Thursday, December 2, 2010

Aquino urged to become ‘renewable energy champion’

Local members of the international environmental group Greenpeace on Saturday urged President Benigno Aquino III to become a “renewable energy champion" by committing to increase the use of clean energy sources in the country to 50 percent by 2020.

Greenpeace Philippines’ Climate and Energy campaigner Amalie Obusan said Aquino should express his administration’s intent early enough to promote renewable energy sources in the country, such as sunlight, wind, tidal movement and geothermal heat.

“The President’s mother is known for the People Power Revolution. I think he can leave a very good legacy to the country if he starts an Energy Revolution during his administration," she said in an interview during Greenpeace Southeast Asia’s tenth anniversary celebration in Pasay City on Saturday.

Committing to the use of renewable energy sources will help the country decrease its dependence on imported petroleum products, Obusan added.

“If the government starts an Energy Revolution, we can have energy security. We will not be held hostage anymore to importation," she said.

She added that the use of renewable sources will allow far-flung communities to have access to energy.

‘Turn the Tide’ tour

The use of renewable energy is one of the actions Greenpeace Southeast Asia is urging governments in the region to undertake during its tenth year anniversary this month.

As part of its activities, the environmental group’s flagship “Rainbow Warrior" has been sailing to Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines in the past four months—in what it dubbed as the “Turn the Tide" tour—to promote climate change solutions that span the three countries.

The ship arrived in Metro Manila on Saturday and is expected to leave by Sunday afternoon.

To welcome the Rainbow Warrior’s arrival, Greenpeace Philippines held a program, a storytelling session and a concert at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) complex in Pasay City on Saturday.


Obusan said that she is optimistic that President Aquino will heed Greenpeace’ call for greater use of renewable energy sources in the country.

“Naniniwala kami na mami-meet ang objective na ito. Naniniwala kaming papakinggan kami ng Pangulo," she said. (We believe that this objective will be met. We believe that the President will listen to us.)

She added that she is “pleased" that the government is currently “very open" to demands from non-government organizations.

“Sa ngayon, bukas ang gobyerno sa pakikipagtrabaho sa civil society organizations. Malaki ang pagkakaiba ngayon kaysa noon," she said. (The government now is open to working with civil society organizations. This is a big difference with the present administration compared with the past one.)

Obusan added that she hopes the legislature will also do its part in its coming sessions by crafting laws to further promote the use of renewable energy sources in the country.


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