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PH must steer away from coal plants – FPH

/ 12:31 PM May 23, 2016

THE LOPEZ group took a strong stance on Monday against the use of coal to fuel the country’s power plants, citing an urgent need to mitigate the impact of climate change.

Federico Lopez, chair and CEO of First Philippine Holdings (FPH) made a bold declaration during FPH’s annual stockholders meeting on Monday that the group would never build, develop or invest in any coal-fired power plant.

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“I’m certain that without looking too far, this country already has energy alternatives that do not mortgage the future of our children and the future of our planet,” Lopez said.

“These are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary change and everyone must shift to thinking about the quickest route to a decarbonized economy,” he said.

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Lopez said some businessmen and power industry leaders tended to argue that since the Philippines was responsible for only 0.3 percent of global carbon emissions, the country had the right to continue building more coal-fired power plants.

“Doing so, the argument goes, will help us reduce power costs, create more jobs, and allow the Philippines to catch-up with other nations and industrialize. That way of thinking could have passed muster a decade ago. However, given what we know about global climate today, that assertion, even if we choose to adopt such a parochial–Philippines only–perspective, is downright thoughtless and unconscionable,” Lopez said.

“For every avoidable ton of carbon spewed into the air reverberates onto millions of vulnerableFilipino lives with an impact that’s disproportionate with the rest of the world,” he said.

Meeting the economy’s power demand with more coal-fired plants today means “locking-in”those high-carbon emissions for decades, Lopez said./rga

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TAGS: First Philippine Holdings, FPH, Lopez
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