“We need to develop renewable energy, but we don’t need coal hypocrisy"

Greenpeace statement on the opening of the Renewable Energy Summit Philippines 2010

Press release - March 25, 2010
The Renewable Energy Summit Philippines 2010, intended to “position the Philippines as a major regional player in RE development and technology,” opens today at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Manila.

A mass of people congregated last November 26, at the University of the Philippines, Diliman for Greenpeace’s: Pilipinas, Go Renewable! Bike, Run, and Walk for Clean Energy, organized in partnership with the Firefly Brigade and Solar Generation Pilipinas.

The event is sponsored by First Metro Investment Corporation, a subsidiary of Metrobank, and co-organized with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. All three institutions are directly involved in coal power projects(1), which go against any progress toward climate change mitigation for which renewable energy sources are primarily deployed.

Amalie Obusan, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Climate and Energy Campaigner said:

"We need to develop the country's renewable energy sector, but we don't need coal hypocrisy. The fact that this summit is led by institutions that sponsor dirty coal projects, that have historically locked the country into dependence on coal power, and that peddle already debunked 'clean coal' technology is unsettling.

"First Metro, World Bank and Asian Development Bank all have a hand in some current and proposed coal power projects. In particular, First Metro, the summit's lead organizer, together with Global Business Power, both part of the Metrobank Group, are lead investor and developer of a 164-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Iloilo, which has been vehemently opposed by local communities.(2)

"World Bank and ADB have recently invested in a private energy consortium, KEPCO-SPC Power Corp. in Cebu, through a US$ 120-million loan which will build a 200-MW coal-fired power plant in Naga, Cebu.   Another major figure in the summit, Aboitiz Power Corporation, has plans to put up a 200- to 300-MW coal-fired power plant in the southern part of Mindanao in a move to diversify its power generation business.  While nothing specific has been disclosed about this investment, Aboitiz President Erramon Aboitiz said that about US$500 million will be needed to put up the plant.

"The burning of coal for fuel is the single greatest cause of climate change. The massive shift to renewable energy, coupled with energy efficiency technologies, is the solution. One cannot talk about implementing solutions without committing to eliminate the problem.  Unless these companies quit coal-that is, phase out coal power plants and withdraw financing support from proposed dirty power projects-the summit will be no more than a disgraceful exercise in corporate greenwashing.

"Organizers and participants to this summit must realize that coal development takes money and investment away from renewable energy projects. The need for urgent solutions to climate change and energy security demands no less than an 'Energy Revolution' that should wean the country away from fossil fuels and enable us to leapfrog to a future of clean, safe renewable energy."

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

VVPR info: Amalie Obusan, Climate and Energy Campaigner, +63 917 584 9663, JP Agcaoili, Media Campaigner, +63 917 631 2750, +63 2 414 6512 loc 121,

Notes: NOTES: (1) ADB Grants, loans, technical assistance and private sector support in energy sector projects approved between January 2000 to March 2006: Coal - US$399,200,000 (6.71%) Oil-diesel – US$34,325,000 (0.58%) Gas – US$1,105,545,000 (18.58%) Hydro – US$334,848,000 (5.63%) Renewable energy (off -grid, biomass, micro hydro, wind) – US$242,050,000 (4.07%) Energy efficiency and conservation (demand-side) – US$2,220,000 (0.04%) Clean Development Mechanism – US$2,225,000 (0.04%) Grid expansion and electrical transmission measures – US$1,777,523,000 (29.88%) Energy sector reform - US$2,051,695,000 (34.48%) TOTAL - US$5,949,631,000 (100.00%) SOURCE: Data analysis done by Greenpeace on the basis of ADB approved projects database: http://www.adb.org/Projects/approvals.asp (2)Financing for this coal plant was arranged by First Metro; amounting to PhP14 billion it is the second largest peso-denominated project loan facility purely funded by local institutions.