Greenpeace Ship Rainbow Warrior Visits Negros Occidental To Promote Sustainable Energy

Press release - March 8, 2000
The Greenpeace vessel, Rainbow Warrior arrived today in the province of Negros Occidental to support community organizations in their campaign against highly polluting energy projects and to promote sustainable alternatives. Greenpeace crew and campaigners presented the community with a gift, a 400-watt wind turbine for lighting and battery charging, as a symbol of joint campaigns on sustainable energy.

The Greenpeace vessel, Rainbow Warrior arrived today in the province of Negros Occidental to support community organizations in their campaign against highly polluting energy projects and to promote sustainable alternatives. Greenpeace crew and campaigners presented the community with a gift, a 400-watt wind turbine for lighting and battery charging, as a symbol of joint campaigns on sustainable energy.

The Rainbow Warrior is on a regional tour of Asia as part of a campaign to expose polluters and dirty technology transfer while highlighting the need for dean production and promoting sustainable energy options. The boat has toured India and Thailand and since it has been in the Philippines, it has visited Manila and Cebu.

"We are concerned about the social and environmental impacts that will result from the deployment of fossil fuel technologies such as the proposed 50-MW coal plant in Pulupandan, which we hope, will soon be a thing of the past," says Athena Ballesteros, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Energy Campaigner. "We decided to stop In Negros Occidental to help publicize the initiatives of citizens' groups to promote the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies instead," added Ballesteros.

Greenpeace recently launched a regional report entitled The Big Switch - Renewable Independent Power Producers: An Analysis of Future Independent Renewable Power Production in the Southeast Asian Electricity Sector.

The report assesses the economic, employment and environmental options and threats in the Southeast Asian energy sector, and compares the impact of a power production based on polluting, conventional fuels such as coal with clean, progressive alternatives based on renewable energy technologies such as wind, micro hydro, biomass and solar photovoltaics, and on energy efficiency.

In Negros, a coalition led by the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement, Greenpeace, the International Institute for Energy Conservation and Solar Electric is proposing to pilot the first renewable independent power producer (RIPP) project in the province. As part of the renewables initiative, a comprehensive assessment of available energy resources and commercially competitive technologies is already underway.

"The Rainbow Warrior is here to help advocate for a creative solution to meeting electricity needs that is compatible with concerns for the environment and promotes sustainable livelihoods for local communities;" says Pete Wilcox, captain of SV Rainbow Warrior.

"The case of Pulupandan reinforces recent trends showing that western companies have decided to make Asia their biggest dumping ground for fossil and nuclear technologies," says Ballesteros. This alarming pattern of dirty technology dumping is orchestrated by international financial institutions and export credit agencies that provide transnational subsidies to polluting corporations. Instead these organisations should be supporting more sustainable ways of providing energy in industrializing countries like the Philippines.

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