones who are giving much-needed support to renewable energy  initiatives," said Inventor.

"Renewable energy is the key to the fight against dangerous climate  change even as it addresses other challenges crucial to the Philippines,  such as energy security and the increasing volatility of fossil fuel  prices. The immediate passage of a strong RE Bill will determine our  country's environmental and economic wellbeing for many decades to  come," he added.

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