Tag Archives: PMCJ

[Statement] On the passing of CHR Chair Gascon | PMCJ

#HumanRights #ChitoGascon

𝐒𝐓𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐓 𝐎𝐍 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐏𝐀𝐒𝐒𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐎𝐅 𝐂𝐇𝐑 𝐂𝐇𝐀𝐈𝐑 𝐆𝐀𝐒𝐂𝐎𝐍

The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice mourns the passing of Commission for Human Rights Chair Jose Luis Martin “Chito” Gascon, who was a steady ally in the fight for Climate Justice and Human Rights.

Chito led his inquiry into the effects of climate change to human rights through discussions with petitioners and victims of Climate Catastrophe in the Philippines, as well as scientists and experts on climate change.

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[Statement] Climate Justice Group calls on Duterte to take Paris Agreement seriously; PH vulnerable to destruction from climate change | PMCJ

#HumanRights #ClimateJustice

Climate Justice Group calls on Duterte to take Paris Agreement seriously; PH vulnerable to destruction from climate change

On February 24, 2021, President Rodrigo Duterte acknowledged the reality of the negative impact of climate change through his weekly national address, citing the rapid increase of flooding in multiple areas, “Noong una, ‘yong climate change medyo ano [sic] pa ako noon na parang ayaw ko maniwala. But ngayon, sobra talaga ang tubig na galing sa langit because of [sic] umiinit ho ang planeta”. In 2016, President Duterte refused to sign the Paris Treaty on behalf of the country citing the Philippines’ need to industrialize, before finally agreeing to sign it in 2017 after pressure from several climate justice groups.

It has been proven through scientific research that flooding comes as a consequence of industrial mining operations and deforestation, a fact that which President Duterte fails to acknowledge in his weekly address, concluding his statement on increased incidences of flooding in the country by stating that “there is only one thing really that can save this planet, it’s God. Maybe we should pray more, whatever the God.” Philippine Movement for Climate Justice’s National Coordinator Ian Rivera states that, “With this kind of thinking, and coming from a head of a country that is most vulnerable to climate change, will the Filipinos be saved from the impacts of the climate crisis? Prayer must always be supplemented by action—and for this anthropogenic climate crisis, what we need is a president who understands the science and the leadership it so requires for concrete efforts. The situation is still not hopeless.” He continues that the country may still reduce the negative effects of climate change, should the administration remain ambitious in following through with our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the treaty, as well as “the moral charge to demand those actions from rich polluter countries”.

The Philippines remains one of the most vulnerable nations to the destructive effects of climate change. PMCJ calls on President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration to put climate justice at the forefront of the Philippine survival from the climate crisis. Through concretizing efforts towards an ambitious NDC, and upholding our country’s end of the Paris Agreement, it is possible to reverse the catastrophic effects of climate change, and achieve a global temperature of not more than 1.5 degrees c.

https://web.facebook.com/ClimateJusticePH/photos/a.153468781484242/1790241807806923/

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[Statement] Climate Justice group calls for a People’s NDC – Equitable and Just but Ambitious -PMCJ

#HumanRights #ClimateJustice

Climate Justice group calls for a People’s NDC – Equitable and Just but Ambitious

From PMCJ FB Page

A 75% mitigation target to reduce the country’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) from the previous 70% had recently been advanced by the Climate Change Commission in the latest version of the NDC as part of the country’s contribution to global climate change efforts. While this increase in ambition is indeed a welcome change, the failure to deliver the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) on the December 31 deadline stymies the Philippine Government leadership in challenging other countries to be ambitious in their share towards fulfilling the global effort against the climate catastrophe.

The current NDC stirs more questions than provide the blueprint towards Philippine resiliency, sustainable and equitable growth, and the drive to rally rich countries including developing countries to be clear and ambitious in their targets. Submitted only on the 29th of January 2021, the overall targets lack backup from the targets of mitigation per sector. Forestry, for example, which is undoubtedly an integral element in any climate change mitigation strategy, was not included. Transport and the Energy Sector, the sectors that contribute the most in increasing the GHG emissions are equivocal in its targets while agriculture, which remains not to commit to mitigation targets continue to accommodate GHG emitting crop production for exports reneging on the priorities for food self-sufficiency and production for domestic consumption. The updated Policies and Measures (PAMS) list did not contain any significantly different changes raised during the December 29 consultation, in which this poses as a constant concern as National Government agencies continue to lack in engagement with civil society groups and vulnerable sectors–an action that must be fulfilled under the mandatory policies of RA 9729.

While the proposed increase in ambition, as presented in the January 29 document, signifies that National Government seems to be willing to commit a larger amount of effort towards ensuring the country’s global commitment to stabilize the climate, it is alarming that the country’s unconditional target had only modestly increased from a questionable 2% to 2.33%–which almost makes the change negligible. An unambitious unconditional target of any country, like the Philippines, with a known potential of domestic mitigation capacity will hamper the global realization of the Paris Agreement. These lack of scientific basis, miniscule changes to the country’s unconditional targets then bring up the question of the Philippines leadership in demanding climate justice to rich polluter countries and rally the international community to become ambitious of its targets. Can the Philippine government substantiate the basis of the unconditional commitment? Is this how the government values the importance of domestic mitigation targets in a country that is most vulnerable to climate change? How can the climate vulnerable sectors be sure that the National Government is committed to ensuring that the country will be relieved from both the current and future climate impacts

Finally, while the NDC is also an important negotiating instrument for technology, finance and ambitious targets, the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice Climate Justice calls on to the President Duterte Government, the Climate Change Commission, the Department of Finance to avoid the mistakes of a NDC submission that is hasty, ill prepared, and lacking the needed consultative process particularly with the CSOs and vulnerable sectors. An NDC that lacks the scientific basis will fail us in achieving climate justice and the much-needed reparation for the Philippines based on equity and fairness which is important in achieving just transition and a modern economy for the workers and the toiling people.

For Inquiries :
Martina Herras
PMCJ Media and Communications
0956 938 3319

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[Statement] Philippine Movement for Climate Justice to Philippine Government: Declare a Climate Emergency Now!

#HumanRights #ClimateEmergency Philippine Movement for Climate Justice to Philippine Government: Declare a Climate Emergency Now!

With just mere days in between, the Philippines was struck by several strong typhoons–Typhoon Molave (Typhoon Quinta), Typhoon Goni (Typhoon Rolly), dubbed as “the strongest typhoon of 2020,” and Typhoon Vamco (Typhoon Ulysses). Together with Typhoons Siony and Tonyo, the series of five typhoons has been unprecedented as devastations already covered six regions in the whole island of Luzon. The scope and coverage are almost equal to Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013.

