By: Chuck Baclagon
Solar and wind energy are now at the same price or even cheaper than new fossil fuels in over 30 countries, according to the World Economic Forum. It is both ironic and tragic then that companies like SMC Consolidated Power Corporation (SMCCPC) continue to operate destructive coal plants and dump bottom ash harmful to nearby communities, such as in Limay, Bataan.
The Environmental Management Bureau in Central Luzon has already ordered SMCCPC to stop any activity inside its coal plant in the wake of the ash spill that has caused several residents in the nearby communities to fall ill. We are hopeful that the investigation would pave the way for the closing of the coal plant and for SMCCPC to be held accountable for the adverse impacts of their facility to the people living there.
Coal has no place in the Philippines’ energy mix. By continuing to peddle coal, the Department of Energy is making a mockery of the Filipinos whose health and environment are already severely affected by climate change.
We can’t let the coal industry hijack our future. We must keep global warming within 1.5 degrees Celsius for a fighting chance to survive. This requires halting all new fossil fuel development now.