Tag Archives: Coal

[Statement] of the Diocese of Lucena against Coal-Fired Power Plants in Quezon Province

Statement of the Diocese of Lucena against Coal-Fired Power Plants in Quezon Province

We, the clergy, religious and lay people of the Diocese of Lucena, recognizing the need to uphold the integrity of creation and the common good for all human persons, especially in the face of the present climate emergency, fervently oppose the two (2) coal-fired power plants proposed by SMC Global Power Holdings to be constructed Brgy. Ibabang Polo, Pagbilao, Quezon. We also reiterate our strong opposition against the construction of Atimonan One Energy (A1E) 600×2 MW coal-fired plant in Brgy. Villa Ibaba in Atimonan, Quezon. We call upon these corporations and their power subsidiaries to listen to cry of the earth and cancel their plans to set up this dirty, deadly and costly source of energy. We appeal to the local and national government and their respective agencies, to listen to the cry of the people of Quezon and disallow these projects and any further coal plants in our beloved province.

The proposed coal-fired power plants by SMC subsidiaries: (1) the 4×355 MW of Central Luzon Premiere Power Corp. (CLPPC) and (2) the 2×355 MW of Lumiere Energy Technologies, Inc. (LETI) are currently in the pre-permit stage of project development and are planned to commence construction this August 2020 and July 2021 respectively. Quezon province already has two (2) operational and four (4) other coal plants. These two projects by SMC, and the ongoing one by A1E, will add more environmental degradation and health risks to our locality. Already, the people of Quezon, especially the poor and vulnerable, have suffered respiratory and skin diseases associated with toxic coal plant emissions. Furthermore, they have been robbed of their land, their livelihoodin particular, those fisherfolk of Lamon and Tayabas Bay and their rights from pollution, development aggression and exclusion from decision-making processes.

Pope Francis, on the 5th anniversary of his historic ecology encyclical letter, Laudato Si, in May 2020, has echoed his call to build “safe, accessible, reliable and efficient energy systems based on renewable energy sources that would make it possible to respond to the needs of the poorest populations and at the same time limit global warming.” The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged countries to stop financing the coal industry, to deliver a sustainable future following the pandemic. In a recent online summit hosted by the International Energy Agency, the UN chief said that “coal has no place in Covid-19 recovery plans.”

We oppose these coal-fired power plants also because they are entirely inconsistent with the care for our common home so desperately needed today. Given that humanity must do all it can to prevent a catastrophic 1.5°C warming by 2030 and thus phase-out coal as an energy source by the same year, these power plants must be ceased. Their cancellation will not only prevent massive greenhouse gas emissions but will stand as a decisive rejection of all unsustainable and carbon-intensive practices here in Quezon and the rest of the country.

Instead of constructing outdated, profit-oriented and polluting power plants, we enjoin these coal proponents and these subsidiaries to instead place their efforts and resources in developing Quezons renewable energy sources and ensure that both ecological balance and human dignity are benefited (CBCP Pastoral Letter, July 16, 2019). Second, we urgently ask the Quezon LGUs to stand unanimously against all coal projects and include the marginalized and those most affected in decision-making, while the Department of Natural Resources should revoke the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) of the applicant companies and review the environmental compliance of other coal plants in our province. Finally, we call upon all the faithful of the Diocese of Lucena to take a stand against all practices which destroy God’s creation, to commit themselves to care of the earth and the poor and to work for the realization of God’s Kingdom where the life of each flourishes upon a green and vibrant common home.

Reject SMCs and other Coal Projects in Ibabang Polo and the rest of Quezon province. End Coal now!

Signed by:
The Bishop and the Clergy of Lucena
Annual Spiritual Retreat
August 24-28, 2020
Sentro Pastoral ng Diocesis

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[Tula] Pandemya -Tula Ni Pinong

Tumigil ang mundo
At natakot ang lahat
Nawalan ng halaga ang pera
Ang kapangyarihan ay nawalan ng pangil
Ang mga armas ay nawalan ng silbi para mangikil
At naningil ang mundo
Pilit nating pinakitunguhan ang moralidad na tila matagal na ring namamahay sa ating tahanan, hindi lamang natin napapansin
Alam nito ang bawat sulok ng ating bahay
Ang bawat lamok at gagambang kasama nyang nanirahan sa agiw
At ang mga librong nagtuturo at naghuhubog sa kawastuhan at pagpapakatao
Napapagpagan na ng alikabok at binabasa
Sa pagkainip
Sa pagkasawa sa paglalaro ng baraha
Ng pera
Ng barya
Na nawalan ng halaga
Panahon ng takot
Sa sakit na walang gamot
Naghari ang mga ibon
Nakakapaglaro na sila sa mga kalsada
Tuka rito tuka roon
Talon dito talon duon
Wala na ang mga namamasadang gumagambala sa kanila
Wala na ang nakakalasong usok na paboritong langhapin ng mga tao
Ang alulong ng aso sa gabi
Ay banta ng panibagong biktima
At natuto tayong magdasal
Mangumpisal
Magnilay…
– Tula Ni Pinong
Abirl 10, 2020 –

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[From the web] The Coal Death March: Limay, Bataan’s Case for Climate Justice -by Beatrice Tulagan, ClimateStories.ph

The Coal Death March: Limay, Bataan’s Case for Climate Justice
by Beatrice Tulagan, ClimateStories.ph

Once upon a time, there was a fifty-seven-year-old grandmother with kind eyes. She was loved dearly in her community for leading the charge against a coal stockpile in her neighborhood. In her spare time, she manned her family’s karaoke bar and joked around with her eighteen grandchildren.

