Greenpeace slams Aquino Government for lack of leadership on Renewable Energy

Aquino going gray not green with energy choices

Press release - June 29, 2011
Greenpeace is deeply disappointed at yesterday’s inauguration of a new coal fired power plant in Naga, Cebu, by President Aquino, the Philippine’s second new coal fired power plant this year.

“Coal burning for power generation has been a huge contributor to the climate change impacts that the Philippines is dealing with right now. Instead of relying on short-sighted, reactive measures he should focus on long-term solutions that benefit everyone by delivering energy security and energy access for all. Instead of continuously promoting coal, President Aquino must take this golden opportunity to make sure the massive uptake of renewable energy is realized here in the Philippines,” said Amalie Obusan, Climate and Energy Campaigner.

Earlier this month, the President graced the Department of Energy's grand launch of the National Renewable Energy Program in Manila, and is yet to set an ambitious but realistic target of 50% RE by 2020.  While the nation anxiously waits for they President to act on his bold statements the President is losing focus by inaugurating coal power stations in the Provinces.

The new IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy released in late May 2011 reveals that only 2.5% of viable renewable energy resources are needed to provide up to 80% of global energy demand by 2050 using currently available technologies.

Similarly, the Silent Energy [R]evolution analysis released by Greenpeace last week shows that since the late 1990s, wind and solar installations grew faster than any other power plant technology across the world - particularly coal. (1) The window of opportunity for renewables to both dominate new installations replacing old plants in OECD countries, as well as ongoing electrification in developing countries, closes within the next years.

Greenpeace’s recent release of the “Philippine Energy [R]evolution Roadmap to 2020” forecasts how renewable energy can power more than 50% of the nation’s energy needs by as early as 2020. (2) The Roadmap outlines how, with intelligent planning, the current administration can steer the country towards development powered by sustainable energy.

If President Aquino continues to consider coal as part of the energy mix of the country, then the legacy he leaves the Filipinos is another 30 years of pollution and carbon dioxide emissions - not to mention the extra costs to deal with the health impacts. Greenpeace calls on the Philippine government to scrap all new proposals for coal-fired and nuclear power plants and shift those investments to the development of the renewable energy sector and energy efficiency measures.

Coal is the biggest obstacle to a clean, secure energy future. The lack of urgency and political will on the part of the President makes the Philippines Southeast Asia’s laggard on renewable energy development.

“Key decision makers such as local government units should exercise extreme caution and refuse the offer of this whole broken notion of cheap power from coal.  Coal is a finite resource and will inevitably raise prices in the future, not to mention the external costs on health, water resources and climate change.” concluded Obusan.

For more information:

  • Amalie Obusan, Climate and Energy Campaigner, +63 917 584 9663,

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