Climate campaigners carrying giant “Ang Pao” (Chinese money envelopes) held a march-rally at the Fil-Chinese Friendship Arch in Binondo, Manila on Saturday, February 10, to celebrate the Dragon Lunar New Year and called on China to lead in building 100% renewable energy systems in Asia, particularly solar and wind.
The march-rally was led by Philippine civil society groups composed of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) and partner organizations Sanlakas, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), Oriang Women’s Movement, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) and Kilusan para sa Kabuhayan, Kalusugan, Kalikasan at Katiyakan sa Paninirahan (K4K).
Similar actions were also held in key cities in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and India.
Lidy Nacpil, APMDD Coordinator said, “As we welcome the Dragon Lunar New Year, we call on China to support much-needed development and investments for solar and wind energy in Asia. China can and should play greater role in enabling other Asian countries to harness these abundant and affordable renewable energy resources and technologies at a scale and speed needed to prevent climate catastrophe.”
China is now the global leader in solar and wind energy as the top supplier of photovoltaic modules and wind turbines, accounting for 70% of the global market share in 2022.
“ China is in the best position to lead Asian developing countries’ rapid and equitable shift towards 100% renewable energy. We urge China to swiftly translate all of its recent pronouncements into concrete actions to support the renewable energy transition in developing countries.” Nacpil added.
On September 21, 2021, President Xi Jinping told the United Nations General Assembly that “China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad.”
During the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Summit in Beijing on October 18, 2023, President Xi reaffirmed China’s commitment to foster renewable energy development. This declaration was followed by President Xi’s groundbreaking announcement to establish a $107 billion financing window dedicated to supporting clean energy projects in developing countries, during the APEC Summit held in November 2023.
Meanwhile, Sharif Jamil of Waterkeepers Bangladesh urged China to “build more renewable energy projects like the 145,000 MW annually clean energy capacity wind farm at Cox’s Bazar which is the first in Bangladesh and the largest onshore wind project in South Asia”.
“We want more of these alternative energy sources to improve and transform our communities,” Jamil remarked.
Farooq Tariq of Pakistan Kissan Rabita Committee said: “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) needs more green projects focusing on building renewable energy systems that benefit communities. One of the very good examples of Chinese investments is the Quaid e Azam Solar Park under CPEC – a 100MW solar power project that provides clean, sustainable, and affordable energy to the people of Bahawalpur. Pakistan needs more such projects under CPEC.”
Saktiman Ghosh, General Secretary of the National Hawker Federation in India, said: “The Chinese Year of the Dragon presents an opportunity for the leadership to pursue the urgent needs required for a just, equitable, and rapid transition. We hope China takes considerable action to accelerate renewable energy, mainly solar and wind in the Asia region.”