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FPI urges balanced development of energy sources

(The Philippine Star) - September 22, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines should pursue the development of the renewable energy but not at the expense and detriment of coal and oil-fired facilities, the country’s largest organization of manufacturing firms said.

In a press briefing yesterday, Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) chairman Jesus Lim Arranza said the country should not commit to a level of greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction that will sacrifice its development objectives and be left behind by its neighboring countries.

“While the FPI recognizes the seriousness of climate change issue, the Philippines only has a very small contribution to global GHG emissions based on recognized global inventories and official reports of the Philippine Climate Change Commission,” Arranza said.  

The group said the country still lacks reliable baseload power plants that can operate reliably and efficiently 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Citing data from the Climate Change Commission, the FPI reported that the Philippines’ GHG emissions are extremely small compared to other countries in the world.

“Creating barriers for baseload fossil fuel-fired power generating facilities, especially coal-fired power plants, are heavy disincentives that will eventually affect the economy and the consumers but will have an insignificant impact on global GHG,” Arranza said.

The FPI said Philippine electricity demand is bound to further increase as the country progresses and the need for more baseload plants would also grow.

The manufacturing group believes coal-fired power plants are still the most feasible solution to address the country’s power needs.  

“Power plants which are ready for implementation and already endorsed by the Department of Energy and whose application for environmental compliance certificate has been processed should, in any way,  be delayed,” Arranza said.

“We don’t want to shoot the use of renewable energy sources before they take off, but what we are saying is don’t discriminate coal, especially those who have been approved,” he added.

As such, Arranza said the FPI is calling on policymakers, legislators, and stakeholders to support efforts to reduce GHG emissions through co-benefit and alternative measures instead of curtailing industrial activities such as construction of power plants.

Among the measures cited by the FPI include energy efficiency, optimization of the use of natural resources, forestation, and traffic management.

“There are so many ways of doing it rather than point at one thing and stop coal plants,” Arranza said.

“Commitments of the Philippines in the forthcoming Paris Climate Change summit along these measures would not only place the country as a model but serve the interest of the common Filipino,” he added.

ACIRC ARRANZA CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION COMMITMENTS OF THE PHILIPPINES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY FEDERATION OF PHILIPPINE INDUSTRIES JESUS LIM ARRANZA PARIS CLIMATE CHANGE PHILIPPINE CLIMATE CHANGE COMMISSION PLANTS POWER
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