Cebuanos unfurl floating banner at Ludo coal plant site, join national wave of actions against dirty energy

Press release - March 18, 2017
18 March 2017; Cebu City, Philippines – A floating banner was unfurled today near the site of the proposed Ludo coal-fired power station by a stand-up paddling group, to convey Cebuanos’ strong opposition to the project. The demonstration was part of a string of protest activities led by communities to call for a coal-free Cebu, and to stand in solidarity with the global movement to Break Free from fossil fuels.

“The global fossil fuel industry knows that it is nearing its end. They can publicly deny it, but not the global impacts of climate change that are manifested in super-charged extreme weather events caused by their wanton disregard for the environment and the climate, spewing greenhouse gas emissions like there’s no tomorrow. It has to stop. Hence, this global wave of actions urging the world to break free from fossil fuels, especially coal,” said Greenpeace Climate and Energy Campaigner Reuben Muni.

The Break Free 2017 Cebu leg commenced with a 60-kilometer “climate walk” tracing the path of existing and proposed coal plants in the province. Community representatives, environmental activists, and civil society groups started their two-day journey near the Aboitiz-led power plant in Toledo City, stopped halfway at the Kepco SPC Power Corporation plant in Naga City, and ended the walk right by the Ludo project site, in the heart of the province’s capital.

“Break Free Cebu amplifies the grassroots voices opposing the proposed Ludo coal thermal-powered plant, and of demanding justice for the affected communities in coal plant sites in Toledo and Naga. The dedication of climate walkers is a testament of commitment - collectively calling for the end of fossil fuels.” – said Bro. Tagoy Jakosalem of Pusyon Kinaiyahan (Alliance for Earth).

To conclude the climate walk, local civil society groups and community leaders spread a massive banner in front of Cebu City Hall, and called on local and national government officials to stop backing coal companies. The groups consider the approval of coal projects as a blatant display of disregard for the health and lives of their constituents.

“The aggressive expansion of coal plants in Cebu is totally alarming. Local officials are merely paying lip service to the most urgent call to further reduce the country’s dependence on dirty energy. It’s high time that these officials are reminded of the Paris Agreement, where nations are bound to implement the abandonment of dirty energy like coal, and ultimately break free from fossil fuels,” said Teodorico Navea of Sanlakas Cebu.

While lauding the President’s ratification of the Paris Agreement and the Senate’s recent unanimous concurrence, the activists are still challenging the Duterte administration’s lack of action to facilitate the just transition from a fossil fuel-addicted economic paradigm and to a sustainable development trajectory powered by renewables.

“The ratification of the Paris agreement is incredibly important for island nations like ours, as deadly typhoons become more frequent and dangerous sea-level rise continues to threaten Filipino families and their ability to live happy, healthy, and comfortable lives. Now the government needs to make certain that the agreement is felt on the ground, and the Break Free movement is as committed as ever in ensuring that climate action becomes a reality,” said Rodne Galicha, branch manager for The Climate Reality Project Philippines

The Break Free national wave of actions against dirty energy launched last Monday, 13 March 2017, in front of the San Miguel headquarters in Manila, where coal-affected communities and civil society organizations staged a lightning rally to demand that the company shut down its coal plants in Limay, Bataan, and shift to renewable energy. [1]

This is the second time Filipinos are joining the Break Free global wave of actions against fossil fuels, escalating the massive Piglas Pilipinas! national campaign in 2016.


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For More Information:

Reuben Muni, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines ; +639178069084                                                   

Johanna Fernandez, Digital Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines , +639209759844