Sixteen people have died in the devastation following Rolly, and 37 people have died in the floods and heavy winds carried by Ulysses–both storms affecting almost millions of families, communities. Just in Bataan alone, a whopping 89 million pesos worth of damages for agriculture and 24 schools rendered unusable. While data has still to be aggregated for these 4th quarter typhoons – data for the two typhoons, Rolly and Ulysses already have a combined Php 19.2 Billion of damages in agriculture and Infrastructures as of November 14. In its aftermath, Typhoon Ulysses has sunk the provinces of Isabela and Cagayan, as residents are bracing for more floods when massive water will be released from Magat Dam.

These scales of destruction and deaths could have been avoided knowing the Philippine record and experiences with strong typhoons and climate impacts. However, the Philippine government never learns from the past as scales of destruction and deaths have never been avoided or minimized. As strong weather events have battered the country, typhoons are not only the killers but also flooding and landslide, which accompany them. Destruction and death would not have been worse if the government’s readiness is at the scale of the understanding of the science of climate impacts and its seriousness in the protection of watersheds, ecological recovery of river basins, and the termination of all destructive activities. Mining, quarrying, property development in protected watershed areas, and constructing large dams destroy the watersheds’ ecological purpose. The flooding of Marikina, Isabela, Cagayan, and the towns of Infanta and Nakar in Quezon province are prime examples of the continuing policy mistakes the government refuses to rectify. While it is not yet late, the government must stop its plan to construct the Centennial Kaliwa Dam Project and all other major dams in the pipeline.

For years, the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice has been calling for the government to declare a climate emergency and has repeatedly warned about the impacts of the climate crisis. Still, these have never get traction within the Duterte Administration. The senseless neglect of the calls for urgent climate action in the governance finds the Duterte Government itself in a cyclical pattern of abandonment of its obligation, which ultimately points to the denial of climate deaths and destruction worldwide and dismissive of science.

With two remaining years of its administration, PMCJ challenges President Duterte to place climate action at the center of its government’s policy by declaring a climate emergency, allocate funds for adaptation, address past climate impacts, and lead and prepare the Filipino people in building safe, sustainable, resilient communities. PMCJ likewise demands accountability on the Duterte administration for its failure to prepare and anticipate these impacts as these are already qualified and known and for putting the lives of the people at risk. It is about time that the people demand justiciability not just for those governments responsible for global warming but also for the Philippine government’s failure to address past and current impacts and prepare the country for the climate crisis.

DeclareClimateEmergency

ClimateJusticeNow!

Source: facebook.com/ClimateJusticePH/

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[Statement] Rice liberalization is a clear abandonment of the local rice farmers and industry -PMCJ

STATEMENT ON THE PASSAGE OF RICE TARIFFICATION ACT

The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) calls on the government to institute more safeguards and protection for rice farmers and the rice industry now that the rice tariffication act has been signed into law.

On February 14, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act No. 11203, also known as the Rice Tariffication Act, which will lift the quantitative restrictions on rice imports and allow the private sector to import ‘unlimited’ rice with much ease as long as it pays the tariff set by the law. Duterte and his economic managers asserted that it would address the urgent need to improve the availability and affordability of rice in the country.

Rice liberalization is a clear abandonment of the local rice farmers and industry

Ever since the Philippines liberalized agriculture, many of its agricultural products failed to compete with the cheaper counterparts of the Southeast Asian countries. The price of the agricultural product has always been the determinant in its viability in the market as shown by the cheaper onions and garlic imports vs. the expensive locally produced ones. Eventually, the number of Filipino farmers producing onions and garlic dwindle and lands devoted to producing these products have been converted for other use. This has been the hard lesson the Philippines got from agricultural liberalization, and fears that this is happening again to rice, the most basic staple of Filipinos.

With the flooding of cheaper imported rice in the local market, how can the local rice farmers compete with their foreign counterparts? Farmers will be forced to sell off their harvest to a much lower price amidst the increasing local cost of production. Although the law provides that collected tariffs will be allocated to farm mechanization, seed development, credit assistance, and training services to help farmers adjust, it will still take time for every farmer to actually benefit from it. And this is even under the assumption that the law will successfully be implemented. Farmers would still have to endure the sudden loss of income they will incur upon full implementation of the rice tariffication act, trapping them further in the cycle of poverty.

Given their poor economic conditions, compounded with the lack of implementation for policies protecting small-scale farmers, incomplete implementation of agrarian reform, degradation of watersheds and forests for irrigation, and now opening up the rice industry to other players, the number of farmers involved in rice farming will most likely shrink as well as the agricultural lands devoted to it. Shift to other profitable commodities is expected, or worse the conversion of rice lands to non-agricultural uses.

On the other hand, there is no guarantee that rice prices will lower and stabilize despite the influx of cheaper imported rice. With the new law, the private sector now holds the power to control and dictate market prices. The National Food Authority, which had the previous mandate of stabilizing prices, is now merely tasked of maintaining sufficient rice buffer stock intended for calamities and emergencies. This is a double whammy for the poor farmers being both producers and consumers of rice.

Rice liberalization is not the key to food security, but self-sufficiency

Rice liberalization is a myopic move from the government as it fails to recognize the current global climate crisis. The world, as it is, already goes through the dramatic consequences of climate change on food production. And this is expected to get worse in 12 years time, according to IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degree Celsius, if no unprecedented transitions in all aspects of society are done. By 2030, there will be a drastic decline in agricultural yields including rice, corn, and wheat. Rice yields reduction will reach up to 10% for every 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature, or even higher for climate vulnerable countries such as those in Asia.

Vietnam and Thailand, the world’s largest rice exporters and the main sources of imported rice in the Philippines, will soon not be able to export the same volume of rice as they do now because of the worsening climate change impacts to their agriculture sector. Given this situation, the Philippines will face another rice crisis in a few years if its rice industry will remain import-dependent.

Safeguarding food security does not mean sustaining the country’s food supply through whatever means, in this case, importation. It means protecting the local production and transforming it to an adaptive, resilient, and self-sufficient industry that can cater to the local demands for food. At the same time, it means putting a premium on the rights and well-being of local food producers and building their capacity to sustain the local food demands. A country with more than enough domestic food supply is in a better position to face the impending food crisis due to climate change than a country with an import-dependent food system.

