Cebu News

Cebuano cyclists join call for 100% transition to renewable energy

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Some Cebuano cyclists and ordinary citizens joined climate campaigners from eight countries in Asia calling on governments to accelerate the just and equitable transition to 100 percent renewable energy to address climate change.

The eight countries involved in the third Pedal for People and Planet for 2022 include Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal and the Philippines.

Cebu and eight other areas in the Philippines—Atimonan; Quezon; Batangas; Bulacan; Camarines Norte; Cagayan de Oro; Sual and Zamboanga City-- joined the call for a transition to renewable energy.

In Cebu, participants pedaled from Plaza Independencia to Fuente Osmena to show their strong objection to the Waste to Energy (WTE) incineration project in Cebu City. The LGU of Cebu City recently signed a joint venture agreement (JVA) with New Sky Energy Philippines.

The group also expressed their opposition to the proposed construction of a 300-MW Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) power plant in Cebu City by some investors.

“While we are in the midst of a climate crisis, putting up projects that emit greenhouse gases and release toxics through air and ash that even the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) will have a hard time monitoring will push us to climate catastrophe,” said  Lito Vasquez, Cebu-based campaign coordinator of Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD).

Other than engaging these projects in the EIA process through the project proponents’ application for Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECCs), APMDD, PMCJ (Philippine Movement for Climate Justice), and Sanlakas are also convening a legal team for a possible suit against the WTE project as incineration is prohibited in RA 9003 (Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000) and RA 8749 (Philippine Clean Air Act).

San Miguel Corporation recently withdrew its plan to put up a 600-MW LNG power plant in Lapu-Lapu City due to strong public opposition.

“The whole world must undertake a just and equitable shift to 100% renewable energy systems as rapidly as possible,” said Lidy Nacpil, APMDD coordinator.

The group calls on governments to act now to make a transition while also emphasizing that rich countries should stop funding fossil fuels overseas.

“All governments worldwide have to act now to make this transition happen. Governments of rich countries are not only responsible for their domestic transition, they must stop funding fossil fuels overseas and deliver fully on their climate finance obligations to developing countries, part of which will be spent on the transition in the Global South. We are here today to raise the call for a fossil fuel-free future,” said Nacpil.

The group cited that scientists have said in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5°C will not be possible.

However, it is still possible today, they said, with enough political will in light of sustained decreases of up to 85% in the costs of solar and wind energy and batteries and the feasibility of rapid and massive scaling up of renewable energy systems.

“Renewables are now cheaper in cost than fossil fuels and are already demonstrating they can provide reliable electricity. Renewables can be produced domestically without heavy reliance on imports, and have near zero greenhouse gas emissions. It is unacceptable that in the midst of the climate crisis, governments are not choosing to accelerate the transition to renewable energy. Many are even working with corporations in promoting and investing in technologies that are false solutions to the climate crisis, and only serve as excuses to prolong fossil fuel production and use,” said Nacpil.

Ian Rivera of the PMCJ said that the promotion of hydrogen and ammonia as fuels of the future, carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, and fossil gas as transition fuel are false solutions.

 "Fossil fuel financiers justify the promotion of fossil gas as a transition energy and reliance on false technological fixes by citing various reasons such as the variability of solar and wind power, and the urgency to provide stable energy access. Such reasons have already been debunked by energy experts,” Rivera said.

Measures and arrangements can be made to build 100% renewable energy while ensuring grid stability and reliability some studies show.  — FPL (FREEMAN)


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