Climate group urges political will to ease out coal energy


DUMAGUETE CITY – The head of the Climate Reality Project of the Philippines is pushing for more political will on the part of government to ensure that the country will be directed towards the use of renewable energy and eventually ease out coal-fired power.

Rodne Galicha, Country Manager of Climate Reality Ph, in an interview said the use of coal-fired power is still “on the rise” in the Philippines.

“The challenge now is that we need to have the political will (to transition to sustainable, renewable energy such as geothermal, hydro, wind and solar),” said the head of the non-profit organization formed by former U.S. vice president Al Gore to help address climate change.

“We know that the government right now, in some other programs like the war on drugs and corruption, has an iron hand,” he noted. “But we hope to see the President and the government to have that very strong political will when it comes to renewable energy.”

Galicha said the country’s policies, especially in response to climate change mitigation and adaptation, are now geared towards renewable energy.

The Climate Change Ph head noted that the coal industry is now finding ways, “like on Facebook and they have their own trolls now”, to “destroy” the image of the renewable energy, having a “conspiracy” with the government.

“Because we know that in the whole world there are big coal companies that stand to lose because of government’s policy on renewable energy,” Galicha added.

There are even targets and indicators of sustainable goals that are directed at transitioning to sustainable renewable energy, he added.

“Our role is to be a watchdog, to have a strategic engagement with the players of renewable energy to do their projects right that won’t endanger and destroy the environment,” he said.

“So we talk to the renewable energy industry and practitioners and we like what they do. And if there are certain wrongs that they have done, we are here to advice them to do more and to bring back the balance in nature.”

The Climate Reality Project was founded by former United States Vice President Al Gore. Mary Judaline Partlow/PNA