In the event of signing the Rice Tariffication Act into law, PMCJ calls on the government to expand and develop local rice production by ensuring that agricultural services, regulation of the cost of production and access to low-interest credit and grants are available to small rice farmers. Protection and expansion of rice farms and small farmers is the key to climate impacts on rice and food production. Conservation of watersheds and forests for irrigation and water supply is critical to sustaining agricultural productivity, as well as complying with our mitigation targets. Further, it calls on the government to stop the tide of liberalization of agriculture and institute reforms and policy to enhance and develop local agricultural production devoted to food consumption of the 100 million Filipinos.

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[Press Release] Climate Justice Group and Sariaya communities oppose the construction of San Miguel Corporation 600 MW coal-fired facility -PMCJ

Climate Justice Group and Sariaya communities oppose the construction of San Miguel Corporation 600 MW coal-fired facility

(April 30, 2018, Sariaya, Quezon). On what has been a people power action, the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) with the residents and barangay officials of the Barangays San Roque, Castanas and Talata Aplaya, civil society groups of Sariaya together with the Nina Maria Paris devotees and the Roman Catholic Church in the area showed their strong rejection of the plan of the San Miguel Corporation to put up a 600 MW coal-fired power plant in the town of Sariaya. The supposed plan will be constructed within the three (3) barangays Barangays San Roque, Castanas, and Talata Aplaya.

“People are now rising up against the impacts of coal-fired power plants in the Philippines, and here in the town of Sariaya, it is now the turn of the citizens of Sariaya to turn back the plan of by SMC said Val Vibal of Aniban ng Manggagawa sa Agrikultura. “The Catholic Church is opposed to coal-fired power plants, as it is detrimental to the integrity of life and creation. Communities host to coal-fired plants is rendered impoverished and poor. Look at Limay in Bataan, Calaca in Batangas or all other coal plants, the people are deprived at and getting impoverished,” continued Vibal.

The Sariaya SMC 600 MW coal plant facility is part of the 11 power projects with nearly 2,000 megawatts (MW) that has been cleared by the Department of Energy (DOE) for grid impact studies in October. Latest DOE data showed the 11 projects are seen to generate 1,877.9 MW of power. The GIS is necessary for determining if the electricity to be generated by the power project can be absorbed by the grid.

“SMC must now invest in renewables as this is now the economically most competitive source of energy available now in the market. If they plan to set up solar or wind here in Sariaya, this people power against coal will never have to happen. All coal-fired power plants owned by SMC all over the country have lots of issues and people are against it. We will not forget the community in Limay Bataan who early part of January 2017 mobilized against the hazards of coal.” exclaimed Ian Rivera Jr., the National Coordinator of Philippines Movement for Climate Justice. “Despite this, the policy of coal still remains and the government has to be blamed. It is now up to the Duterte Administration to decide against coal or else the community will keep fighting back against coal including this inutile government. Coal-fired plants do not provide jobs and livelihood, but they take them away. The local economy where the lives of hundreds of thousands of people depended on it will be destroyed” Rivera stressed.

FOR INQUIRIES:
Ian C. Rivera Jr., PMCJ: 09174746178

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[Press Release] Group Lambasts Cimatu’s Response to SC Case -PMCJ

Group Lambasts Cimatu’s Response to SC Case
Tagged secretary’s statement as ‘empty talk’

Just four (4) days after civil society organizations, communities, and individuals led by the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) filed a case at the Supreme Court against the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Secretary Roy Cimatu released a statement with a promise of stricter implementation of DENR’s rules and regulations.

In an article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA), DENR Secretary said he will continue to implement rules to fulfill its mandate. Cimatu also focused on provisions that support his plans of stricter regulation and implementation of the Clean Air Act.

Meanwhile, PMCJ’s National Coordinator Ian Rivera is dismayed on the secretary’s response. “Cimatu’s reply is a usual standard run of the mill answer for a glaring negligence of a government agency entrusted to regulate and prevent the impacts on health and environment. The continuous emission monitoring system (CEMS) that Secretary Cimatu mentioned is operated by coal plant companies but have not been monitored and examined by independent third party. In fact, it is even a suspect if they are being installed by coal plant companies since no independent body is monitoring them on a daily basis.”

The group also challenged DENR to come up and reveal all the records of CEMS of all the coal plants that have been operating since the passage of the clean air act and show all the readings on sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM10), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone (O3).DENR should be concerned of these gases SO2, NO2 and COs. They are lethal to humans and any living creature as well as they also destroy climate.

Glenn Ymata, Energy Program officer of PMCJ also said that Cimatu’s statement is a reflection of his low prioritization on the subject matter. “Fulfilling DENR’s mandate does not only entail stricter implementation.” PMCJ believes that a lot of coal plants are being permitted to operate because of Clean Air Act’s loose character as a tool for regulation. “As secretary, he should spearhead the revisions of the Clean Air Act; its relevance, applicability and scientific accuracy in the present time,” Ymata added.

According to Cimatu, in pursuant to DENR Administrative Order No. 2013-13, a new National Ambient Air Quality Guideline Value (NAAQGV) for Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5) was set last January 2016 at 50 micrograms per cubic meter (μg/Ncm) for an average of 24 hours or short term. However, based on a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 50 micrograms per cubic meter is categorized as unhealthy and is expected to cause respiratory symptoms to sensitive individuals and aggravation of heart or lung diseases, and premature mortality in persons with cardiopulmonary diseases and the elderly.

“Sana ay maliban sa pagsandig nila sa mga siyentipikong pag-aaral sa kalidad ng hangin mula sa planta ay maisama din nila sa pagsusuri ang kalagayan namin. Lahat ng mga sakit at kati sa katawan namin pati na pagkasira ng kapaligiran ay dulot ng maruming hangin dito sa aming lugar,” Daisy Pedraza, Vice President of Limay Concerned Citizens said.

“It is clear that DENR must be alarmed by the possible harm and impacts of its own inaction to the people. There has to be an overhaul to this regulation,” Rivera added.

###

FOR INQUIRIES:

IAN RIVERA
+63 917 474 6178

GLENN YMATA
0927 303 527

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[Press Release] Climate Justice Group welcomes Climate Change Commission Resolution Challenges Incoming President Duterte for Sweeping Reforms in Energy Sector -PMCJ

Climate Justice Group welcomes Climate Change Commission Resolution
Challenges Incoming President Duterte for Sweeping Reforms in Energy Sector

PMCJ LOGO NEWPhilippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), a nationwide climate justice coalition expressed its appreciation for the latest Climate Change Commission resolution calling for the review of the Philippine energy policy and harmonization of regulation on new and existing coal plants “in accordance with a low carbon development pathway. “

“This resolution is consistent with the Philippine commitment to contribute to the global effort to keep temperature to below 1.5 degrees, and a significant development in the face of the long standing demand by many communities and peoples organizations in the Philippines to shift away from coal energy,” commented Ian Rivera, the National Coordinator of the broadest climate justice coalition in the Philippines.

