Philippine Senate finally passes the Renewable Energy Bill!

Feature story - September 29, 2008
Greenpeace welcomes the passage of the Renewable Energy Bill by the Philippine Senate today. The passage of this bill--which has been pending in Philippine Congress for more than 18 years---represents a major step for the Philippines to ensure energy security and to combat the worsening impacts of climate change.

Hundreds of students, bikers, runners, volunteers, and supporters in Renewable Energy-themed costumes called for the immediate passage of the Renewable Energy Bill as they marched around the Quezon Memorial Circle to take part in the Global Day of Action Against Climate Change. The Greenpeace Clean Energy Parade is but one of many simultaneous public activities happening around the world demanding urgent action to address climate change. The Global Day of Action against Climate Change is targeted at world governments now convening in Bali for the UN Climate Change Conference where negotiations are ongoing on a range of measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions and avert the dire impacts predicted to result from climate change.

This morning, Greenpeace activists delivered a giant card containing the message "Pass the Renewable Energy Bill Now!" to the Philippine Senate. The 45 square foot card, addressed to the Senate from the Filipino people, was sent by Greenpeace to demand immediate action from the Upper House to pass the Renewable Energy (RE) Bill. The activists also distributed pin wheel-shaped pens with the same message to the Senators to remind them that they should urgently sign the bill into law--and that further delays on the enactment of the crucial legislation, which addresses both energy security and the threat of climate change, are unacceptable.

Greenpeace has been consistently challenging the RP government to show decisive action to address climate change, beginning with the passage of the RE Bill. WE believe the bill should facilitate the massive uptake of renewable energy in the country by promoting the expansion of sustainable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, and by setting time-bound renewable energy targets. Effective policy mechanisms within the bill should genuinely promote the massive utilization of clean energy even as it secures the energy security and sovereignty of the country and provides great environmental benefits for the Philippines.

The House of Representatives passed the RE Bill last June. Now that the Senate has followed suit, both houses must now come together to convene the Bicameral Committee and quickly flesh out the details that would ensure that strong policy mechanisms are in place so that this legislation makes a difference in genuinely promoting the massive utilization of renewable energy.

 Click here for a visual account of our work on the Renewable Energy Bill

"The next challenge for our lawmakers, beyond the Renewable Energy legislation, is to implement strict energy efficiency policies and begin the process of phasing out harmful coal-fired power plants. Together, these will herald the 'Energy Revolution' which Greenpeace is proposing to the Philippine government. The Energy Revolution-an innovative change in the way we use, produce, and distribute energy--will provide the Philippines with secure and affordable energy while maintaining the country's economic development. It will steer the country away from the use of harmful, climate change-causing fossil fuels such as coal, and toward harnessing the country's vast reserves of free, clean and safe renewable energy," said Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner Jasper Inventor.

"The passage of the Renewable Energy Bill, alongside the phase out of harmful coal-fired power plants, is the country's first step toward a clean, safe, sustainable energy future."

Jasper Inventor

Greenpeace Climate & Energy Campaigner

Last August, Greenpeace released the report 'Energy [R]evolution: A Sustainable Philippine Energy Outlook,' the first ever comprehensive energy strategy drawn up for the Philippine setting which shows how renewable energy can become the country's energy backbone. According to the report, renewable energy can provide as much as 57% of the country's energy needs by 2030, and 70% by 2050, with 'new' renewables, such as wind, biomass, geothermal and solar energy, contributing as much as 58% to the energy mix.

The report also details how solar energy can provide as much as 4,700 megawatts of installed power capacity in the Philippines by 2030, and as much as 13,000 MW by 2050, while wind power can provide 15,000 MW by 2030, and 22,000 MW by 2050. Greenpeace has been consistently calling on both houses of Congress to quickly act on the RE Bill to ensure the fast and effective deployment of renewable energies today.

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