Greenpeace criticizes non-prioritization of RE Bill

Manila, 9 November 2006—Greenpeace today criticized the non-prioritization of the Renewable Energy (RE) Bill in Monday’s Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) meeting, saying that the Philippines is playing blind and deaf to the urgency of renewable energy solutions which will address both the issue of energy security, and climate change impacts which are certain to further cripple the country’s already weak economy.

Greenpeace expressed their disappointment during the last day of their three-day climate change exhibit at the Philippine Senate. The exhibit, which was formally opened by Senate President Manny Villar, shows the catastrophic impacts of climate change such as disasters associated with extreme weather events, and presents renewable energy solutions. It is currently on display in the Senate building as part of the environment group’s ‘Pilipinas, Go Renewable!’ campaign which calls for a massive shift to renewable energy to combat climate change.

“Developing countries like the Philippines are at the mercy of the cruel and disastrous impacts of climate change. But the government in its shortsightedness still refuses to recognize that climate change is a critical issue that will have major economic and ecological repercussions,” said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Climate and Energy Campaigner Jasper Inventor. “The Philippines must join other countries in the world in taking immediate steps to implement renewable energy solutions—or else we can be overtaken by this catastrophe.”

The RE Bill hurdled its third reading in Congress last September, but it has yet to move in the Senate despite the support of some senators, including the Senate President. Greenpeace has been lobbying at the Senate this week to gather commitment from lawmakers to fast-track the passage of a stronger Renewable Energy (RE) Bill. So far, only four senators have expressed support for this critical issue. The senators stamped their handprints and signatures in the exhibit’s ‘Pilipinas, Go Renewable!’ commitment board.

“The commitments from Senate President Manny Villar, as well as Senators Edgardo Angara, Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Jamby Madrigal, and Kiko Pangilinan are commendable in that they show valuable foresight which the government sadly lacks. But right now it seems that they are the only ones who are giving much-needed support to renewable energy initiatives,” said Inventor.

“Renewable energy is the key to the fight against dangerous climate change even as it addresses other challenges crucial to the Philippines, such as energy security and the increasing volatility of fossil fuel prices. The immediate passage of a strong RE Bill will determine our country’s environmental and economic well being for many decades to come,” he added.

Greenpeace is an independent, campaigning organization which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environment problems, and to force the solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future.

For more information:
Jasper Inventor, Climate and Energy Campaigner (Philippines), +63 917 300 9567
Lea Guerrero, Media Campaigner (Philippines), +632 434 7034 ext 104, +63916 374 4969