The Philippines led the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a group of governments from 20 countries, in successfully pushing for the inclusion in the Paris climate agreement of the aspirational goal to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.  “The urgency of addressing the climate crisis is deeply felt by our people, having experienced massive devastation from extreme weather events related to climate change, such as supertyphoons and super-El Ninos. It is only right that we lead in the effort to address change – not only in words but in action” said Rivera.  “We hope this resolution will actually lead to the reversal of the Aquino government’s policy of expansion of coal energy, and a swift transition to renewable and clean energy for people and communities,” he added.

“This resolution is long overdue.  We have been fighting against coal plants and coal mines for a long time, being witness to the horrific effects of coal projects on communities, on people’s health and livelihoods, on our local environment. We are also against coal energy because it is one of the leading contributors to climate change” said Mr. Roldan Gonzales, Executive Director of Gitib, Inc., and a PMCJ campaigner from the Mindanao.  “We challenge President-elect Duterte to take this further, beyond a review, and make it a priority of Presidency to issue an Executive Order suspending plans, permits and construction of new power plants in the country.  Mindanao is host to many of the 27 new coal fired power plants currently in the pipeline.  “
Ms. Pines Arcega, convenor of Defend Zambales and a PMCJ anti-coal campaigner in one of the frontline communities from Luzon, echoed this challenge.  “A review of energy policy and harmonization of regulations on new and existing coal plants is not enough.  Our communities, our country, have suffered enough. Government should act immediately to put a stop to dirty energy.  We need an executive order for a moratorium on new coal plans and coal mines in place in the first 100 days of the new administration.

References :
MR. IAN RIVERA – 09174746178
MR. ROLDAN GONZALES – 09177109784
MS. PINES ARCEGA – 09321747583

 

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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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[Featured video] PMCJ Les Vulnerable Anthem

PMCJ Les Vulnerable Anthem

Vote for this Video for the 5th HR Pinduteros’ Choice Awards

Tagalog version of ‘Do you hear the people sing’ – Climate Justice Anthem for French President visit to the PH this coming Feb 26-27.

PMCJ LOGO NEW

PMCJ members and partners practicing and preparing before the ‘Les Vulnerables’ march towards Malacang minutes before President Hollande and Pnoy discuss climate change matters in Malacanang.

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[Press Release] PH civil society groups not impressed with French Pesident’s “climate trip” to the Philippines -PMCJ

PH civil society groups not impressed with French Pesident’s “climate trip” to the Philippines

Photo by PMCJ

Photo by PMCJ

French President Francois Hollande’s will be visiting the Philippines this February 26 to 27 accompanied by prominent personalities  known for their involvement in environmental advocacies to the Philippines, including Jeremy Irons, Marion Cotillard, and Mélanie Laurent as well as Patriarch Bartholomew I of the Orthodox Church, and high officials from various international organizations and French investors.  Hollande’s  trip is meant to be a build-up to the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21) to be hosted by France in December 2015.

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President Hollande’s visit is an important opportunity for us to remind France and other developed countries governments of their historical responsibility for climate change and their obligations towards peoples of developing countries who suffer the brunt of the impacts.” says Lidy Nacpil, Regional Coordinator  of the Jubilee South Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development (JS-APMDD) and Convenor of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), a coalition of 109 organizations from different sectors advocating a systematic change in order to cope with the adverse effects of a changing climate.

The delegation, headed by France’s President Hollande, aims at “expanding bilateral ties between France and the Philippines and to highlight the Philippines as a partner in the fight against climate change,” as stated by the Embassy of France in Manila.

“Their expression of support for us, the vulnerable countries, is contradicted by their energy policy and their investments in dirty energy,” added Nacpil. “What we need from France is not posturing, but the fulfilment of their obligations to radically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and deliver sufficient climate finance as their historical responsibility for climate change requires.

France, which at present still heavily relies on petroleum imports for energy and is the second-largest producer of nuclear energy next to the United States, is also one of the biggest funders of coal projects globally through public funds (export credit agencies) with US$1.8 billion from 2003 to 2013.

In their talks with the United States, France expressed support for free market solutions to the problem of climate change, including ECAs, emissions trading and development project which enable developed countries to decrease their reduction requirements, which Nacpil denounced as “false solutions” to the problem of climate change.

“Market mechanisms only allow for businesses in developed countries to go about their business without regard for the environment and the plight of vulnerable countries concerning climate change,” said Nacpil. “France should show that it is on the Philippines’ side, the side of the vulnerable to the disasters we are funding by postponing climate justice.”

“As the host of this year’s COP21, France must show its sincerity to fight climate change by supporting the interests of the people most vulnerable to its effects, not those countries who have profited and continue to profit from it,” says Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of PMCJ. “For example, it should lead the EU to aim for higher, more ambitious emissions reduction targets. If we are to maintain emissions at the ideal level by 2030, which is below 2 degrees, the EU is expected to cut back 55% of their emissions.”

Arances also emphasized the importance of climate financing to respond to the demands of climate financing, saying: “At present, the Green Climate Fund remains to be a very low priority among parties to the UNFCCC with very minimal funding. We must not be deceived by the reported pledges made by developed countries, like the $1 Billion pledge from France. What we need is a centralized approach which shall honor historical responsibilities, especially from the part of developed countries.”

Press Release
February 24, 2015

[Press Release] Yolanda survivors calls for climate justice during Papal visit -PMCJ

Yolanda survivors calls for climate justice during Papal visit

Survivors of typhoon Yolanda in Anibong, Tacloban, along with various civil society organizations, welcomed Pope Francis yesterday with a series of activities pertaining to climate justice and rehabilitation during his visit to areas devastated by the storm surge.

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One among the communities left most devastated by the typhoon, survivors from Anibong greeted the Holy Father with a banner reading, “People’s Pope: Support us in seeking Climate Solidarity and Justice, and an End to Fossil Fuel Investment” which they hung at the large shipping vessel still stuck in the area today since it was swept ashore by the typhoon.

“Mercy and compassion must also be extended not only to people, but to Mother Nature as well,” said Pascualito Ilagan, convenor of PMCJ Eastern Visayas.

The banner-hanging was followed by a short program organized by the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), a national coalition consisting of grassroots communities and sectors campaigning for policy changes on Yolanda and climate change.

