Greenpeace ship arrives in Negros, Renewables revolution launched

ข่าวประชาสัมพันธ์ - สิงหาคม 3, 2545
03 August 2002, Manila - Greenpeace campaigners on board the ship MV Arctic Sunrise today paid tribute to the revolutionary history and spirit of Negros as the ship arrived in Bacolod City to launch the Renewable Revolution.

The launching, which signified the end of the Philippine leg of the Southeast Asia-wide Choose Positive Energy (CPE) tour, is aimed to demonstrate the viability of renewable energy.

"We chose to launch the Renewables Revolution here in Negros because of the great history of this region in its struggle for political and social freedom," said Athena Ballesteros, Greenpeace Southeastasia campaigns director, and a native of Negros.

"The voice of the people has always been very powerful here. The community of Negros is demanding clean, sustainable energy and we are supporting their campaign for the province to have 100 percent renewable energy," she added.

The Renewables Revolution campaign has support from France, where Greenpeace activists last week barricaded the Paris headquarters of French-UK Corporation, Alstom using two tons of coal. Alstom is one of the investors in the proposed Pulupandan coal-fired power station in Negros.

"Alstom must be made aware of the fact that the Negros community is rejecting the Pulupandan coal fired power station. They do not want dirty energy technology dumped on them from overseas," said Laetitia DeMarez, of Greenpeace France on board the Arctic Sunrise. "By what right does Alstom dictate the energy future of this province? Greenpeace in France and in the Philippines will support the people of Negros in their resistance against the fossil company Alstom. As in the past, a revolution can start here : the Renewable Revolution," DeMarez added.

The ship's visit to Negros is aimed at boosting the campaign to encourage the province to go 100 percent renewables by rejecting coal and fossil fuel projects. Together with local communities, the environmentalist group is pushing for the use of solar, wind and modern biomass to meet the province's future energy needs.

To demonstrate the viability of investing in renewable energy, Greenpeace activists and volunteers are set to hold several activities powered by renewable energy.

Among these are the "Earth Jam" concert at 6pm today at the La Salle Coliseum; the solarization of a school in Pulupandan tomorrow, and the installation of wind turbines on Sojoton Point, Cauayan on Monday.

On Sunday, the Negros Occidental Cycling Federation (NOCFED) will kick-off a bicycle rally from Bacolod to Pulupandan to show their support for the Renewables Revolution.

Other related activities are: the Green and Independent Power Producers Investors Workshop co-organized by Greenpeace and the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM)-Negros and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on board the ship. Negros Governor Joseph Marañon, PRRM President and former senator Wigberto Tañada, Department of Energy Secretary Vince Perez and members of Congress have been invited to join representatives of NGOs involved in the Green Renewable Independent Power Producer project in the MOU signing.

The MV Arctic Sunrise arrived in Manila on July 18, kicking off the Philippine leg of the Choose Positive Energy campaign. Two weeks ago, Greenpeace stormed the country's largest and most expensive coal-fired power station in Sual, Pangasinan to denounce continued invesmtnets towards dirty, polluting fossil fuel power plants like coal.

The Arctic Sunrise will leave Negros on August 7 to visit Thailand on the next phase of the CPE Tour of Souteast Asia, where many communities are rejecting the dirty energy technology of coal-fired power stations, and demanding clean renewable energy to fill the growing demand.

The Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, is presently campaigning in the North Sea against nuclear and fossil fuel energy on the northern leg of the Choose Positive Energy Tour.

The Choose Positive Energy Tour is part of Greenpeace's countdown to the Earth Summit that will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa next month. Greenpeace is campaigning for governments to make a commitment at the Johannesburg Earth Summit, to provide clean and affordable renewable energy to the two billion people around the world who currently live without decent energy services. Greenpeace is likewise asking OECD governments to immediately move 20 percent of their energy investments to renewable energy and at the same time, phase out financial support for all dirty energy sources within five years.