One night, just before eight in the evening, a gunman slowly walked inside and unceremoniously shot her dead.

This man will never be caught, and the moment he straddled his masked companion’s motorcycle will be the last anyone will ever see of him. The case will be dismissed for lack of suspects. The plethora of all the other things that went wrong that night would dawn on everyone too late only to sear themselves into the memory and perpetual regret: the frantic chase that ended when the perpetrators turned off their lights and went into the night undetected, the failure of the police to set up checkpoints, the shrapnel that grazed the shoulder of a child who just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, like she was.

This is the story of Gloria Capitan, the leader of Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Mamamayan ng Lucanin (SNML). In March 2015, Capitan led a petition addressed to the Lucanin village council, the government of Mariveles and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to shut down the coal facility. She had no known enemies and had no other political activities other than campaigning for a healthier, safer home for her and her family. For many environmental activists, her story is an all too familiar tale following years of intimidation, of death threats and of bribe attempts in exchange for silence set against a dark time of impunity making the daily headlines.

The Philippines was named the deadliest in Asia for environmental activists in 2017 by London-based watchdog Global Witness, putting forward an even steeper price on activism against environmental degradation, such as the country’s continued reliance on coal-fired power plants. But Capitan’s fellow activists in the Coal-Free Bataan Movement continue her legacy, up in arms still against existing and new coal plant projects in the region.

“Why won’t we fight?” the activists say. “It’s our lives.”

Read full article @www.climatestories.ph

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[Press Release] Climate justice group cries foul over DENR’s incompetence on Semirara operations -PMCJ

Climate justice group cries foul over DENR’s incompetence on Semirara operations

The recent decision of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) to lift the July 21 suspension order of the environmental compliance certificate (ECC) of Semirara Mining and Power Corp. was a show of blatant disregard for the 14 lives lost and the environmental degradation and destruction Semirara’s mining operations have caused over the years.

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The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), comprised of 103 member organizations from different sectors across the nation, deems this act as unacceptable coming from a government agency mandated to ensure the proper use of the country’s environment and natural resources.

“Even if mining operations in Semirara are still suspended due to the suspension order still in place by the Department of Energy (DOE), this move by DENR clearly reflects the current Administration’s attitude of complacency and neglect when it comes to human rights violations. Now, P-Noy must answer for 14 more deaths that resulted from his continuous insistence on fossil fuel dependence,” said Glenn Ymata, PMCJ Energy Program Officer.

“While DENR concludes that the recent landslide in the Panian Mine was a ‘fortuitous’ event, there exists a bigger picture. This is not merely an issue of a single landslide. The environmental impacts of mining in Semirara have been felt for years,” added Ymata.

These environmental impacts include many hectares of mangrove lost through clearing, land reclamation, and dumping of infill, build up of toxic contaminants in surrounding waters, increased particulate matter in the waters and air, loss of coral areas, and air and water pollution.

Atty. Aaron Pedrosa, Sanlakas Secretary General, calls for transparency and accountability from DENR, especially in their investigations during the 2013 and 2015 mining incidents. “The DENR and the current Administration must be held accountable for the environmental impacts of mining in Semirara. They must release the results of the investigation last 2013 and involve more civil society groups and people’s organizations in the current investigation. We do not want the results of this investigation to go unnoticed and forgotten like before. The 14 lives lost deserve to be more than just a number, only remembered when another landslide occurs.”

Philippine Movement for Climate Justice
August 16, 2015

Mr. Glenn Ymata, PMCJ Energy Program Officer – 09273035274, gymata@gmail.com
Atty. Aaron Pedrosa, Sanlakas Secretary General & PMCJ Energy Working Group Head – 09275924830

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[Statement] ECCs for coal, blood on AQUINO’s hands -PMCJ

ECCs for coal, blood on AQUINO’s hands, groups say
Call for ECC Moratorium, Environmental and Social Audits Pushed

Photo by PMCJ

Photo by PMCJ

Just recently, the threat to humans lives of coal mining and coal power plants has proved its imminence. Another 10 workers have died due to the collapse of an open-pit coal mining of DMCI Holdings in Panian, Semirara Island, Caluya, Antique. Sotero Sabarre of SAPOFFA has witnessed firsthand how Semirara controls and threatens their employees who put their lives at the stake while Semirara reaps the benefits.

The recent tragedy has significantly increased the death toll caused by coal mining and coal power plants in the country. Aside from the mining mishaps in 2013 and 2015, there are also threats of demolition and displacement to communities that are targeted by mining corporations for possible constructions and expansions of coal power plants.

While the government, through its energy department, admits that coal is still the cheapest and easiest way to resolve the power generation problem in the country, its negative externalities to both human and environment cannot be denied.Many scientific studies have concluded that each step of the life cycle of the coal, from mining to disposal of post-combustion wastes, has profound effects on human health, livelihood, and the environment. Even with the existence of these facts and data, the current administration is months away from leaving a legacy of dirty energy.

