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Bishops urge SMC shareholders to drop fossil gas plans

Bishops urge SMC shareholders to drop fossil gas plans

From left, Bishop Cosme Almedilla of Butuan, Bishop Cerilo Casicas of Marbel and Bisho Jose Colin Bagaforo of Kidapawan at the opening Mass of the 40th National Social Action General Assembly (NASAGA) in General Santos City on June 14, 2022. CBCP NEWS

By CBCP News

June 15, 2022

Manila, Philippines

Saying that “we are in the middle of a climate emergency,” some Catholic bishops called on shareholders of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) to end the company’s plan for massive expansion of fossil fuel gas power source.

Caritas Philippines’ bishops Jose Colin Bagaforo of Kidapawan, Cerilo Casicas of Marbel and Cosme Almedilla wrote the company June 14 “to protect communities and the environment” from continued use of dirty energy.

“We ask you to go beyond the ledger and think of what it would mean for our country and the world if we continue to enable the massive use of fossil fuels,” they said.

The bishops made the appeal to SMC stockholders on the day of the diversified conglomerate’s annual stockholders meeting (ASM).

SMC is the proponent of over 14.1 GW new fossil gas power across the country – a massive pipeline, which makes it the single biggest developer of new gas capacity in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

The Center for Energy, Ecology and Development (CEED) said “that fossil gas has become the latest subterfuge of fossil fuel proponents, seizing on the narrative of transition to forward its use as a transition fuel, bridging the change from coal to renewable energy.”

“This, however, is a falsehood, as fossil gas still emits dangerous amounts of greenhouse gases, will bring environmental pollution, threaten energy security and affordability, and block a swifter shift to renewable energy,” according to the research institution.

The prelates warned that if SMC were to continue its path, it will be a major driver in the increased emission of greenhouse gasses from gas-fired plants.

“As the owners of SMC, you have the power to alter the plans for gas expansion, to make the sustainable future happen. You can command your employees to halt further investments in fossil fuels,” they added.

“We ask you, to please consider your children, and use your voice to protect their future in and beyond the stockholders meeting,” the bishops also said.

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