Rainbow Warrior arrives in the Philippines to highlight the urgency of climate change

Feature story - October 28, 2005
The Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior, arrived in the Philippines today to call on the governments of Southeast Asia to urgently tackle climate change by moving to clean energy and away from fossil fuels such as coal.

Puerto Princes, Palawan, Philippines, 28 October 2005- Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, arrives in the Philippines calling on governments of Southeast Asia o urgently tackle climate change by moving to clean energy and away from fossil fuels such as coal. The Rainbow Warrior has embarked on the “Asia Energy Revolution Tour” of Australia, China, Philippines and Thailand. In the Philippines, Greenpeace is campaigning for the government to generate 10% of the country’s energy supply from the sun, wind and modern biomass by 2010.

Puerto Princes, Palawan, Philippines, 28 October 2005- Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, arrives in the Philippines calling on governments of Southeast Asia o urgently tackle climate change by moving to clean energy and away from fossil fuels such as coal. The Rainbow Warrior has embarked on the “Asia Energy Revolution Tour” of Australia, China, Philippines and Thailand. In the Philippines, Greenpeace is campaigning for the government to generate 10% of the country’s energy supply from the sun, wind and modern biomass by 2010.

"Southeast Asia is a region that is very vulnerable to the impacts of a global warming. Countries in the region, like the Philippines, must tackle the issue with urgency. Climate change will define the future well-being, or ruin, of the Philippines and the entire region," said Red Constantino, energy campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Greenpeace warns that climate change will hit sectors of the Philippine economy badly, such as the country's tourism industry.  Considered as one of the most diverse habitats in the marine tropics, the Philippine archipelago is home to 488 coral species out of the 500 known coral species worldwide. Philippine coral reefs attract hundreds of thousands of visitors yearly and is a major source of income for the country.

Coral reefs, however, are among the ecosystems most vulnerable to global warming.  In Southeast Asia and the Pacific, coral bleaching events are set to increase in frequency and intensity if greenhouse gas emissions increase unabated.  Corals tend to die in great numbers immediately following coral bleaching events.

On October 29 to November 1, the Rainbow Warrior will set sail to the world famous Tubbataha reef, a UNESCO world heritage site. In the expedition, Greenpeace and members of national and international media will bear witness to what the Philippines stands to lose if climate change worsens.

Just recently, Greenpeace documented the devastating drought, which was attributed by scientists to climate change, that struck the Philippines, Thailand, and Cambodia and cost their economies more than $200M in damages (1).

"Climate change is the greatest threat facing the planet today and it's only going to get worse unless we embrace solutions to the problem. Clean renewable energy is readily available for a region with abundant solar and wind energy resources (2)," said Constantino. "The Philippines can lead the way in an energy revolution that addresses climate change as well as the rising prices of fossil fuels."

The Rainbow Warrior has embarked on the "Asia Energy Revolution Tour" of Australia, China, Philippines and Thailand to call for an urgent break from coal and to promote a massive shift to clean, renewable energy.  In the Philippines, Greenpeace is campaigning for the government to generate 10% of the country's energy supply from the sun, wind and modern biomass by 2010.

Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses non-violent creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Red Constantino, Regional Climate and Energy campaigner, +63917 5241123

Arthur Jones Dionio, Regional Media campaigner, +63915 5379740

(1) Statistics from Thailand's Ministry of Agriculture, Cambodia National Disaster Management Committee and Philippines' Climate Information, Monitoring and Prediction Center. (2) A study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the U.S, the Philippine wind energy resource potential - 76,000-MW - can supply over seven times the current power demand of the country. Solar power is abundant in the country and is capable of producing 1500 hours of power annually. In fact, energy from sunlight that falls on a land area half the size of Quezon City can provide the power needs of the entire country.