“These activities are aimed at raising awareness for several issues related to climate change and the rehabilitation efforts for typhoon Yolanda,” Ilagan stated. “We, the people who suffer the most from the effects of climate change demand justice.”

Held days before Pope Francis issues an encyclical on climate change this year, PMCJ, its member organizations and the communities in Tacloban, along with the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines – National Secretariat for Social Action (CBCP-NASSA) urged the Pope to join them in the fight for a safer climate and justice for communities affected by the climate crisis.

“We welcome Pope Francis with the hope that our advocacy for the care of the earth and for genuine development and justice for the poor will be taken up as part of the major agenda for his pastoral visit,” Fr. Edu Gariguez, Executive Secretary of CBCP-NASSA said in a previous statement. “Climate change is an issue that is clearly related to our Christian responsibility to care for the earth and to care for the poor and vulnerable in our midst.”

Communities and local church members are scheduled to discuss the topic of integrity of creation and climate justice among church members and community members today, which will be concluded by a Vigil for climate justice.

“We encourage the Pope to show solidarity with the survivors of typhoon Yolanda, whose experience proves the need to end investments in fossil fuel and eco-destructive projects,” Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of PMCJ. “It also reminds us of the urgency of shifting from a paradigm of pursuing profit to one which gives priority to nature and the people’s interest.”

PRESS RELEASE
JANUARY 17, 2015

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[Statement] Joint statement from church advocacy arm and civil society organizations on climate change on the occasion of the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines

Joint statement from church advocacy arm and civil society organizations on climate change on the occasion of the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines
January 14, 2015

On the occasion of the coming of Pope Francis to the Philippines and his solidarity visit to the typhoon-devastated community, we, in the Church and civil society organizations bring before the Holy Father one important concern that urgently needs Church moral intervention. We refer to the issue of climate change, causing climate-induced disasters and extreme weather events, resulting to catastrophic misery to our people as in the case of super typhoon Haiyan.

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The Philippines tops the list of countries most affected countries by weather-related disasters like storms, floods, and heatwaves. Yearly, extreme weather events claim the lives of people and displace families. Facing hunger, increased mortality due to temperature increase, more destructions from extreme weather events, the Philippines is at the doorstep of all the major threat of climate change.

The impacts of climate change to the poor are also experienced by other countries in Asia. The Catholic Church is alarmed of climate change as an “unprecedented threat to humanity.” The Federation of Asian Bishops Conference (FABC) clearly decries how climate is hurting the developing countries in Asia:

“But tragically, ours is a continent of massive poverty, where few enjoy great progress and prosperity while the many suffer in abject deprivation. And it is the poor and the needy who suffer most from the consequences of climate change. We are experiencing dramatic changes of season, extreme changes of weather, more frequently recurring and stronger typhoons, destructive flooding, drying up of whole areas, decrease in food production and spread of climate change related diseases.”

As early as 1988, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) had already articulated the urgency for our faith to take on the ecological challenge: “At this point in the history of our country it is crucial that people motivated by religious faith develop a deep appreciation for the fragility of our islands’ life system and take steps to defend the earth. It is a matter of life and death.”

Clearly, climate change is a moral issue that we in the Church cannot remain passive bystanders. It is for this reason that the Bishops Conference in Asia categorically admits: “As Church we are challenged by this grave situation, since climate change is an ethical, moral and religious issue.”

As categorically declared by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, in his message to the UN Convention on Climate Change, we believe that: “The effective struggle against global warming will only be possible with a responsible collective answer, that goes beyond particular interests and behavior and is developed free of political and economic pressures. It is only possible with a collective answer that is able to overcome attitudes of mistrust and to promote a culture of solidarity, of encounter and of dialogue able to show the responsibility to protect the planet and the human family.”

Therefore, we appeal to the Holy Father to support us in seeking solidarity and justice for the communities affected by the climate crisis.

We need a global climate deal in Paris that will prevent the world from heading towards a catastrophic warming of 5 degrees. We appeal for the Church to encourage governments and political leaders to work together and commit to a global goal, based on science, of limiting warming to the safest level which is below 2 degrees.

Governments of the North, of rich industrialized countries, should commit to and deliver fully and unequivocally their fair share of the effort to solve climate change and ensure a full repayment of the emissions debt owed to the peoples of the South. On the other hand, governments of the South, of developing countries, should stop following the same path of profit-led, destructive high-carbon growth taken by developed countries that benefit only the elites. They should start taking on their fair share of the global effort, and be unrelenting in claiming climate finance and technology from developed country governments for South countries to undertake mitigation actions over and beyond their own fair share of the global effort.

We appeal the Holy Father to join us in demanding all governments to commit to:
• a greenhouse gas emissions reduction pathway and target without having to resort to potentially devastating geo-engineering, or the deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climatic system with the aim of reducing global warming;
• a fair and equitable sharing of the global emissions budget, the appropriation of which would be based on science, historical responsibility and capacity – without loopholes and offsets;
• ensure that the welfare and rights of the people are protected in the face of the impacts of climate crisis;
• putting an end to false solutions, the further expansion of carbon markets, and the corporate denomination of the climate negotiations;
• immediately translate mitigation commitments into concrete policies for transformation of energy systems away from fossil fuel.

We appeal to the Holy Father to support us in seeking an end to investments in fossil fuel and ecologically-destructive projects.

Continued burning of fossil fuel will exacerbate the impacts of the changing climate. Mining and other eco-destructive projects which aggravate the climate crisis must be critically evaluated or shunned altogether.

To have at least a 50 per cent chance of limiting global warming below 2 degrees throughout the twenty-first century, the cumulative carbon emissions between 2011 and 2050 need to be limited to around 1,440 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (Gt CO2). Unabated burning of fossil fuel reserves will result to missing the 2 degree target.

To prevent catastrophic climate change, most of the fossil fuels must remain in the ground. A recent scientific study posits that gobal reserves corresponding to 33% of oil, 49 % of gas, and 82% coal should be classified as unburnable reserves in order to prevent dangerous climate change of more than 2 degrees.

Investing in fossil fuel companies and in eco-destructive projects is synonymous in supporting the destruction of our future. Divestment provides the means to change this status quo – to shift towards a system that will prioritize the welfare of the people and of nature over the relentless pursuit of profit.

To conclude, we are one with the Church in asserting that climate change is an urgent issue that is clearly related to our Christian responsibility to care for the earth and to care for the poor and vulnerable in our midst. The social teachings of the Church are replete with pastoral exhortations invoking for environmental stewardship, social and inter-generational justice, the use of earth’s resources for common good, authentic development, and service for the poor and the vulnerable. All those principles are at stake of being violated when we do not avert or address the causes of climate change.

