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Greenpeace: Coal plant emissions may kill 2,400 Pinoys

Rhodina Villanueva And Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - February 3, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Coal plant emissions may cause more than 2,400 premature deaths in the Philippines, according to environment group Greenpeace.

An estimated 960 premature deaths occur each year due to stroke, ischemic heart disease, other cardiovascular diseases and respiratory diseases, the report “Coal: A Public Health Crisis. Diseases and deaths attributed to coal use in the Philippines” has shown.

“If the new power plants are to be developed, premature deaths may rise up to 2,410 – more than double the current number of people dying from coal-related pollution in the Philippines,” read the report.

Lauri Myllyvirta, senior global coal campaigner at Greenpeace International, is one of the authors of the research. 

“Results of the research showed that coal-fired power plants expose everyone in the Philippines to toxic pollution, resulting in hundreds of premature deaths every year,” she said.

“Leading economies from the United States to China and Europe are already relying on modern, renewable energy sources for their additional power needs, showing that this is a real option for Philippines as well.”

More than one-third of the energy used to generate electricity in the Philippines comes from burning coal. Currently, the country has 17 operational coal plants, with 29 more approved by the Department of Energy set to begin commercial operations by 2020.

The report is based on research carried out at Harvard University on the impacts of emissions coming from coal-fired power plants on the air quality of selected countries in Asia.

For the Philippine version, Greenpeace collaborated with HealthJustice to write the report, with support from Health Care Without Harm-Asia and the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice.

Coal use harms the environment and public health at every stage of its life cycle.

Coal-fired power plants emit sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NO2) and other gaseous pollutants in the air that can react chemically to form particulate matter.

Coal combustion also affects health indirectly by contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate change can bring extreme heat, lead to natural disasters and eventually increase diseases transmitted through insects such as malaria and dengue.

A PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS ACIRC CHINA AND EUROPE CLIMATE JUSTICE COAL DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY FOR THE PHILIPPINE GREENPEACE GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL HARVARD UNIVERSITY HEALTH CARE WITHOUT HARM-ASIA AND THE PHILIPPINE MOVEMENT
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