Investments and implementation key for the success of the Renewable Energy Act: Greenpeace

Press release - December 16, 2008
Today, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed the Renewable Energy Law which is intended to accelerate the development and utilization of renewable energy sources in the country.

Three hundred and fifty youth from Bangui secondary schools form the words "R.E. Law Now!" beneath the majestic wind turbines in Bangui, Ilocos Norte. The wind farm, operated by Northwind, is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. A recent Greenpeace report, entitled "Energy Revolution: A Philippine Scenario," details how wind energy can provide as much as 15,000 megawatts of installed power capacity in the Philippines by 2030, and as much as 22,000 MW by 2050. Greenpeace is calling on lawmakers at the Bicameral Conference Committee convened today to ensure that strong policy mechanisms are in place in the Renewable Energy Bill to enable the legislation to make a difference in genuinely promoting the massive utilization of renewable energy.

Greenpeace Southeast Asia Executive Director, Von Hernandez said:

"Greenpeace welcomes this long-awaited enactment of the Renewable Energy (RE) Law. This signals that the Philippines is on track towards achieving an 'Energy Revolution' which can end our dependence on fossil fuels and move the country into a low carbon emissions economy which is a key solution to the problem of dangerous climate change. Given the worsening manifestations of a changing climate, moving our country away from this deadly and destabilizing addiction to fossil fuels is an unquestionable obligation.

"The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) to be drafted within a year of the law's enactment must be robust enough to successfully fulfill the intentions of the RE Law. Greenpeace will continue to monitor the development of this policy to ensure that it remains true to its foremost aim to catalyze massive investments of renewable energy technologies in the power sector. In the end, The RE Law must be the means by which the country will be weaned away from dependence on dangerous fossil fuels such as coal.

"We hope that the Philippine government will not negate and squander this historic opportunity to chart an alternative, safe and secure energy pathway for the country, by insisting on building more harmful coal-fired power plants and pursuing dangerous nuclear energy. If the latter two should come to pass, then it would truly be a disaster for this country and the government will have frittered away a golden opportunity to transition the country to a clean energy future."

Last August, Greenpeace launched 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. The report shows how, with ambitious renewable energy and energy efficiency policies, renewables can provide as much as 57% of the Philippines' energy needs by 2030, including 15,000 MW from wind, and 4,700 MW from solar--a staggering leap from the country's current installed capacity of 25 MW and 1 MW from wind and solar power respectively.

Greenpeace is an independent, global campaigning organization that acts to change attitudes and behavior, to protect and conserve the environment, and to promote peace.

Other contacts: Amalie Obusan, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Climate and Energy Campaigner, +63 917 823 9248, Lea Guerrero, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Media Campaigner, +63 920 950 6877,