It is to this end that we welcome Pope Francis to the Philippines, with the hope that our advocacy for the care of the earth and for genuine development and justice for the poor will be taken up as part of the major agenda for his pastoral visit.

SIGNED by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)/National Secretariat for Social Action (NASA)/Caritas Philippines and the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ).

CERTIFIED by:

FR. EDWIN A. GARIGUEZ                                                        GERARD ARANCES
Executive Secretary                                                                  National Coordinator
CBCP/NASSA/Caritas Philippines                                              Philippine Movement for Climate Justice

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[Statement] Climate justice group slams PH support for unjust climate deal -PMCJ

Climate justice group slams PH support for unjust climate deal

The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), a broad coalition of 109 grassroots networks and organizations, denounced developed-country governments for pushing for an unjust climate change deal at the UN climate change negotiations in Lima, Peru while at the same time slamming the Philippine government’s for supporting this deal.

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Breaking ranks from the majority of other developing countries and with many climate justice organizations, and choosing to line up instead with the US, EU, other rich countries, and a small number of developing countries, representatives of the Philippine government threw its considerable moral weight behind a draft “decision text” that sells Filipinos—and others most affected by climate change—down the river.

This is an unacceptable deal for the following reasons:

NO INCREASED AMBITION: It does not even compel developed-country governments to increase their pre-2020 emissions reduction targets

NO ‘LOSS & DAMAGE’: It does not even bind those responsible for climate change to commit to providing resources to those who suffer from climate change

NO FINANCE, ADAPTATION, TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: It does not even oblige those responsible for climate change to commit to provide finance and technology to those less responsible

NO GUARANTEE FOR ENSURING ADEQUACY: There is no mechanism for ensuring that those most responsible for climate change can be compelled to increase their pledged targets if they fall short of what is required by science and equity

All this will result in a deal that condemns millions of Filipinos and other peoples worldwide to a future of even more catastrophic super-typhoons—a deal that condemns them to carry even more of the burden of addressing the crisis.

The Philippine government representatives argue that they can still fight for a more balanced decision and for the inclusion of “loss and damages” as negotiations resume on the “elements” of the 2015 agreement next year.

This is a weak defense because they, more than anyone, should know that if the Philippines makes these concessions now they make it even more difficult to justify asking for them again in the future.

The Philippine representatives claim that they have undertaken a “pivot” by championing “human rights” in the negotiations. But the deal they embraced actually violates a basic right of millions of Filipinos and other vulnerable peoples: the right to survive.

MEDIA STATEMENT 13 December 2014

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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] Groups exclaim ‘Emergency power mean more coal power plants!’ -PMCJ

Groups exclaim ‘Emergency power mean more coal power plants!’

Resist coal Reenergize all photo by PMCJ

“The President does not need the emergency power he seeks!” says Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ). “That is why we are taking to the streets to register our resistance against coal and emergency powers. This is the message of the National Day of Action (NDA) against Coal – our contribution to Reclaim Power, the global call to ban dirty energy projects which greatly contribute to climate change.”

“This year’s action is wider in spread and deeper in depth compared to last year’s NDA against Coal here in the Philippines – with 23 sites joining us this year compared to the 15 sites in 2013.” Arances added.

In NCR, the climate activists walked from Plaza Miranda to Mendiola carrying a giant effigy of a Janus-Face monster the half-part of which was PNoy’s and the other half was that of DOE Sec. Petilla’s. This is to convey their stand that the PNoy administration is only using the contrived threat of a so-power crisis as a justification to run through their corporate-government-sponsored coal avalanche.

Under the current administration, coal projects saw a great increase. From an existing 17 coal-fired power plants will be an additional 26 coal plant projects which are expected to be online by 2020. Also, from 2007 to August 2013, the total Coal Operating Contracts (COCs) awarded by the National Government almost doubled – from 39 COCs to 71 COCs. With 15 other areas still up for offer.

Atty. Jose Aaron Pedrosa, Secretary-General of SANLAKAS and Head of the PMCJ Energy Working Group says, “The grant of emergency powers will ensure that any legal challenge against proposed coal-fired power plants will be effortlessly warded off thus ultimately guaranteeing that the spadework for their construction will be unhampered and unchallenged. All these intramurals on the grant of emergency powers overshadow the real power crisis that has beset the sector for more than a decade now.”
To date, 2.7 million households remain without access to electricity and the country’s power rates are the most expensive in Asia and rank fifth in the world.

“Market manipulation and collusion are at its worst with prices being manipulated in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), defying a cornerstone promise of EPIRA – of providing affordable and reliable electricity to the people. More than 13 years after EPIRA was passed, five families control the power industry. This is the real power crisis,” stresses James Matthew Miraflor, Vice President of Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC)

“A glaring example of the real power crisis is Mindanao,” says Clint Pacana, Executive Director of the Association of Rural Mindanao Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AMRECO). “The region’s grid has been suffering from an ‘undergeneration’ since 2010. Yet, for four years, the government has not been able to address the daily power interruptions which stretch from 6 to 8 hours in parts of the region.

“The real solution to this power crisis is a transition towards cheap, clean and indigenous renewable energy systems that are people-controlled and are suitable to the potential and needs of the community. In Mindanao alone, the rehabilitation of the Agus-Pulangi power plant could provide an additional capacity of up 350MW. Furthermore, river systems in the region could be tapped into by setting up of microhydropower plant systems which could harness a potential of up to 1000MW.” adds Pacana.

From Bataan to Saranggani, climate activists staged simultaneous actions.

In Antique, home of the biggest coal mining site in the country, there were three events. Members of the Sabang Poocan Farmers and Fishers Association (SAPOFFA) marched to the Semirara sub-municipal office to request the mayor’s commitment in preventing the expansion of the coal mining operations in the island. Isalba ang Caluya (ISACA) members led a fluvial parade to call upon the local government to disallow the coal mining expansion in Caluya Island. In the main island of Antique, residents from both islands whose lands are threatened by the possible coal mining expansion marched to the DENR office to file their application for land ownership.

In Puerto Princesa City, the Palawan Alliance for Clean Energy (PACE) members along with other environmental activists paid tribute to their ally, Ed Garcellano who was buried today. The advocate’s last wish was to have a tarpaulin bearing the message NO TO COAL IN PALAWAN be placed on top of his coffin as an expression of his conviction. Atty. Gerthie Mayo-Anda, lead convenor of PACE said, “His conviction is indeed worthy of emulation and should inspire every Filipino to support advocacy efforts to resist coal and fight for climate justice!”