100 members of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice trooped to the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) Central Office in Quezon City to demand a moratorium on the issuance of Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECCs) for coal projects in the country.

GerryArances, PMCJ National Coordinator, stresses that majority of the Filipinos do not want coal. Arances cites a study conducted by sociologist Dr. Fred Obligacion on perception on coal power plants. “The Government continues to prioritize the interests of a few corporations over the interests of thousands of Filipinos. Proof of this is the Department of Energy’s (DOE) approval of 27 coal plant projects operational by 2020 and is considering 15 additional proposed coal plants.”,Arances said.

“We are being told that coal will solve the energy crisis and that more coal power plants will prevent the impending blackouts. This is a rehash of last year’s blackout scare peddled by the Government in its bid for emergency powers. This mistruth is nothing more but a blackmail to wrestle the argument for coal projects at a time when public perception is against their proliferation,” Arances added.

Sanlakas Secretary General and PMCJ Energy Working Group Head Atty. Aaron Pedrosa addresses DENR and the public of the relevance of Republic Act 9513 or Renewable energy Law of 2008, which initially aimed at creating a cleaner and safer energy sector and veering the country away from fossil fuel dependence. “Instead of abandoning its addiction on coal, more coal plants are expected to go online as the Government embarks on an ECCs and Coal Operating Contracts (COCs)issuance spree in favor of coal projects. Demanding the government for a moratorium on the issuance of ECCs and COCs is demanding the fulfillment of its mandate to safeguard the right of the people to a balanced and healthful ecology.”

“We hold the Aquino Government to account for its malfeasance in greenlighting coal projects and misfeasance for doing absolutely nothing to abate its disastrous effect on host communities. The recent Semirara tragedy is blood on Aquino’s hands.”, Pedrosa said.

Preliminary results of a study conducted by Hardvard University revealed that 1,673 premature deaths every year will result because of coal power plants here in the country. This will translate into 50,000 deaths in the next 50 years. This figure will continue to grow if more coal power plants will be approved in the coming years.

PMCJ demands immediate environmental and social audits on all coal mining sites and coal-fired power plants in the country. While the said audits are being conducted, a moratorium in the processing of all ECCs, permit applications and other necessary permits must be issued to prevent further and irreparable damage to the people and environment. The demand comes in the context of Aquino’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA). The group views this year’s SONA as Aquino’s last chance to put forward a policy direction that would end the country’s dependence on coal given its 5-year track record of promoting coal and inaction to the grievances of coal-affected communities.

——-

Coal Projects KILL!
Moratorium on ECCs Now!
Envi and Social Audit on Coal Projects!

Philippine Movement for Climate Justice
July 22, 2015

Mr. Gerry Arances, PMCJ National Coordinator– 09328778578, gerry.arances@gmail.com
Atty. Aaron Pedrosa, Sanlakas Secretary General – 09275924830

PRESS STATEMENT
JULY 22, 2015

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[Press Release] Renergy transformation now power for people! -PMCJ

Renergy transformation now power for people!
April 22, 2015

 

Quezon City, Philippines – On the occasion of the global observance of Earth Day, climate justice groups, non-government organizations and grassroots people’s movement launched today a year-long campaign that would intensify the push for REnergy Transformation or the shift from carbon and fossil-intensive energy systems to renewable system for peoples and communities.

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Calling their group as Power for People (P4P), they called on the public to support the Davao Declaration – the outcome of a three day national peoples conference on coal and renewable energy held in Davao City late last year. The Declaration opposes the construction of new coal plants and the coal mining activities citing environmental, health and climate impacts.

According to Dr. Renzo Guinto, Campaigner, Healthy Energy Initiative of Health Care Without Harm, “A lot of studies as well as our initial data from communities hosting coal operations reveal adverse health impacts such as increased incidence of respiratory illness, heart ailments and other diseases.”

Atty. Aaron Pedrosa of Sanlakas and head of PMCJ Energy Working Group added, “Environmental degradation and impairment to loss of biodiversity; contamination of aquifers and water stress; displacement of communities; decline in incomes due to loss of livelihood; desecration of cultural heritages areas as ancestral domain lands and human rights violation are the immediate consequences once coal mining operations and coal plants are allowed.

Philippine Movement for Climate Justice data show that at present there are 17 existing coal plants in the country consisting of 30 units of boilers. Far from tapping into renewable energy sources, as engendered supposedly by the enactment of the Renewable Energy Law of 2008, the group revealed that more coal projects are in the pipeline of which 14 plants (with 30 boilers) in Luzon, 3 (with 6 boilers) in the Visayas and 12 (with 23 boilers) in Mindanao are expected to go online by 2020. This brings the country’s total coal plants to 46 with 89 boilers. The government approved coal plants will also triple the existing capacity dependence on coal to 17,449.2MW from current 5,780MW.

“And all these projects face strong opposition from host communities. But the rabid backing of the PNoy government ultimately greenlights the construction of these projects, thus, marginalizing the welfare of affected communities.” said Pedrosa.

