August 10, 2016
MANILA – On the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ intent to review all permits and operations of the country’s coal-fired power plants, Greenpeace Philippines’ Climate and Energy Campaigner Reuben Muni said:
"Greenpeace welcomes the announcement by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary, Ms. Gina Lopez, to review all permits and operations of coal-fired power plants in the country. We also wish to challenge the DENR to take this initiative further by putting on hold all other pending coal-fired power applications until said review is concluded and a more rigorous permitting system is in place.
“Coal is the single greatest threat to the global our climate. Given the economic, social and environmental havoc that climate change has wrought in the Philippines, continuing to power our development with embracing coal is a dangerous policy. Short term benefits of coal to some elite players in the Philippine economy pale in comparison to the billions that coal is costing the Philippines as a nation with respect to public health, not to mention climate change impacts.
“Our current national policies on coal and climate change just aren't cutting it. The DENR’s announcement to review permits on coal-fired power plant operations is in line with the Climate Change Commission’s move for an energy and climate policy and permit review. We hope this becomes the first step to reduce the country’s dependence on dirty coal and chart a decisive path towards a in favor of a future powered by clean renewable energy.
“The Philippines needs to address climate change by taking away road-blocks to renewable energy as a matter of urgency. Our government agencies need to ensure greater coordination and policy coherence in a concerted effort to quit coal, embrace renewables, promote energy efficiency and increase resilience to climate change impacts."