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SONGDO, Republic of Korea, 11 October 2016 – Civil society groups led a protest action outside the headquarters of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) a day before the official start of its Fourteenth Meeting of the Board, to voice their opposition to the accreditation to the GCF of export credit agencies (ECAs) like the Korea Export Import Bank (KEXIM).

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The Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board holds its 14th board meeting in Songdo, Korea starting tomorrow, during which it will decide, among others, on accrediting certain institutions such as export credit agencies (ECA) to be implementing partners. One such ECA is the Export-Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM),whose pending application for accreditation poses yet another threat to the very Fund established “to promote the paradigm shift towards low emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries”.

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The Asian Development Bank (ADB) claims concern in addressing the causes of climate change as it convenes the Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) from June 6 to 10 in Manila.

It appears to recognize the inconvenient truth on the contribution of fossil fuel usage to global warming, which is now universally recognized after the Conference of Parties 21 of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris last year.

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by Jonathan Mayuga, 8 May 2016

Business Mirror > Features > Green

With President Aquino ending his six-year administration by the end of June, environmental and climate-justice advocates are hopeful that the next administration will give a closer look at the country’s energy policy of shifting from fossil fuel-based to more environment-friendly renewable-energy (RE) sources.

Faced with the challenge of sustaining economic growth, the next administration is also faced with an even tougher challenge of fulfilling an ambitious target to reduce the country’s carbon emission by 70 percent by 2030, a promise made under the country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution that was submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in the Paris conference in December 2015.

On April 22, highlighting the country’s celebration of Earth Day, Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje signed the Paris Agreement in New York in behalf of President Aquino, affirming the country’s commitment to reduce its carbon footprint to help limit global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius, or at least to 1.5°C, at best, in the next 14 years.

While plausible, environmental and climate-justice advocates seriously doubt that such carbon emission-reduction target is achievable, considering the current procoal-energy policy. They are pinning their hopes on the next administration for the country to break free from coal and shift to RE.

Arguably, they said coal may be cheap and quick to put up, but the cost to people’s health and environment makes it the most expensive source of energy, far worse than the cost of putting up RE plants, such as hydropower, geothermal and, perhaps, the most cheapest and supply abundant, solar plants.

Piglas Pilipinas

On May 4 a nationwide campaign against coal kicked off in Batangas City. About 10,000 marchers echoed calls against coal and the shift to clean RE. They called out the country’s next leaders to take the lead for a more environment-friendly development paths, starting with sourcing clean energy and scrapping fossil fuels.

The event, organized by Piglas Pilipinas, a coalition against coal, was part of the global Break Free from Fossil Fuels 2016 campaign to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground.

The local campaign aims to enjoin people in affected communities to make a stand against coal-fired power plants, highlighting its adverse impacts on people’s health and environment vis-à-vis the threats of climate change, which are considered by scientists as the most serious threat to human existence.

Organizers vowed to launch similar activities in the next few days to rally the people in areas with existing, expanding and approved coal-fired power-plant projects as “a show of force” against coal and other sources of dirty energy.

There are 19 existing coal-fired power plants in the country, and 27 more are in the pipeline. After a law promoting renewables was signed on December 16, 2008, the share of RE in the country’s energy mix had decreased by 5 percent. In the next six years, this is expected to further shrink by 5 percent, with its share being eaten up by coal – unless the next administration takes a bold step to reverse the trend, the group’s organizers said.

Piglas Pilipinas 2016, which is composed of religious leaders, environmental and climate-justice activists, told the BusinessMirror on Thursday the successful Batangas City event highlighted the growing opposition against coal-fired power plants, particularly against the proposed 600-megawatt coal plant of JG Summit Holdings in Barangay Pinamucan Ibaba, Batangas City.

Organized by the Archdiocese of Lipa, led by Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles, the event called “Piglas Batangas, Piglas Pilipinas” kicked off a series of anticoal peaceful protest actions in the Philippines and other parts of the world.

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Paris Agreement signing: Asian alliance urges governments to solve climate crisis

MANILA, 22 April 2016 – As representatives of over 150 countries signed the Paris Agreement on climate change in New York today, an alliance of Asian social movements demanded governments to do their fair share in solving the climate crisis.

“It is important to remember that the national pledges which form part of the Paris Agreement, when combined, fail to ensure that the global temperature increase does not breach the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit. Governments will have to scale up their targets in order to be consistent with the 1.5⁰C limit that they also mentioned in the Agreement,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), from Manila.