P4P on the DOE moratorium on new coal plants
PHOTO: In 2019, the Power for People Coalition demanded for a ban on new coal plants during the National Day of Action Against Coal. With the DOE’s new policy pronouncement, the cancellation of all 13.79 GW of coal in the national pipeline is within our reach.
On 27 October 2020, Secretary Alfonso Cusi announced the decision of the Department of Energy (DOE) to cease its endorsement of new coal-fired power plants in the Philippines.
We, the undersigned civil society and people’s organizations, consumer groups, faith groups, and advocates for clean energy, celebrate this moratorium as a triumph of coal-affected communities who for years have been at the forefront of the fight against coal. After years of campaigning to end the proliferation of this fossil fuel, we now stand before a new phase in the transformation of the Philippine power sector.
This move by the DOE, for its part, is an admission of the error in the favor it previously extended towards the coal industry – a policy direction that enabled the expansion of coal into the fleet of 28 coal-fired power plants currently operating in the country today. The moratorium is an affirmation of what we have always said about coal: that it is a culprit of environmental degradation, adverse health impacts, and development aggression suffered by communities, and it is completely incompatible to our climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. It is also an unsound economic investment which partly takes the blame for the high price of electricity and unreliable supply of power in the country, as experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This declaration of a moratorium is thus a welcome development for coal-affected and climate-vulnerable communities, and ordinary consumers. It is, however, also already extremely belated, emerging against the backdrop of a worsening climate emergency and an ongoing health and economic crisis.
Thus, a lackluster implementation of the moratorium against coal is not an option for the DOE. This policy must allow no new coal from entering our power mix AND stop all 13.79 GW of coal in the pipeline in its tracks. As the only acceptable way forward for the DOE, the ban on coal must then be followed by the integration of coal phaseout plans into national power programs, paving the path for a swift and just transition to clean, affordable, and reliable renewable energy sources. In full alignment to the 1.5°C Paris goal, the DOE must raise its ambitions to attaining a flexible, diversified 100% renewable energy mix by 2040.
The transformation of the energy sector towards a sustainably powered ‘new normal’ is at hand. We urge the DOE to seize it. It is time to end the age of coal.
POWER FOR PEOPLE COALITION
Aniban ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA) | BDEV Child Protection | CEED – Center for Energy, Ecology and Development | Center for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technology (CREST) | Climate Action for Sustainability Initiative | Coal-Free Negros | Diocese of San Carlos, Negros Occidental | Environmental Legal Assistance Center, Inc. – ELAC | Episcopal Commission on Indigenous. Peoples (EPIC) National Secretariat | Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) | FSMJPIC – Young Franciscan Advocates (YFA) | Gitib, Inc. | GCCM-Pilipinas -Global Catholic Climate Movement – Pilipinas | Health Care Without Harm Southeast Asia | I Rise and Advocate for Marinduque Province PH | Institute of Power Sector Economics (IPSEc) | Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability | Konsyumer Negros | Legal Rights and National Resources Center-Friends of the Earth PH | Living Laudato Si’ Philippines | Mindanao Coalition of Power Consumers (MCPC) | No Burn Pilipinas | Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI) | Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) | 350.org | Pilipinas | Sanlakas | We the Future PH | Youth for Climate Hope (Y4CH)