By Chuck Baclagon

Today charged three of the largest coal plant operators in the Philippines with holding back the country from modernizing its electricity infrastructure and responding to the global challenge of climate change. Garbed in T-Rex costumes, we DMCI Holdings, San Miguel and Meralco as dinosaurs for their continued peddling of dated fossil fuels like coal.

We are challenging the companies to lead the country’s transition from coal to renewables, and match the urgent action needed from corporations globally to limit climate impacts. The Philippines still generates half of its electricity from coal.

We believe there is a simple measure for real climate leadership: no new fossil fuel projects and a fast, just transition to 100% renewable energy.

Energy companies must rise to the level of action that the climate crisis demands and keep their competitive edge in the rapidly changing energy landscape. We want the fossil-fuel dinosaurs to evolve into renewable energy champions, because their failure to evolve also means our collective extinction.

Stories of  Iceland, Sweden, Costa Rica and majority of the Pacific Island States already running on 100% renewables sends a clear message that development and ecological sustainability is possible.

Globally, the financial sector is shifting their investments from coal to renewable energy. Major European insurance firms such as AXA and Allianz are leading the way by divesting from businesses that are involved in coal-fired power plant expansion projects. In Asia, Japan’s Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company recently announced a coal power plant finance restriction, the first time that a Japanese financial institution has announced such a policy indicating the first step towards divestment from coal development.

In the Philippines, Ayala Group’s energy arm AC Energy announced its plans to sell up to 50 percent of its coal energy assets and expand its renewables portfolio across Asia Pacific.

Science indicates that we cannot allow any new coal plants to be built if want to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius as set out in the Paris Agreement and prevent catastrophic climate change. Each new coal infrastructure project extends the fossil fuel era by a few more disastrous decades.

Our action is part of the build-up to the global climate movement’s Rise For Climate day of action on September 8. Thousands of rallies in cities and towns around the world are being organized around that date to demand the building a fossil-free world to leaders who will be meeting in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit.