Quezon City, Philippines
An environmental watchdog group Greenpeace Philippines urged President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to drop nuclear power and fossil fuels and head straight to renewable energy instead.
During the Marcos administration’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 25, the president said renewable energy and addressing climate change are at the top of his agenda. Yet the President put nuclear and fossil gas plans ahead of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind.
Greenpeace Campaigner Khevin Yu said: “The mixed signals coming out of the Marcos administration’s first SONA are worrying.”
“Nuclear and fossil gas should be out of the picture today; it’s hypocritical to talk about addressing the climate crisis while prioritizing dangerous energy sources. If the President is sincere about acting on the environment and climate, he should head straight for genuine renewable energy – and stop promoting nuclear and fossil gas.”
“Instead, what we’re seeing is that the necessary push for renewable energy and climate action is being maneuvered to suit the administration’s misguided nuclear and fossil gas agenda,” he said.
Nuclear in any context is a dangerous proposition, even more so for the Philippines.
Housing a nuclear plant in a country constantly battered by typhoons and earthquakes is like building a ticking time bomb, not to mention the amount of radioactive waste we wouldn’t know how to dispose of.
The cost of building up and maintaining this energy source will also be staggering for a country already swimming in debt – and will no doubt be passed on to consumers, who are already struggling with food, energy, and climate crisis.
Fossil gas is no better, as it also produces another greenhouse gas – methane, which is up to 105 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year time horizon.
Any new facility built now will lock the country into 40 more years of fossil fuel dependence and will considerably delay the country’s much-needed transition to renewable energy.
The group said the existing energy problems will be further exacerbated by the president’s insistence on public-private partnerships – surrendering the fate of our energy sector to corporations, when the administration’s primary concern should be providing Filipinos with safe, affordable, and reliable power.
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“We have a vast amount of renewable energy resources waiting to be tapped, and RE has been proven to be more cost-efficient and dependable in the face of climate,” Yu stressed.
With the world and our country facing the impacts of a rapidly worsening climate crisis, the Philippines has to waste no “lead time” and no room for nuclear and fossil gas, he added.
“The president should walk the talk on his statements about preserving the environment and human life, and stop creating barriers to RE. Distracting ourselves with more costly and risky sources only sacrifices valuable time and resources – and threatens the very lives he wants to preserve,” Yu said. (Greenpeace PR)