“Let this current situation be an opportunity for the Filipino nation to stir the country around and finally thread the path towards a clean, safe and renewable energy power system for the people and communities.” Arances concluded.

PRESS RELEASE
Contact persons:
Kathryn Leuch|0936 9678 341|leuch.kat@gmail.com
Valentin de Guzman|0919 9657 509|valentinodeguzman45@gmail.com
(Do not hesitate to contact us for pictures from the different sites of actions. You may also check our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/climatejusticePH)

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[Press Release] “Yes, we don’t wait, we act now but we demand for major emitters to pay” – PMCJ

“Yes, we don’t wait, we act now but we demand for major emitters to pay” – PMCJ

Photo by PMCJ

Photo by PMCJ

Response to Aquino’s 4-minute speech at the UN Climate Summit

The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) likened the four minute speech of PNoy in the UN Climate Summit as the movie titled, “tinimbang ka ngunit kulang (weighed but found wanting).”

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In response to the urgency of the climate crisis, it is true that everyone should act now without waiting for others to act but along with it, vulnerable countries should demand what is long due to them.

“Justice delayed is justice denied to those millions of people and communities, who, despite of their neglible contribution to the climate crisis bears the brunt of the climate impacts. President Aquino should have demanded developed countries to commit under their obligations to the United Nation Convention for ambitious, deep and drastic emissions cuts. The wrong framework is letting major emitters to continue polluting and just pledge less cuts. Aquino owes it to his kababayans to demand on their behalf. ” Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of PMCJ said.

Also in his speech PNoy claimed that the Philippines are continuing steps towards low emission development strategy and are transitioning to less traditional technologies. He also mentioned about policies being in place such as the the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.

“If this is really a genuine plan, then how come the P-Noy government has approved twenty-six (26) new coal plant projects comprising of forty-five (45) coal plants and they are expected to go online by 2020? This is 10,000MW more electricity from coal and will lock the country more to coal dependence for the next 25-50 years which will increase absurdly to 80-90% of coal in the country’s energy and power mix.” Arances exclaimed.

Arances added that “Policies that would mitigate risks to climate impacts on the ground such as the Republic Act 9729 or the Climate Change of 2009 have yet to provide Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP), a plan crucial in lessening risk to climate impacts in the ground. The Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) of the Peoples Survival Fund (PSF) is still not finalized while the Mining Act of 1995 still exists that allows large-scale mining and export oriented management of natural resources. Isn’t this is the exact opposite of the “low emission development strategy” that P-Noy is claiming in his speech. Yes, we don’t wait but we should act accordingly and appropriately to what the people truly needs and not what the corporations want!” Arances emphasized.

PNoy said that his government is not waiting but maximizing resources through harnessing weather forecasting technologies made available, developing hazard-mapping, implementing a re-greening program, tagging public expenditures on climate and engaging sectors on disaster risk financing and insurance policy framework.

“While these policies and actions are commendable, these are not enough considering what the people and communities have went through disaster after disaster. He failed in this arena miserably. There is no harmonize plan on rehabilitation and appropriate adaptation measures to speak of in all climate-affected areas not just in Yolanda. People’s participation is also missing in the picture. The government should start resilience-building and at the same time plan the rehabilitation together with the people before another storm hits us. We also call government to veer away from climate smart false solutions that corporations are peddling to us. What we need is to mobilize public finances here through PSF and demand more financing including technology transfer from developed countries. It is their obligation to pay us,” Arances said.

President Aquino in his speech ended with “…Let the first concrete commitment we make be a change in mindset. From one of over-arguing over the division of work to one that is doing the maximum we can. Always asking what more we can do.”

“President Aquino still has two years to correct the path and make the necessary change of mindset. A change that will mean veering away from coal and fossil fuel addiction of his administration, coupled with a people and ecologically-centric disaster risk reduction & management plan, adaptation & rehabilitation plans, including his development plans.” Arances added.

“This has to go hand in hand with the move to compel developed countries to fulfil their commitments and obligations for emissions cuts and climate finance for adaption needs of vulnerable countries and communities, and for a radical change of production and consumption of energy and commodities especially by corporations and elites.” Arances concluded.

PMCJ asserts that P-Noy should now “walk his talk” after his speech in the climate summit.

PRESS RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 24, 2014

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[Press Release] PNOY: make your 4 minutes speech on climate meaningful and just -PMCJ

PNOY: make your 4 minutes speech on climate meaningful and just

Continuing the tradition of sending someone off to abroad, but with a twist, groups led by Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) marched to Malacanang to physically express their sentiments to PNoy’s policy on climate change.

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Members from PMCJ dramatized the messages by putting their demands inside traditional Filipino bayongs (bags) messages that should be considered by PNoy before he leaves.

The President will be leaving the country on September 13 for a five-nation trip to Europe and the United States. In the US, PNoy will attend the UN Climate Summit in New York on the 23rd of September.

The UN Climate Summit is an event hosted by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to engage world leaders – from government, finance, business, and civil society – and to advance climate action and ambition to reduce emissions and strengthen climate resilience. US President Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron are also expected to attend the summit.

Our Resiliency Have Limits

Sources from Malacanang revealed that PNoy’s speech, the length of which will only be for four minutes, will focus on the resiliency of the Filipinos.

“The resiliency of Filipinos is indeed strong, but it has limits. We can only take so much climate impacts. We need to address the source of the climate crisis. He must utilize this venue to make it clear to developed countries that they are accountable for the climate calamities that we are experiencing and demand from these countries to commit to a drastic and ambitious cut in their emissions.” said Gerry Arances, national coordinator of PMCJ.

He added, “The Philippines’ contribution to global GHG emissions is small compared to those of the developed countries, yet we suffer the most from the impacts of a changing climate. This gives us the moral ground and the right to make serious and ambitious demands.”

Messages inside the bayong that reflect the peoples demand are as follows:

1. We demand immediate, drastic cuts of global GHG emissions
this will not happen without banning new fossil fuel project and stopping the excessive consumption of energy by elites and corporations. All countries must live within a carbon budget that limits global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius and this budget must be shared equitably. This means those who bear the greatest historical responsibility for climate change and in the process amassed wealth — must assume the proportional burden of emissions reductions.
2. We demand an end to public subsidies for private fossil fuel corporations and the mobilization of public finance for swift and just transition to low carbon economies. This includes the fulfillment of the obligations of developed countries under the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change to provide public finance for developing countries for mitigation.
3. We demand the fulfillment of obligations to provide finance and technology needed by developing countries like the Philippines for adaptation and building resilience. We demand reparations for inescapable losses and damage from the onslaughts of the climate crisis.
4. We demand an end to false solutions, the further expansion of carbon markets, and corporate domination of the climate negotiations.

