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Nothing wrong with coal plants – Duterte

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte hit developed countries for bullying poor nations into lowering their carbon emissions, when they are the major culprits in global warming.

Duterte, standard-bearer of the PDP-Laban, said he sees nothing wrong with the government’s plan to put up new coal-fired power plants to boost power supply in the country.

“You open the Philippines for all power players, I guarantee you the electricity will become cheaper,” Duterte said during the second presidential debate at the University of the Philippines Cebu here on Sunday.

The mayor was responding to a question by STAR editor-in-chief Ana Marie Pamintuan on the Philippines’ commitment to the UN to cut its carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030.                       

The government last year approved the construction of 25 new coal-fired power plants, according to Sen. Loren Legarda.

President Aquino said in January that building more coal-fired power plants is necessary to meet the nation’s growing energy needs. 

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Duterte called the UN a hypocrite for failing to impose sanctions on developed nations, which he said are the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide.

“They should finance our hydropower and solar energies. They cannot impose sanctions against the violators, we only contribute so very little (carbon dioxide),” he said referring to the UN.

Duterte criticized environmentalist and former US vice president Al Gore, who recently visited the country for a three-day climate workshop, for calling on the Philippine government to go on renewable energies. 

“Why can’t he (Gore) stop his country (from producing greenhouse gases)? We need energy to develop, we are just a developing nation,” Duterte said.

Meanwhile, Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas and independent presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe said they are open to the amendment of the 14-year-old Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) to address the skyrocketing power rates.  – With Rhodina Villanueva, Alexis Romero

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