According to Mr. Roldan Gonzales, Executive Director of Gitib, Inc. one of the major convener of Earth Day protest action being held now in Ozamis, “As in the experience of coal-affected communities, the people are left in the dark and without sufficient information especially as to the impacts. This is true in Ozamis City where a 300MW coal plant will be built despite the clear lack of social acceptability. This is true elsewhere in the Philippines”.
Mr. Pete Maniego, Chairman of National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) echoes the growing outcry against the proliferation of more coal plants. “I am increasingly disturbed by the efforts of coal proponents to accelerate the construction of new coal plants after the Writ of Kalikasan against the Redondo plant was overturned by the Supreme Court. Almost every day, there are announcements of new coal plants to be constructed by big business, ostensibly to address the power crisis”, Maniego said.

“As pointed out by experts and based on the experience of other countries, coal plants will make the integration of variable RE sources like wind and solar very difficult. Coal-fired plants take several days to start when stopped. Moreover, coal plants typically last for more than 40 years. Thus the higher the coal plant capacities in the power system, the more difficult the integration of RE in the system. Ergo– more coal plants, less RE plants” Maniego added.

“All these are happening because right now local banks are throwing supports in these dirty projects, big banks like BDO, BPI, Metrobank and a lot more are funneling billions of pesos to make these projects a reality. There is currently a global campaign for the divestment from fossil fuels like coal and our local investors most especially banks must take heed of these developments before it is too late” added by Mr. Chuck Baclagon of 350.org East Asia.

Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) National Coordinator and lead convener for Power for People, Mr. Gerry Arances said that “All these coal plants are not intended to address the long-standing issue of power and energy access in the country.” There is still an estimated 22 Milliion Filipinos who are without access to electricity and the highest electricity rate in Asia, higher than Japan and the US which makes affordability a serious issue plaguing the power sector of the country. “These projects are mainly intended to power destructive projects like mining in Mindanao, and else where across the country, and reek huge profits at the expense to people’s health, environment, and the climate.

Continued greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel burning have been viewed as the leading cause for the climate crisis. Coal plants, proven to be heavy emitter of carbon dioxide, top the list of climate change inducing industries.

Mr. Gerry Arances further said, “As a country at risk, the urgency of the much-needed shift to renewable energy for the power needs of the population cannot be overemphasized. This transition is prompted not only by the recognition of the negative impacts of coal operations to host communities and the environment, but the pressing necessity to push for transformational adaptation in the face of climate change. The Philippines has been identified as one of the most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change.”

Arances concludes, “While the country’s greenhouse gas emissions are currently low, the government’s business as usual track that argues for more coal plants and coal production, and consequently tripling of emissions from coal plants to 51,108.32 Tons of CO2/yr. from the current 16,930.21 Tons of CO2/yr., will push the country’s emissions beyond our fair share on the global carbon budget needed to avert a 2-degrees warming. A clear betrayal of the Renewable Energy Law of 2009 and the principles of the Climate Convention. Our right to develop as a country cannot and should not be made a pre-text to pollute and tread on a dirty and harmful track heavily reliant on coal.”

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[Press Release] Groups lambast forum on coal sponsored by DOE -PMCJ

Groups lambast forum on coal sponsored by DOE

 

Photo by PMCJ

Photo by PMCJ

Environmental activists held a rally on Tuesday, right outside the New World Hotel in Makati to condemn the ongoing Coal Policy and Business Forum.

“We condemn this gathering of disaster designers as it considers coal as an essential part in the development of the country. There is no space for coal in the energy industry now and in the future,” says Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ).

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“What is more unforgivable is that after retreating from the fiasco of emergency powers, the government, especially the Department of Energy (DOE) has supported this event,” added Arances.

In the original program of the forum, DOE Secretary Jericho Petilla was designated to be the keynote.

The forum aims to gather operators of power plants and other industrial heavy users of coal, coal producers or suppliers, policymakers, legal and tax experts, investors and stakeholders to discuss the role of coal in the energy industry.

Leverage International, a consultancy company for foreign investors, organized the forum in collaboration with the Department of Energy (DOE) along with the ASEAN Forum on Coal (AFOC), the Philippine Chamber of Coal Mines (PHILCOAL), and the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association (PIPPA).

In the UN Climate Summit held in New York on September this year, President Aquino boasted that the Philippines is now treading a climate-smart development pathway and that it continues to take steps to maintain and even improve its low-emission development strategy and the trajectory of the energy mix of the country.

“By taking part in this forum, this administration is showing its unwavering support for climate change-drivers such as coal and other dirty-energy projects. This is contradictory to what the President claims in international forums,” says Pastora Diana Morales of Coal-Free Bataan Movement.

Under this administration, at least 26 coal-fired power plants across the country with approximately 9,000 MW generating capacity has been approved. Coal power plants are expected to dominate the energy mix of the country by providing 70% of the electricity generation by 2035.

Morales adds, “Behind the closed doors of forums like this, communities like ours continue to suffer the negative effects of coal. Our lives and our future is at stake but the government continues to push for projects which will cause our death!”

Bataan hosts two coal-fired power plants, with an additional power plant being constructed. According to the Clean Air Task Force report , coal kills about 400,000 people annually.