Incoherent Climate Policies

“Representing our country in the climate summit, PNoy must not only address the world but his people as well. He must demand the main perpetrators on climate to be held accountable while answering the demand of his people for real solutions in our country,” said James Mathew Miraflor, Vice President of Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC).

“Even if we have landmark policies on climate change, renewable energy and climate finance, our country is still helpless towardss major calamities and climate impacts. His policies remains incoherent to new climate realities and promotes a business as usual approach in managing our resources”, said Miraflor.

According to 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 even if we have the Renewable Energy Act of 2008. On national climate policy, the Republic Act 9729 or the Climate Change of 2009 have yet to provide Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP), a plan crucial in lessening risk to climate impacts in the ground. The Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) of the Peoples Survival Fund (PSF) is still not finalized while the Mining Act of 1995 still exists that allows large-scale mining and export oriented management of natural resources.

The initial plan of the government for Yolanda called Reconstruction Assistance for Yolanda (RAY) excluded the people in participating in the rehabilitation process in affected areas and even allowed big private corporations to become ‘development sponsors’. The World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) banks further pushed the country into further indebtedness despite them being accountable in for big investment on dirty energy globally

To top it off, PMCJ remains hopeful but cautious towards PNoy’s trip to the climate summit.

“The President is now at the crossroads of making a legacy in the issue of climate change. Through this mere 4 minute speech, he can choose to reflect the people’s demands and aspiration or he could choose to be doomed by singing praises to the culprits of climate change.” Arances concluded.

PRESS RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 12, 2014

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[Press Release] REclaim power! Coal and renewable energy confab opens -PMCJ

REclaim power! Coal and renewable energy confab opens

reclaim power pmcj

Davao City – Days after the alarming pronouncement on energy of President Benigno Simeon “PNoy” Aquino III during his State of the Nation Address (SONA), 100 leaders and representatives coming from various parts of the country will come together to share experiences on the impacts of coal projects and exchange ideas to collectively forge a national platform to pursue the campaign for genuine energy transformation.

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Reclaim Power! National Peoples Conference on Coal and Renewable Energy hosted by Ateneo de Davao University aims to address critical local and national issues and alternatives on energy which have been glossed over in the President’s SONA last week.

Gerry Arances, National Coordinator of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) explains, “the conference will pave the way towards accessible, affordable, sustainable renewable energy systems for peoples and communities while exposing the realities of coal energy, an energy source that the PNoy Government is promoting to abate the current energy crisis.” At present, an estimate of 2.7-million households do not have access to energy.

In his speech, PNoy mentioned that there is an existing power crisis and argued that hydropower will not provide for enough supply when El Nino occurs. This became his premise to argue for preparation to avert a projected shortfall in energy supply.

“This is where coal comes in. The proliferation of dirty coal power-plants all over the country is the government’s solution to the energy crisis oblivious to the dangers it may cause – a solution which will endanger the lives of millions of Filipinos because of the proven impacts of coal.  The continued promotion of coal only reveals the Government’s reluctance and skepticism towards renewable energy as an energy source that is highly abundant in our country,” Arances said.

Under the Aquino administration, permits granted to coal mining projects have doubled, from 39 coal operating contracts (COCs) in 2007 to 71 COCs in 2013. The number of approved coal plants has increased in the same period. In addition to 17 coal plants (with 28 boilers) with a total of 5506.2 MW capacity are currently operational across the country, 25 more coal plants (with 45 boilers) of up to 9,054 MW capacity have been approved as of mid-2014 (committed and indicative) and railroaded for final construction by 2020. This is up from 17 coal plants (with 29 boilers) with 4,584 MW approved in less than a year ago. This is in addition to another 12 more coal plants with 2,480 MW capacity proposed in the same year.

Stories on the impact of coal is well documented in the Philippines. In Naga, Cebu, a “Clean Coal” plant inaugurated by the President himself in 2011, has been operational for 3 years and the negative impacts to the host community have compounded throughout the years.

Atty. Aaron Pedrosa, Secretary-General of SANLAKAS and concurrently the head of PMCJ’s Energy Working Group documented the experience of communities in the site. He explained, “What they flaunted as a clean coal project was twice issued with a Cease and Desist Order (CDO) by the Province and the City of Naga due to the hazards it posed to the environment and the nearby communities. Despite the alarming morbidity and mortality rates in Naga, the continued operation of the coal plants threatens to put more lives, livelihood as well as the health of the environment at greater risk. By putting up more coal plants else where, the government is turning a blind eye to the realities on the ground and experiences of communities like Naga.”

Based on Department of Energy (DOE) data, new renewables (including solar and wind) constitute only 11.8% of all approved power plants, compared to coal’s 82.8% share. In Mindanao alone, the share of coal will rise to 56% by 2020 from its current share of 31%, with hydropower decreasing from 52% to 24% by 2020 according to the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA). In Mindanao, 12 coal plants are set to go online by 2020. Seven of these will rise in Davao Region.

“It is thus, no coincidence that the People’s Conference on Coal and RE is now being held in Davao. We do not want to tread on a coal-ridden trail while our renewable energy potential remains largely underinvested.“ Lucita Gonzales, Secretary General of Power Alternative Agenda in Mindanao (PALAG-Mindanao) said.

Palag Mindanao is one of the co-organizers of the national conference.

Despite the pressing issues on energy, the conference will also go beyond the current issues and lead towards building a peoples based energy platform that will empower consumers and individuals.

“We acknowledge that there is a need to fix the energy deficit in our country. The energy crisis is also a manifestation that there are fundamental problems in our energy systems. The peoples conference and gathering will attempt to address the needs of the people and listen to the stories and experiences felt on the ground, a democratic process that is severely lacking in our energy system.” Arances concluded. -30-

The conference is organized by PMCJ in cooperation with Freedom from Debt Coalition, CREATE-AdDU, Palag Mindanao, Gitib Inc./Our River Our Life, Ateneo Human Rights Center, and 1-CARE.The conference is supported by 11.11.11., Foundation for Sustainable Society Inc., European Climate Foundation, Korean Green Foundation, Bantay Kita and Natural Resource Governance Institute.

The Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) is a grassroots-based movement consisting of basic sectors, grassroots communities and other organizations. We are campaigning for national climate justice campaigns on on energy, adaptation/rehabilitation after Typhoon Yolanda and other issues on climate change.

PRESS RELEASE
August 4, 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.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos etc.

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