Senator Loren Legarda has renewed her call on government to tap cleaner and less wasteful sources of energy, expressing alarm over the adverse environmental impacts of coal-fired power plants in the country.
Legarda, chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, lauded the Aquino administration’s order to agencies of government to review the country’s energy policy, which may see the Philippines moving away from carbon-intensive coal power generation.
“I am in full support of President Benigno Aquino’s order to government to review the current energy policy and I hope he will seize the opportunity to push for pro-environmental projects to mitigate climate change which our country badly needs. Our goal to reduce carbon emissions will be impossible if we will continue to allow the construction and operation of additional coal-fired power plants, the nation’s top source of greenhouse gas emissions and the primary cause of global warming,” she said.
The Climate Change Commission (CCC), chaired by President Aquino and led by three Commissioners, recently issued Commission Resolution No. 2016-001, which mandates the agency to lead an “urgent and comprehensive” review of the government’s energy policy within the next six months and conduct “a national policy review and framework development on energy, through a whole-of-nation approach, in accordance with a low carbon development pathway and national goals and targets for climate change mitigation and adaptation, disaster risk reduction and sustainable development.”
The Philippines has been taking an active role in addressing climate change as it is among those that acutely feel its effects, which include extreme weather patterns.Legarda noted that in the past five years, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources granted at least 21 coal-fired power plants an Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECC).
“I am optimistic that with the CCC Resolution, stricter standards will be followed in the issuance of ECCs for plants, which should include the measurement of their GHG emissions and impacts on health and the environment,” she stressed.
“The Philippines is contradicting itself when it says it wants a strong agreement in climate change yet is allowing the proliferation of new coal power plants. Effectively, by such proliferation we are contributing to our own destruction and we lose the high moral ground as we call on other parties to reduce emissions,” Legarda concluded.