“We reject this forum because continued investment in coal will put additional burden upon the people. Coal will become more expensive based on market signals, especially as more countries pledge to phase out coal and increase the renewable energy (RE) share in their electricity mix,” says Kathryn Leuch, Energy Campaigner of PMCJ.

Only recently, China announced its target to increase the share of non-fossil fuels energy to 20% by 2030. Furthermore, China’s demand for coal is expected to peak by 2020.

Furthermore, burning of coal accounts for the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.

Leuch adds, “Coal is a climate buster. It has no space in our world if we want to limit global mean temperature rise to 2 degrees. With our experience with the Typhoon Yolanda, unless we limit our emissions, stronger typhoons will happen and more Filipinos will be condemned to death.”

Yesterday at the forum, Energy Undersecretary Zenaida Monsada said that the DOE is aiming to award to private sector investors the areas for coal exploration and development under the Philippine Energy Contracting Round 5 by December 18.

“The government needs to focus to achieve its original target of 50% RE in the electricity mix as stipulated in its original National RE Plan (NREP). It must lay the basis for more funds for RE and not waste its time giving more impetus to a killer and dirty industry such as coal. The government has no business taking part in a forum that brings death to its people and the climate,” concludes Arances.

PRESS RELEASE
November 18, 2014

Reference:
Kathryn Leuch| PMCJ Energy Campaigner| 0936 967 8341| leuch.kat@gmail.com

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[Press Release] Communities demand consultation on government push for new coal powerplants -PMCJ

Communities demand consultation on government push for new coal powerplants
Photo extracted from Jong Pacanot FB
Davao City – “There was no consultation in our community, there is no social acceptance of coal powerplant.“—This is only one of the many concerns of coal-affected communities and electric cooperatives who are currenlty attending the National Peoples Conference on Coal and Renewable Energy.

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“The government failed to consult the main stakeholders on energy. These are the people who will be heavily impacted by the planned expansion of coal power-plants all over the country. Instead, Pnoy immediately consulted industry players and power producers whom are also major proponents of coal,” said Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), one of the lead organizers of the conference.

The groups accuse the PNoy government of bias towards power industry players whose proposed solution to the energy crisis is to approve and build more coal-fired power plants. Contraty to the push of communities and organizations to maximize energy sources that have less impacts to the environment and health of people.

According ot the latest data of PMCJ, twenty-six (26) new coal plant projects comprising of forty-five (45) coal boilers have been approved and are expected to go online by 2020.

In Limay, Bataan, there will be a 600MW coal fired power-plant by San Miguel Consolidated Power that started construction last February 2013, to be finished by 2016.

“Matatapos na ang construction ng bagong coal power plant, pero wala paring consultation sa tao na malinaw na tumututol dito,” Derek Cabe of Nuclear Free Bataan Movement.

This is the same case in Ozamis City where there is a proposed 300MW coal powerplant by the Ozamiz Powers Generation Incorporated power, where communities are not fully informed about the project and its irreversible impacts. “May papasok na coal power-plant sa Ozamis based sa first scoping na ginawa ng company pero hindi lahat ng impormasyon ay binibigay sa komunidad. Kulang ang transparency sa kompanya at sa LGU,” said Arandy Silva, of Gitib Foundation.

Based on the Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) 2008-2030, the country will aim to target energy self-sufficiency through the use of fossil fuel, oil, gas and coal. Meanwhile, the President continues to question the reliability of renewable energy sources.

“With or without an energy crisis, the proposed new coal power-plants will inflict debilitating effects on environment, health, loss of livelihood and to our resiliency to climate change impacts. The government will put its people in danger with its energy plan.” Arances added.

Coal no more! Shift to clean, renewable energy

“The position of the government will lock the country into more dependence in using dirty and harmful dirty energy,” added Arances.

The Philippines has a vast potential for renewable energy. Data from PAG-ASA presents the following areas/provinces to have wind energy potential: Ilocos, Mountain Province, Palawan, Basco (in Batanes), Catanduanes, Tagaytay City and western portions of Batangas, Guimaras. Masbate, and northeast coast of Negros Occidental.

Solar energy on the other hand is opted for by more households in Mindanao where there is intermittent power supply. A viable option is to encourage local government units to identify the different renewable energy sources available in their areas in order to provide for the communities’ demand. This is a proposed solution to providing electricity to more than 2.7-million households.

Congress passed Republic Act No. 9513 or the Renewable Energy Act of 2008. In the law, end-users or energy consumers are encouraged to use green/energy energy resources.

Additional notes:

Coal kills! Ash samples tested from coal plants in Toledo, Cebu, Sual Pangasinan, Masinloc, Zambales and Calaca, Batangas, and in Mauban, Quezon revealed presence of heavy metals – mercury (deadly neurotoxin) and arsenic (known carcinogen). As well as the hazardous substances lead and chromium. A typical coal plant generates 500 tons of small airborne particles that causes chronic bronchitis, aggravates asthma; 720 tons of carbon monoxide which causes headaches and additional stress on people with heart disease. It can also produce as high as 225 pounds of arsenic, a major cause of cancer, and 114 pounds of lead, 4 pounds of cadmium and other toxic heavy metals every year.

