CBCP official urges gov’t to ban coal-fired power plants

Nov. 13, 2015

DAVAO CITY – An official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has asked the Aquino administration to execute a moratorium on all coal-fired power plants as a concrete step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The statement was made by National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines Executive Secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez during the Interfaith Dialogue on Climate Change held in Malacañang Palace Thursday morning.

While the Philippine government has already pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 70 percent, Gariguez said that it can do more through changes on existing policies.

The commitment was made for the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and submitted to the Conference of Parties meeting in Paris this December,

Gariguez said the Philippines has become heavily dependent on coal energy with at least 19 coal-fired power plants currently operating across the country and 20 more to be operational by year 2020.

“Worse is, these coal projects are located within the peripheries of communities that are traditionally home to millions of Filipinos and are supported by rich ecosystems and bio-diversities,” he said.

Gariguez cited as examples the strong typhoons such as Typhoons Yolanda and Lando that are occurring more frequently.

“Truly, climate change-induced disasters spell indescribable miseries to our people. When we talk of climate change, we need to see real faces of suffering and feel the urgency of addressing the crisis,” he said.

The Catholic Church through the Caritas confederation has already reached out to 1.8 million people affected by Yolanda, and managed a total of P3.2 billion over the last two years.

But despite the rehabilitation efforts, Gariguez said that “climate change and its ensuing extreme weather conditions are still hurting the most at risk population.” (davaotoday.com)

  • Steven Hark

    It is about time the CBCP and its churches stopped sticking its collective noses where they are not wanted. There is a giga watt surplus of power in Luzon where one assumes the CBCP is based but the rest of the Philippines is suffering from a critical shortage of power and need generating plants now and not in the next life. Modern coal-burning plants are not totally innocent but there are a heck of a lot better than before. The CBCP needs to be talking about alternatives. The sun: We have abundant sun here so what about photo-voltaic panels on every house. The wind: Much hyped but shown to be not very effective and they are noisy. Nuclear: Not everybody’s cup of tea but, although they are starting to build them again in Europe, they are no good here because the Philippines is on a tectonic plate that is being squeezed from all sides. Thermal: Thermal plants being shut down. Hydro-electric: Somebody keeps on put dams where there is not all the water needed and does do what the Chinese have done – channel water to where it is needed.

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