Greenpeace to Senate: it's time to pass the RE Bill

Feature story - November 5, 2007
Greenpeace activists dressed as alarm clocks marched into the Senate building to remind the Philippine government to immediately pass the Renewable Energy (RE) Bill ahead of the most important political meeting on climate change in Indonesia this December, to help combat the grave impacts of climate change which will put the future of millions of Filipinos at risk.

Greenpeace activists dressed as alarm clocks march inside the senate compund to call on senators to immediately pass the Renewable Energy (RE) Bill ahead of the most important political meeting on climate change in Indonesia this December, to help combat the grave impacts of climate change which will put the future of millions of Filipinos at risk. The activists, whose costumes and banner bore the slogan "It's time. Pass the RE Bill now!" distributed leaflets and letters to the Senators calling for the swift passage of the bill, which has been languishing in Congress for more than a decade. The said bill will be the country's first important contribution to the worldwide effort to avert climate change, recognized as the most pressing environmental disaster. Greenpeace has kept up the call to speed up the passage of the bill amid expert scientific opinion that the window for action to prevent the worst onslaughts of climate change impacts is getting narrower.

Greenpeace activists dressed as alarm clocks march inside the senate compund to call on senators to immediately pass the Renewable Energy (RE) Bill ahead of the most important political meeting on climate change in Indonesia this December, to help combat the grave impacts of climate change which will put the future of millions of Filipinos at risk. The activists, whose costumes and banner bore the slogan "It's time. Pass the RE Bill now!" distributed leaflets and letters to the Senators calling for the swift passage of the bill, which has been languishing in Congress for more than a decade. The said bill will be the country's first important contribution to the worldwide effort to avert climate change, recognized as the most pressing environmental disaster. Greenpeace has kept up the call to speed up the passage of the bill amid expert scientific opinion that the window for action to prevent the worst onslaughts of climate change impacts is getting narrower.

Greenpeace activists dressed as alarm clocks march inside the senate compund to call on senators to immediately pass the Renewable Energy (RE) Bill ahead of the most important political meeting on climate change in Indonesia this December, to help combat the grave impacts of climate change which will put the future of millions of Filipinos at risk. The activists, whose costumes and banner bore the slogan "It's time. Pass the RE Bill now!" distributed leaflets and letters to the Senators calling for the swift passage of the bill, which has been languishing in Congress for more than a decade. The said bill will be the country's first important contribution to the worldwide effort to avert climate change, recognized as the most pressing environmental disaster. Greenpeace has kept up the call to speed up the passage of the bill amid expert scientific opinion that the window for action to prevent the worst onslaughts of climate change impacts is getting narrower.

Greenpeace activists dressed as alarm clocks march inside the senate compund to call on senators to immediately pass the Renewable Energy (RE) Bill ahead of the most important political meeting on climate change in Indonesia this December, to help combat the grave impacts of climate change which will put the future of millions of Filipinos at risk. The activists, whose costumes and banner bore the slogan "It's time. Pass the RE Bill now!" distributed leaflets and letters to the Senators calling for the swift passage of the bill, which has been languishing in Congress for more than a decade. The said bill will be the country's first important contribution to the worldwide effort to avert climate change, recognized as the most pressing environmental disaster. Greenpeace has kept up the call to speed up the passage of the bill amid expert scientific opinion that the window for action to prevent the worst onslaughts of climate change impacts is getting narrower.

The activists, whose costumes and banner bore the slogan "It's time. Pass the RE Bill now!" distributed leaflets and letters to the Senators calling for the swift passage of the bill, which has been languishing in Congress for more than a decade. The said bill will be the country's first important contribution to the worldwide effort to avert climate change, recognized as the most pressing environmental disaster. Greenpeace has kept up the call to speed up the passage of the bill amid expert scientific opinion that the window for action to prevent theworst onslaughts of climate change impacts is getting narrower.

"It is already the eleventh hour and our legislators have yet to prove that they are seriously committed to fighting, and promoting real solutions to, climate change. We hope this time they will find the wisdom and fortitude to expedite the passage of the Renewable Energy Bill before the end of the year. Malacañang has already called for the bill's prioritization. It is now time for our legislators to act: the REBill must be passed immediately-or it might be too late to make a difference," said Greenpeace Climate and Energy  Campaigner Jasper Inventor.

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, even while it sets a clear path toward lasting energy security.

The Philippines has considerable renewable energy potential from wind and solar power which has, for the most part, remained untapped. But, while the government claims to be committed to climate change solutions and has identified the need to respond to this environmental threat as an important priority, it has been shamefully remiss in ensuring the RE Bill's legislation. Last year, the 13th Congress failed to take the opportunity to enact the crucial bill into law. And worse, the country has contrarily been expanding climate change-inducing coal plants-when clean, renewable energy sources, given the right policy mechanisms which would be provided by the RE legislation, are within grasp.

"The passage of RE Bill is also especially relevant today as the country finds itself helpless in the face of rising oil prices," said Inventor. "The Philippines currently imports half of the energy it uses in the form of oil, coal, and natural gas imports. The RE Bill, however, will increase energy independence and energy security by shielding the country from the volatility of fossil fuel prices. With the RE Bill, the country will utilize its massive renewable energy potential. The Philippines' wind energy potential alone reaches up to more than 70,000 MW. Solar power is abundant in the country and is capable of producing 1500 hours of power annually at 5 kilowatt hours per square meter per day."

"It is already the eleventh hour and our legislators have yet to prove that they are seriously committed to fighting, and promoting real solutions to, climate change. We hope this time they will find the wisdom and fortitude to expedite the passage of the Renewable Energy Bill before the end of the year. Malacañang has already called for the bill's prioritization. It is now time for our legislators to act: the RE Bill must be passed immediately-or it might be too late to make a difference."

Jasper Inventor

Greenpeace Climate and Energy  Campaigner

The call for climate change solutions such as the RE bill is echoed nationwide by thousands of Filipino citizens who have pledged to do their part to save the climate through the Greenpeace "Simple lang, save the climate" project. Launched earlier this year, the project calls upon citizens and institutions to adopt simple yet effective measures, including conserving electricity and writing to legislators, to help avert catastrophic climate change.

"As part of this Senate visit, Greenpeace is now engaging the country's legislators to join the thousands of extraordinary Filipino citizens who have pledged to be part of the climate solution. By ensuring the immediate passage of the RE Bill, our Senators can also do their part, their simple act for the planet," said Inventor. "Our country's future, and our planet's future, depends on averting the disastrous impacts of climate change. The RE Bill provides an answer. There is no reason why this crucial legislation should be delayed once more."

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