HomeNewsChurch, green groups laud local gov’t’s order against dirty energy

Church, green groups laud local gov’t’s order against dirty energy

Mayor Carlo Eleazar of Tagkawayan signed an order promoting renewable energy projects “in a timeline compatible and aligned with the Paris Agreement"

Church and clean energy groups hailed the decision of the local government of Tagkawayan in Quezon province to declare the town free of fossil fuel and dirty energy.

On December 13, Mayor Carlo Eleazar signed Executive Order 67 promoting renewable energy projects “in a timeline compatible and aligned with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C goals.”

The order also opposes the “entry or establishment of any coal-fired power plants and other fossil fuel-fired power plants” in the municipality.

Father Warren Puno, director of the ecology ministry of the Diocese of Lucena, expressed optimism that the mayor’s order “will be successfully executed.”

The priest urged other local government officials to “take a stance against fossil fuels” and to realize that “a future powered by clean energy is a very possible goal.”

Tagkawayan is supposed to host the proposed 1200 MW coal-fired power plant, one of the biggest coal projects in the province.

The project has been in the national coal pipeline despite the moratorium issued by the country’s Energy department last year.

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The mayor’s order paved the way for the creation of the Municipal Renewable Energy Council, a policy-making body that will lead the formulation of an Energy Transition Plan toward 100 percent renewable energy use in the municipality.

The order also mandated all departments of the local government of Tagkawayan to “review and update all plans, projects, and permits or licenses” in compliance with the town’s declaration as a “fossil-free and renewable energy municipality.”

Gerry Arances, convenor of the group People for Power, said the order is the “best Christmas gift” that the local government of Tagkawayan could give to its people.

“It is essentially a commitment to ensure that citizens will have long-term access to clean and affordable energy moving forward, and that no fossil fuel project will be allowed to harm their health or the environment they live in,” said Arances.

“We hope this [order] is taken as a hint by the [Energy department] and proponents that it is high time to shelve the project, tighten the implementation of the coal moratorium, and genuinely advance sustainable energy development,” he said.

The province of Quezon is host to several coal-fired power plants in the country. There are four existing and operational coal plants in the province – two in Mauban town and two in Pagbilao town.

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