MANILA, Philippines – The government is being urged to review and revoke clearances to build coal projects as the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) highlighted the dangers and worsening conditions in communities with coal-fired power plants.
The PMCJ said it would raise the issues and sentiments of affected communities before the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
The group previously called for a moratorium on the issuance of Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECCs) to coal projects.
“More than a moratorium, we urge the DENR to review the ECCs issued to coal projects and revoke upon finding of serious breach compromising the health and environment of host communities,” said Aaron Pedrosa, PMCJ’s head of energy working group.
Pedrosa said there is a clear and present danger arising from continued reliance in coal projects for the country’s energy requirements, enough reasons to abandon coal developments.
“Coal-burning has been identified as the single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions that is causing climate change. For a country identified as vulnerable to climate change impacts, promoting coal borders on the criminal as it would surely undermine the resiliency of communities to address climate change impacts from extreme weather events such as Yolanda to slow onset impacts like extreme El Niño,” he said.
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In Luzon, eight coal fired power plants with 16 boiler units are already in the pipeline in Bataan, Quezon and Batangas, on top of the existing 22 plants.
Citing a Harvard University study, PMCJ national coordinator Ian Rivera said the operation of 13 existing coal plants and 29 proposed plants revealed a high of 2,410 deaths every year due to exposure to heavy carcinogenic metals.