PALAWAN JOINS THE GLOBAL FIGHT TO
OPPOSE DIRTY ENERGY. WE DEMAND DECISIVE
ACTIONS FOR CLIMATE JUSTICE!
In December 2015, leaders and representatives of 196 countries will meet in Paris for the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Various countries, including the Philippines, have submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) which outlines and pronounces the climate actions each will undertake post-2020. The INDC is therefore considered the foundation of the 2015 climate agreement.
In its INDC submission, the Philippines committed to reduce emissions by 70% conditioned on “the extent of financial resources, including technology development and transfer, and capacity building, that will be made available to the Philippine.” While this is a step in the right direction, we believe that the Philippine government should undertake decisive actions in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. One concrete step would be to impose a moratorium on all coal-fired power plants in the pipeline.
As pointed out by the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), even without new dirty and harmful energy projects, the Philippines can still fulfill its energy demands by building alternatives such as renewable energy. As of September 2015, a total of 682 renewable energy projects have been approved with a potential generating capacity of 13,574.68 MW while 242 more contracts are still pending approval (PMCJ, October 2015).
Palawan has shown that renewable energy has the potential of meeting the energy needs of the province. The Palawan Island Power Development Plan (PIPDP) shows that the least cost option for energy development in the province is to utilize the renewable energy potential of the province. Potential hydroelectric projects in Palawan have an estimated capacity of 182.47 MW, which can provide energy of up to 959 GWh based on a 60% capacity factor. Integrating coal in the power mix will not result to the least-cost mix of Palawan within the planning period provided in the energy masterplan.
For the past three years, local communities of Narra and Aborlan and civil society groups all over Palawan and the world have been campaigning to stop a coal-fired thermal power plant planned to be built in the province. We have been protesting the provincial government’s undue influence in support of the project proponent, DMCI Powers Inc.
In August, 2015, the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) issued a SEP Clearance to DMCI’s for its 15-MW Circulating Fluidized Bed Coal-Fired Power Plant in the area of Barangay Bato-Bato, Narra, Palawan, highlighting the project’s support from political leaders. Following this alarming development, civil society groups submitted a petition (with 6,185 signatures) to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) pleading to deny its issuance of an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC).
DENR has yet to receive an application from DMCI’s application for an ECC for its proposed coal-fired power project in Narra. We will therefore continue to monitor developments on DMCI’s ECC application.
Palawan communities, youth and civil society groups convey their support to the global action on climate change on November 28 and demand that the Philippine government make decisive actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
We reiterate our call for continuing vigilance on energy development activities in Palawan, and most especially, sustaining our opposition to DMCI’s proposed coal-fired power plant project.
As Keiza Pacete, a youth leader of 350 Palawan aptly said, “The Palawan anti-coal resistance is hugely important not just for the people of Palawan, but for the whole of the Philippines. The government must use its powers to protect the Philippines’ last ecological frontier.”
As part of our solidarity action on November 28, we are encouraging everyone to join our #CleanEnergyPalawan campaign. We want Palawan, as the country’s last ecological frontier,to lead the fight for clean energy. Being the best island in the world and endowed with ample sources of renewable energy, Palawan’s fight for clean energy is part of our continuing efforts to conserve our biodiversity. Our rich biological resources are critical to our people’s survival and will enable us to deal with the impacts of global warming.