Climate warriors protest SMC’s plan of building 3 fossil fuel plants in Visayas
MANDAUE CITY, Philippines — Representatives of local communities and climate warriors held a protest rally against San Miguel Corporation in front of its compound located along the National Highway here, on Monday morning, June 28, 2022.
The group is calling on SMC to suspend its plan of putting up fossil fuel power plants in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu, Tabango in Leyte, and San Carlos City in Negros Occidental.
SMC is said to be eyeing the establishment of 1.5 GW (1,500 MW) of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) power plants in the Visayas which is part of the 13.042 GW (6 projects) that it plans to build in the entire country.
Of the 1,500 megawatts, 600 of it is planned to be established in Lapu-Lapu City, another 600 MW in Tabango in Leyte, and 300 MW in San Carlos City in Negros Occidental.
LNG is a fossil gas in liquid form, another type of fossil fuel that emits methane, which is another greenhouse gas that has a warming effect of up to 80 or 90 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 20-year timescale.
Estela Vasquez, the Visayas Area Coordinator of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, said the plants would damage not just the country’s climate but the whole planet.
Vasquez said that there are other sources of energy that could be used such as solar, wind, and other renewable energy sources.
“Naa na ta sa 1.09 degrees karun so dili nato paabuton og 1.5 or beyond, dili na na siya liveable, catastrophic scenario na na siya so wala na niya tay mabuhat mao nang sa karun pa lang dili ta magdugang og greenhouse emissions,” said Vasquez.
“Nganong anha mangyud ta sa dirty energies nga makadaot sa atong kalikupan, planeta, unya wala man tay laing planeta? Usa ra man unya costly sad kaayo magpadayun ni siya kay magsige tag response sa mga disaster unya maabot ang time wala na tay kakayahan kay mahimo na man siyang catastrophic level, ang Odette type nga mga typhoons mahimo nang natural nga phenomenon, sauna diba? Ang ingun ana nga bagyo tag dugay kaayo maabot karun ang span pila lang ka months then even during summer naa gihapon bagyo nga kusog kaayo kana siya mga indications na nga katung greenhouse gases nato nga na trap sa atmosphere nga dili na nato pun-an,” she added.
A local alliance opposed to the SMC LNG project in Lapu-Lapu City was also formed on Monday afternoon, with support from different sectors in the tri-cities.
The alliance initially called Break Free from Fossil Gas, will initiate talks with different stakeholders, including Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan who earlier declared his support for the project but expressed that he is not opposed to canceling it “if the project will harm the public and the environment.” /rcg
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