Coal is not Cheap. It comes with a horrifying cost to people and the environment – According to International Energy Agency (IEA), 45% or 14.2 giatonnes of the total 31.6 gigatonnes of global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil – fuel combustion in 2011 came from burning of coal causing global warming and climate change.

Coal Mining and combustion processes have serious effect on people’s health and environment weakening the capacity of people and communities to deal with impacts of climate change. Also, Coal Mining destroys forest, mountains and watersheds.

There is no such thing as Clean Coal – Clean coal technology emits 4 times more coal ashs compared to an ordinary coal plant. According to EIA, the risk of getting cancer is 900 times higher from coal ash exposure compared to cigarette smoking.

For more information on Renewable Energy: https://www.doe.gov.ph/renewable-energy-res

PRESS RELEASE
August 6, 2014
Contact Persons:
Khevin Yu, PMCJ Campaign Staff: 09175213356
Val de Guzman, PMCJ Energy Campaign Staff: 09199657509

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[Campaign] “It’s more COAL in the Philippines” -PMCJ

Resist Coal! RE-Energize All!

Its more coal in the PH by PMCJ

Join PMCJ’s pre-Earth Day Action Against Coal by liking our page and sharing the posters “It’s more COAL in the Philippines”. Everyday ’til April 22, 2014. We will publish the 9 coal affected sites across the country and the overall coal trail in the whole country on Earth Day.

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On Earth Day, April 22, 2014, join us in a nationwide action against coal.

“Like” the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ClimateJusticePH to keep you posted for plans on Earth Day.

Add your voice and be part of a growing movement shifting away from dirty and harmful coal projects in the country and the rest of the world – for our survival and for our future.

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[Press Release] DON’T FOOL US DMCI SAID: Group Slams to Isidro Consunji’s Statement -PMCJ

DON’T FOOL US DMCI SAID: Group Slams to Isidro Consunji’s Statement

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Insatiable Greed

Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) reacted to recent pronouncement made by DMCI Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Isidro Consunji on their plan to shift all off grid areas into coal-fired plant.

National Coordinator of PMCJ, Gerry Arances, has this to say,” DMCI’s plan to put up coal-fired power plant in areas served by Small Power Utilities Groups (SPUG) and the state-owned National Power Corporation (Napocor) is a blatant act of putting the lives of the Filipino people in great danger.”

“This barefaced pronouncement clearly shows that DMCI is only after the profit the company will earn and has complete disregard on the welfare of the communities which will be affected by this coal-fired power plant”, Arances added.

Coal Is Dirty and Harmful

According to DMCI, they are eyeing SPUG areas as potential power plant sites, particularly in Palawan, Masbate, and Mindoro. These areas will be priority areas where the company plans to build coal-fired power plant.

Mr.Isidro Consunji even contested issues raised by different environmental organizations that coal is dirty. He argued that if coal is dirty, why is the expansion of Calaca coal-fired power plant in Batangas be allowed?

“The argument of Mr.Consunji does not hold water,” said Arances.

Arances explained that “the fact that expansion of Calaca which is also DMCI owned was allowed does not mean that there are no opposition to it. Also it does not follow that since it was allowed then it is already clean and safe.”

“Take the case of Palawan where DMCI is building a 15MW coal-fired power plant. Palawenos are opposing it and yet the project was allowed by the local government, notwithstanding the fact that it will threaten the island’s biodiversity and the above all the lives of the people residing there,” he added.

DMCI will employ the Circulating Fluidized Bed Technology in Palawan – a technology that is capable of getting rid of the sulfur oxide and nitrogen oxide gases which are present in acid rain.

“This technology does not address the other ill-effects of coal-fired power plants ‘presence of heavy metals like mercury and arsenic, to mention a few. Also, what the people in the coal industry always and conveniently omit when they pitch for it is the truth that the entire lifecycle of coal is dirty, dangerous, and detrimental to the lives of the people,” said Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina and also a member of PMCJ.

“Before coal is burned, it must be mined, transported, and refined. Mining it utilizes strip mining where whole mountains are destroyed and coal ash flew and inhaled by the people in the community. This gives rise to incidents of asthma, lung disease [which result from] water pollution and other toxic waste. All this the people in the coal industry the Consunji’s included must answer.” Garganera added.

Coal Is Not an Option

“DMCI’s plan to convert off-grid areas to coal-fired power plants will further put the people at risk. The fact that most of these areas are remote areas and small islands, are very susceptible to disasters brought by climate change. Adding coal-fired power plant to the picture will aggravate the threat. Its presence will destroy the adaptive capacity of the community thereby making them more susceptible to danger” Arances explained.

PMCJ demands that the government must set it eyes in other energy sources which are safe, clean, accessible, and renewable rather than relying on coal and other fossil fuels which are known contributors to global warming.

Lastly Arances has this to say,” Hindi porke natuloy ang proyekto ligtas at payag na dito ang mga mamamayan, batid natin na kapag pera na ang gumalaw nag iiba na ang kalakaran.”

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The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) is a broad movement consisting of 103 national networks/alliances and local organizations representing basic sectors, grassroots communities, the marginalized and most vulnerable, including women, indigenous peoples, fisher folk and coastal communities, farmers and rural communities, forest communities, formal and informal workers, environmental groups, urban poor, and others in the Philippines that aims to lead the joint struggles, campaigns and actions in putting forward the climate justice framework as a fundamental element of solving the climate crisis.

For more information:
Gerry Arances, PMCJ Coordinator, <gerry.arances@gmail.com> 0932-8778578

Khevin Yu, PMCJ Campaign Staff <khevinyu@gmail.com> 0917-5213356

PRESS RELEASE
May 20, 2013

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[People] Coal and Mining – The Killing Industries by Fr. Shay Cullen

Coal and Mining – The Killing Industries
by Fr. Shay Cullen

Death came swiftly suddenly but not it was not unexpected. One day in October 2011the motor bike pulled into the open entrance in front of the church rectory of Italian missionary, environmentalist and human rights defender Father Fausto Tentorio. When he came out of the rectory the killer pulled out his gun and shot the priest dead and drove away. Another shocking murder of a man who gave his life defending the ancestral lands of the indigenous people wanted by the mining company. Crime solved, the trigger was most likely pulled by a unknown mining tycoon.

Hundreds of environmentalists defending the rights of the people to their ancestral homelands forests and agricultural lands that are being stolen by the rich and the powerful, have been killed according to Global Witness, a non-government agency. In the Philippines, as many as fifty Filipino environmental defenders have been killed in recent years allegedly by the money moguls behind the logging, mining and power plant industries.

The UN environmental summit in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil has been declared a failure fizzling out like a damp squib with an insignificant document that failed to reach a clear binding agreement to curb global warming and end fossil fuel for energy production. It has achieved practically nothing to curb CO2 gasses and other harmful human activity that is causing global warming.

It was supposed to get national leaders to agree to a sustainable green energy agenda for the future. The super rich industrialists and multinational oil and fossil fuel corporations have played a sinister role behind the scenes to stymie any progress towards a cleaner safer and happier world. Most come from a financial culture where “Greed is Good” and the only green they want to see is on a thousand dollar bill.

In the Philippines, the voices of the many people demanding an end to the construction of coal powered plants are being ignored and even protesters are receiving threats. In Subic Bay, the entire bay and its towns are threatened by the proposed 600 MW coal plant project of R.P. Energy a consortium with powerful political connections in the cabinet of President Aquino. I pray that his energy policy will favor renewable energy and not coal and fossil fuel. His great legacy of anti-corruption might be sullied by these influential industrialists. He must serve the best interests of the people not the profit-making plans of the plutocracy.

Industrialists and financing corporations lobby heavily to influence governments to continue the fossil fuel fiasco like power plants that poison the people in many countries. In the Philippines, the Secretary of Energy is pushing President Aquino into the furnace of coal fired power plants like fury. The honorable secretary has denied he is influenced in anyway by his past position in the private power generation sector.

I pray for him to continue being good and faithful to the people and resist the pressures and temptations to give into the ploys of former associates, employers in the power generation industry to whom he may have an debt of honor (utang na Loob). His greater debt of honor is to the President and the people who elected him and who want a clean healthy environment.

The Secretary of Energy is reported to want eleven coal fired power plants all over the country. Lower cost renewable sustainable electricity can be generated from volcanic heat through Geothermal plants and get lithium as a side product to make powerful batteries that can run clean electric cars. However mysteriously heavy import taxes are imposed on geothermal equipment. Almost none on mining and coal burning equipment.

The Lopez group of companies First Gen Corporation is offering to construct two 300 megawatt hydro-plants on the Angat and Norzagaray rivers respectively. Other companies offer clean renewable and solar and wind power to make electricity.

The Philippines should end the black and dirty coal policy. The proposed Subic Bay coal plant is mired in allegedly corrupt deals with the former government. They will only pay one million pesos a year in rent. These plants that are belching daily poison gasses and ash into the air we breath are killing people. There is no long term solution to dispose of the millions of tons of deadly semi-toxic ash and the deadly mercury and uranium pollutants will remain forever. The Lord of the Cosmos has given us a beautiful planet, we are morally bound to protect and cherish it and all living creatures. END
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(Fr. Shay’s columns are published in The Manila Times,
in publications in Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, and on-line.)
http://www.preda.org/en/news/fr-shays-articles/coal-and-mining-the-killing-industries/

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

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[People] Subic Coal Plant Getting Permits by Stealth? by Fr. Shay Cullen

Subic Coal Plant Getting Permits by Stealth?

Wherever there is a coal-fired power plant, people get sick and die and the environment is damaged beyond repair. Coal is the dirtiest and most toxic form of power generation.

The people of Zambales, Bataan and Olongapo City vehemently oppose the proposed coal plant to be built on scenic Subic Bay and are asking what dirty coal deals have been made between the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and “The Power Company“, made up of Aboitiz Power Corporation, RP Energy, and the Taiwan Cogeneration Corporation (TCC) and the higher Philippine government officials who have allowed this to go forward?

The toxic fumes of the electricity-generating coal plant will cause many diseases especially among the children and the elderly. Despite the campaign of President Aquino for a transparent, clean nation, environment and good government, a dirty deal from the past administration is still going ahead in the SBMA and will bring shame and hurt to the President.

