More than 20 clean energy advocates marched through the major thoroughfares of downtown Bacolod City this afternoon, November 20, to mark the National Day of Action Against Coal.
The protesters, mostly from the youth sector, reiterated their call to the government to declare a “climate emergency now” and to “cancel coal now!”
Clean energy advocates, people’s organizations, and faith-based organizations then converged at the Fountain of Justice for a program. They emphasized the dangers of coal, the implications of the coal moratorium, and the endless possibilities of clean energy.
Advocates who were not able to join the physical demonstration participated in the digital action spearheaded by Youth for Climate Hope, posing with their placards in the safety of their homes to amplify the call against coal.
“In this National Day of Action Against Coal, we are taking a stand for climate justice. Lost lives, displaced communities, and irreversible destruction left behind by floods and typhoons should not be our future,” the groups said in a statement.
They added, “the only future we will accept is one without coal. Fossil fuels such as coal are the biggest carbon contributor that has caused the climate crisis, killing vulnerable Filipinos and destroying our livelihoods.”
“It is clear that we are in a climate emergency, whether the government declares it or not. Even the Department of Energy (DOE) verbally announced its moratorium on new endorsements for coal plants last October 27, and though extremely belated, this pronouncement is a triumph for coal-affected communities and clean energy advocates who have been resisting for decades,” the groups stressed.
They added that the official DOE order has yet to be released.
“One of our demands is for DOE to publish it as soon as possible to ensure a total moratorium on all coal plants and the phaseout of existing ones,” they said.
As long as the energy comes from non-renewable sources, and fossil fuel companies are still profiting at the expense of people’s lives and the planet, there will be no real climate justice, the groups said.
“For decades, Negros has fought to be coal-free, and we have won. No matter what it takes, we will join in the fight for a coal-free Philippines, too, because it is the only version of the future that is livable,” they said.*