Greenpeace demands immediate action on RE Bill

As UN climate body meets next week on climate change report

Feature story - November 9, 2007
Greenpeace demanded immediate action from legislators and the Philippine government for the passage of the Renewable Energy (RE) Bill, saying that further delays on the enactment of the crucial legislation are unacceptable. Greenpeace made the call during a press briefing about the Synthesis Report to be released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) next week in Spain. The Synthesis Report is the core factual document on climate science which will serve to guide governments in deciding their climate policies, and will provide vital input for the most important climate meeting since Kyoto to be held in Bali this December and will be attended by the Philippine government.

A mass of people congregated last November 26, at the University of the Philippines, Diliman for Greenpeace’s: Pilipinas, Go Renewable! Bike, Run, and Walk for Clean Energy, organized in partnership with the Firefly Brigade and Solar Generation Pilipinas.

"For the past several weeks key legislators, the Department of Energy, and even President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo have been calling for the passage of the RE Bill. But where is the action?" said Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner Abigail Jabines. "The time for talk should be over. It is now the time to act. It is time to pass the RE Bill."

Greenpeace has been challenging the RP government to show decisive action to address climate change, beginning with the passage of the RE Bill. The bill will facilitate the massive uptake of renewable energy in the country by promoting the expansion of sustainable energy sources and by setting time-bound renewable energy targets. It thereby ensures that the country will veer away from dependence on power generated through fossil fuels, particularly coal which has been identified by scientists as a major contributor to climate change. Greenpeace asserts that the RE Bill's immediate legislation is a clear solution to avert the worst effects of global climate change. It will also set a clear path toward lasting energy security, especially relevant today as the country reels under constantly rising oil prices.

"The Philippine government has repeatedly stated that it is committed to climate change solutions, and committed to the Kyoto Protocol. The immediate passage of the RE Bill will solidify this commitment. The country can also take this show of leadership further in the climate negotiations in Bali in December by calling on industrialized nations to drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions."

Abigail Jabines

Climate & Energy Campaigner

Last April, Greenpeace released the briefing paper "The Philippines: A Climate Hotspot" which reveals how the Philippines as a developing country is vulnerable to the worst impacts of climate change. The report states that climate change impacts can bring about more tragedies due to variability in extreme weather events and can change our country's coastline due to sea level rise.

"The scientific consensus is that climate change impacts will continue to worsen in the coming decades. Aside from comprehensive adaptation measures, mitigation measures must be set in place in order to reduce present manifestations and avert the worst scenarios," said Dr. Leoncio Amadore, former chair of PAGASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration), and one of the country's foremost metreologists.

The Synthesis Report to be produced by the IPCC next week integrates and compacts three major volumes released separately by the Nobel Peace Prize winning body earlier this year. The document is targeted to policy makers. It is expected to summarize:

  1.  
  2. "Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis" (released in February 2007) which assesses the current scientific knowledge of the natural and human drivers of climate change, observed changes in climate, and projections for future climate change;   
  3.  
  4. "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability" (released in April 2007) which is a detailed analysis of observed and projected impacts on natural and human systems in response to actual and expected climate change stimuli, and also looks at key vulnerabilities as well as adaptation measures for main sectors and regions;
  5.  
  6. and        "Mitigation of Climate Change" (released in May 2007) which analyses mitigation options for the main sectors in the near-term and provides information on long-term mitigation strategies for stabilizing the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at various levels.

The third report in particular states that delaying action on reducing emissions often leads to governments making decisions in favour of investing in dirty energy, high emission options which are then difficult and costly to change.

"The Philippine government has repeatedly stated that it is committed to climate change solutions, and committed to the Kyoto Protocol. The immediate passage of the RE Bill will solidify this commitment. The country can also take this show of leadership further in the climate negotiations in Bali in December by calling on industrialized nations to drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions," said Jabines.

"So far, the Philippine government has merely provided us with lip service and not decisive action in addressing climate change. Greenpeace is demanding that government ensure the passage of the Bill ahead of the Bali meeting in December."

Get involved!

Sign up for the free Greenpeace online activist e-zine. You'll get our newsletter and occasional alerts about ways you and a million people like you all over the world can take action to ensure a green and peaceful future.

Support us!

We don't accept money from governments or corporations -- and our financial independence is what allows us to pressure both. We rely on over 2 million people worldwide who give whatever they can. Please join us.

Tags