Bishop, clergy in Quezon oppose coal plant projects

Bishop, clergy in Quezon oppose coal plant projects

People hold a protest against the proposed coal-fired power plant projects in Atimon, Quezon on Sept. 1, 2018. CARITAS PHILIPPINES

By CBCP News

September 1, 2020

Manila, Philippines

The government must stop the construction of all new coal-fired plants in Quezon province because it is inconsistent with the efforts to mitigate climate change, local church officials said.

In a statement, Bishop Mel Rey Uy and the clergy of the Diocese of Lucena, said the power plants “must be ceased” if only to help avert the impacts of climate change.

The cancellation of the projects, according to them, will also stand as a decisive rejection of all unsustainable and carbon-intensive practices not just in Quezon but in the entire country.

“We oppose these coal-fired power plants also because they are entirely inconsistent with the care for our common home so desperately needed today,” they said.

The statement was released Tuesday as the Church starts the annual celebration of the “Season of Creation”.

With the country’s growing energy demand, the government has continued to approve new coal-fired plants, raising concerns that “it will add more environmental degradation and health risks to our locality”.

The church leaders were referring to the two coal-fired power plants proposed by SMC Global Power Holdings to be constructed in Pagbilao town.

They also reiterated its opposition against the construction of Meralco’s coal-fired plant in Atimonan town.

The diocese appealed to the coal proponents “to listen to the cry of the earth and cancel their plans to set up this dirty, deadly and costly source of energy”.

“We appeal to the local and national government and their respective agencies, to listen to the cry of the people of Quezon and disallow these projects and any further coal plants in our beloved province,” they added.

The diocese also enjoined the project proponents to place their efforts and resources in developing Quezon’s renewable energy sources instead of “outdated, profit-oriented and polluting power plants”.

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