The three main provisions of the original Memorandum of Understanding set up under the corrupt Arroyo Administration have not been honored or implemented by the proponents of the coal plant. The agreement started out as a joint-partnership agreement between the SBMA, the Aboitiz Power Corporation, RP Energy, and the Taiwan Cogeneration Corporation (TCC), call them “The Power Company”. The government was to have a role as partner to monitor compliance with safety and health standards, but that has been eliminated.

The government is just a lessor of the public land for a measly give-away pittance, no more than US$3.50 a sq meter to be paid over 50 years. This is grossly detrimental to the public interest, it is worth vastly more than that and it smells of a corrupt sweetheart deal. The present SBMA board must rescind it.

The people will get nothing from the profits or the lease but will, in effect, pay for the plant which will damage them and their environment. The rich families will get richer and the poor will get very sick.

Another provision of the Memorandum of Understanding agreement was that “The Company” would assist local communities off-set any damage to the environment and reduce the health risk with “state of the art” technology. But no written commitment as to what would have been signed. Such health problems has been clearly forecast and acknowledged. A third provision agreed upon was that low-cost electricity would be supplied to the local communities and the SBMA. None of these will happen. The plant will sell all its power to the national grid.

As soon as the “The Company” got the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued by higher authorities under strange and questionable circumstances, “The Company” failed to sign any binding contract with the SBMA. They failed to show any evidence of meeting the strict ECC standards. Inexplicably, they mysteriously got the final permit first. The SBMA officials issued a Permit to Operate (PTO) before the other necessary permits were issued. The requirements for a PTO apparently were waivered. Besides, all safety and design requirements needed to qualify for a Permit to Operate were allegedly not complied with.

Also the original project application stated that it would be a 300 Megawatt coal plant and now they are trying to get an extension of the ECC to double the project to 600 Megawatt plant. The ECC is only good for a 300 MW, it can’t cover a 600 MW. “The Company” must start again and follow the requirements to qualify for an ECC for a 600 MW. The ECC for a 300MW plant is null and void since they will build a 600 MW plant, a project with double the hazards to health and the environment.

The proponents of the coal plants are trying to push for “Clean coal”, “Green coal, Safe coal”, There is no such thing as clean coal and don’t believe the profit-hungry companies that tell you there is. All over the world, they are into coal plants for the money, big profits and all to be paid for by the tax payers.

Perhaps the government officials behind this coal plant are the saintly exceptions and will never take a single dollar in exchange for a signature. If they are indeed true and honest people of integrity with the best interests of the Filipino people at heart, they will join the protesting people and oppose the project and allow the alternative renewable energy projects to go ahead instead.

(Fr. Shay’s columns are published in The Manila Times,
in publications in Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, and on-line.)
http://www.preda.org/en/news/fr-shays-articles/subic-coal-plant-getting-permits-by-stealth/

 

[In the news] ‘No to coal ash dumping in Balili lot’ – Cebu Daily News

‘No to coal ash dumping in Balili lot’
January 29, 2012

 AN ENVIRONMENTALISTS’ group yesterday reiterated its opposition on coal ash dumping at the Balili beach property in Naga City, south Cebu.

Mark Dia, country representative of Greenpeace Philippines, said coal-ash endangers the environment and the people.
Coal ash is a highly toxic material. That is a given. No one would refute that,” Dia said.

He requested the Cebu provincial government, which owns the Balili beach property, to consider the environment in its aim for development.

“Please think of the environment when you make a decision,” said Dia when asked about his message to the province.
Dia said they are happy that three Greenpeace activists were cleared by court on acusations of unlawfully entering the Balili beach property.

“We are happy. They just bear witness to the environmental crime in dumping coal-ash at the Balili beach,” he said.
He said they will continue opposing the plan of the Capitol to dump coal-ash in the area.

Read full article @ cebudailynews.wordpress.com

[In the news] Environmentalists, power firms explore conditions on coal ash dumping –

Environmentalists, power firms explore conditions on coal ash dumping
SunStar.com.ph
January 11, 2012

 CEBU CITY – The case filed against power companies over the allegedly illegal and indiscriminate dumping of coal ash may be settled amicably, instead of going through a court trial.

Kepco-Salcon Power Corp. (KSPC) and Salcon Power Corp. (SPC), owners and operators of two coal-fired power plants in Naga City, asked for “terms and conditions that are reasonable and just.”

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On the other hand, environment conservationists proposed conditions like the construction of coal ash dumps away from water bodies and the submission of reports on disposal of coal ash.

The conditions were enumerated in the pre-trial brief of the three parties, filed at the sala of Judge Marilyn Lagura-Yap on Monday. The Mandaue City Regional Trial Court Branch 28 has been designated as an environment court.

Lawyer Benjamin Cabrido, in his pre-trial brief, said petitioners for the issuance of an environmental protection order—which is supposed to stop the illegal and indiscriminate dumping of coal ash—are willing to enter into an amicable settlement with the case’s respondents.

“Provided the following conditions are met: A binding provision for the construction of private respondents’ respective coal ash facility, which should be away from flood plain areas, water bodies, mangrove and foreshore areas, geo-hazard areas and other areas prohibited by environmental laws, principles and administrative rules,” he said.

Read full article @ www.sunstar.com.ph