In commemoration of the 4th year anniversary of the Coal-Free Negros declaration through Executive Order 19-08, environmental group Youth for Climate Hope declared their position for a Fossil-Free Negros, emphasizing the role of Negros Occidental in the country’s renewable energy transition amidst escalating climate impacts.
This comes after recent developments following the issue of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant project proposed by REDI-SMC in San Carlos City, which withdrew its ECC application last November, its press release said Monday, March 6.
The Provincial Government of Negros Occidental issued a Resolution of Non-Objection (RONO), which the group deems as “a concerning decision from the provincial government that publicly declared its rejection of dirty energy in 2019.”
“We maintain that the resolution of non-objection from the Provincial Board is premature, invalid, and is not representative of the multiple stakeholders from San Carlos who openly objected against the LNG project during the public scoping,” Griderick Alila from Konsyumer-Negros said.
Alila further emphasizes that despite the proponent’s withdrawal of the ECC application, the standing RONO is still a cause for concern and should be addressed immediately.
“The efforts of the province towards building an RE roadmap is commendable, but without a phaseout of fossil fuels in any form, it is a step backwards in the fight for a just energy transition,” Bianca Montilla of Youth for Climate Hope said.
“The rejection of any pending and incoming fossil power projects should go hand-in-hand with the development of RE infrastructure”, she added
Dubbed as the Renewable Energy Hub of the Philippines, Negros Occidental is seen to herald the power transformation in the country. Fossil fuel industries are found to be the main drivers of climate change, and the shift to renewables is seen as an imperative amidst the worsening impacts of the climate crisis.
The position paper calls for a genuine people-centered renewable energy transition, as “false solutions” like LNG would spell out higher electricity costs for consumers. Fossil-fuel based power projects also pose health, environmental, and economic impacts among others, the press release said.
Youth for Climate Hope also calls on the Province of Negros Occidental to retract the premature issuance of a RONO on the LNG proposal, and to declare a Fossil-Free Negros through an ordinance.*