Environmental group slams Cadiz Mayor Escalante
GREEN activists called on Cadiz Mayor Patrick Escalante to immediately reverse his decision to construct two coal-fired power plants in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental.
Greenpeace said the proposal is a clear violation of the 100% Renewable Energy (RE) policy established in Negros island in 2002.
“This decision is technically illegal and sabotages Negros Island’s pioneering renewable energy policy which has been hailed worldwide as a model for energy sustainability ,” said Anna Abad, Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.
“The people of Negros Island do not want coal plants—Negros was the first ever province in Southeast Asia to reject coal power, and to commit to 100% renewable power generation. Mayor Escalante has committed a grave disservice to Negrenses. Instead of promoting dirty coal power, he should keep Negros on track with its RE commitments, which he is duty-bound to do,” the group said.
Greenpeace also expressed its disappointment with Negros Governor Joseph Marañon’s support for the coal plans which is a turnaround from his decision last decade to fully support RE development in the province.
Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel; the acute and long-term environmental and social costs associated with coal usage make it an expensive and unacceptable burden to its host communities. The burning of coal for fuel pollutes the air and water, ruins crops and negatively impacts community health and livelihood. The proposed coal plants in Negros is targeted to generate 170 MW.
Negros Occidental is the first province in Southeast Asia to embark on a sustainable energy-based development agenda crafted collectively by local and national government, progressive industry, and civil society.
In 2002 Negros became the first ever community in Asia to reject a coal power plant installation, and to commit to becoming the first province in Southeast Asia to be powered 100 % by renewable energy such as wind, solar, geothermal and modern biomass. The experience was hailed as a model for energy planning for the whole country.
Negros Island has a vast potential for clean energy such as wind, solar and modern biomass that is just waiting to be harnessed. Crucial to the development of the RE sources in the island is the implementation of the Renewable Energy Law which, four years after it was passed, is still not yet fully implemented by the Department of Energy.
“Negrenses must reject the black agenda of coal power proponents and must stand firm against politicos who renege on their commitments, especially if it stands in the way of progress and development. Negros must continue to be an RE beacon for the country, and the rest of Southeast Asia,” said Abad.