Greenpeace tells Metrobank to stop funding climate change; Climate Defender's Camp concludes in Iloilo

Feature story - June 16, 2008
Greenpeace activists concluded their occupation of a coal plant site in Iloilo City by dumping 20 sacks of 'coal' in front of Metrobank today. Metrobank is the promoter of the proposed Iloilo City coal-fired power plant in whose site Greenpeace volunteers have been camping since last Friday to step up public opposition to their proposed coal project. The Greenpeace action came a day after the environment group launched an online petition on their website to enable people to write to Metrobank urging it to invest in cleaner safer renewable energy solutions instead of coal.

Greenpeace activists concluded their occupation of a coal plant site in Iloilo City by dumping 20 sacks of 'coal' in front of Metrobank today. Metrobank is the promoter of the proposed Iloilo City coal-fired power plant in whose site Greenpeace volunteers have been camping since last Friday to step up public opposition to their proposed coal project. The Greenpeace action came a day after the environment group launched an online petition on their website to enable people to write to Metrobank urging it to invest in cleaner safer renewable energy solutions instead of coal.

Greenpeace activists concluded their occupation of a coal plant site in Iloilo City by dumping 20 sacks of 'coal' in front of Metrobank today. Metrobank is the promoter of the proposed Iloilo City coal-fired power plant in whose site Greenpeace volunteers have been camping since last Friday to step up public opposition to their proposed coal project. The Greenpeace action came a day after the environment group launched an online petition on their website to enable people to write to Metrobank urging it to invest in cleaner safer renewable energy solutions instead of coal.

Greenpeace activists concluded their occupation of a coal plant site in Iloilo City by dumping 20 sacks of 'coal' in front of Metrobank today. Metrobank is the promoter of the proposed Iloilo City coal-fired power plant in whose site Greenpeace volunteers have been camping since last Friday to step up public opposition to their proposed coal project. The Greenpeace action came a day after the environment group launched an online petition on their website to enable people to write to Metrobank urging it to invest in cleaner safer renewable energy solutions instead of coal.

Greenpeace activists concluded their occupation of a coal plant site in Iloilo City by dumping 20 sacks of 'coal' in front of Metrobank today. Metrobank is the promoter of the proposed Iloilo City coal-fired power plant in whose site Greenpeace volunteers have been camping since last Friday to step up public opposition to their proposed coal project. The Greenpeace action came a day after the environment group launched an online petition on their website to enable people to write to Metrobank urging it to invest in cleaner safer renewable energy solutions instead of coal.

The Greenpeace activists, who had set up a 'Climate Defenders Camp' at the site of the proposed plant last week, also unfurled a banner with the message 'Quit Coal' at the bank's General Luna branch. Greenpeace is demanding that Metrobank reconsider its plans to build the polluting coal-fired power plant. Metrobank owns Global Business Power Corp (GBPC), which together with Panay Power Corp (PPC), is pushing dirty energy projects in Iloilo City as well as Toledo in neighboring Cebu island.

Instead of actual coal, the activists used charcoal, which is safer than the coal used in power plants. Coal, when burnt, releases a cocktail of toxic gases that have deadly health impacts on downwind communities. It is also a major contributor to climate change, the most serious threat facing the world today.

"Metrobank, one of the country's largest banks, is on its way to becoming one of the country's biggest contributors to climate change. This is ironic, considering how the bank markets itself as a responsible corporate citizen. Coal-fired power plants are now recognized as a major cause of climate change, the greatest threat to humanity. Any investment in such a technology that puts the future of the world at risk is simply irresponsible, inhuman, and unjust," said Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner Jasper Inventor.

Volunteers of the environmental group established a Climate Defenders Camp last week at Barangay Ingore, La Paz, Iloilo City. The camp was designed as a hub for local communities and groups who are against the plant and served as a center for their public awareness campaigns about the ill effects of coal-fired power plants, climate change and its dangerous impacts, and solutions such as renewable energy. Activities at the camp proceeded despite constant harassment and intimidation from PPC and GBPC. Greenpeace is now raising the stakes further by engaging the financial entity behind the much-criticized power project.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) from coal-fired power plants is the main driver of climate change, representing a major portion of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Globally, coal accounts for 72% of carbon dioxide emissions from the power sector. In the Philippines eight coal fired power plants, with a total capacity of 4,177 MW, or about 26.1% of the country's installed capacity, currently account for as much as 36% of the emissions from the energy sector. However, nine more coal-fired plants are up for construction or expansion, despite the fact that the government recognizes the Philippines as among the countries most vulnerable to climate change.

"The Philippines has been identified as among the countries most at risk from climate change impacts such as extreme weather events and sea level rise. The last thing we need is corporations, aside from government officials, who continue to ignore scientific warnings and persist in building coal-fired power plants. Greenpeace believes that Metrobank must prove that its image as a responsible corporate citizen is sincere by canceling their coal power projects," said Inventor.

The Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior, is currently visiting 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 by phasing out the use of climate-damaging coal and enabling a massive uptake of renewable energy.

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