No To Coal-Fired Power Plant in Cebu

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - NEWS - (With a report from Cebu Examiner)

CEBU CITY – Environmentalists have strongly assailed the proposed construction of a coal-fired power plant in Cebu, saying ing the the toxic toxic fumes fumes and and pollutions pollutions from from the the fossilfossilized fuel would seriously affect not only the human health, but animals and the environment as well.

Just recently, hundreds of protesters, mostly from progressive and environmental groups led by Sanlakas and Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ), flocked to Cebu City Hall to express their opposition to the proposal.

The Ludo Power Corporation together with its consultant Geosphere Technologies, Inc. held a public hearing on the proposed construction of coal-fired power plant in the village of Sawang Calero.

The protesters also paraded a “coffin” that they said symbolizes the adverse health impacts on the residents if the proposal pushes through.

Aaron Pedrosa, of Sanlakas, said: “The scientifically established proof that coal-fired plants have detrimental health effects on the communities surrounding it, and its massive contribution to the climate crisis are enough for the people of Cebu to reject the project.”

“The City Council must once and for all get a shot of political will in order to swerve a way from a hazardous development path towards stewardship of natural resources and people-based development.”

He said majority of Cebuanos will be placed at risk should the coal-fired power plant project pushes through.

Pedrosa said the demonstration of Sanlakas and PMCJ was to remind the City Council of its resolution supporting a moratorium on the establishment of carbon-intensive and fossil fuel- based technologies in favor of transitioning to renewable sources of electricity.

Inday Olayer, of PMCJ, also said that they plan to furnish members of the City Council copies of the recently published Greenpeace study in partnership with her group, Harvard University, and local health nongovernmental organizations.

Citing a study, Olayer said: “The air pollutants from currently operating coalfired power plants cause an estimated 960 premature deaths each year and may rise up to 2,410, or more than double the current number of people dying from coal-related pollution in the Philippines. This is very alarming.”

Pro-environment groups said coal-fired power plants are the single largest stationary source of pollution in any country. The toxins these coal fired power plants produce severely damage both human health and the environment and contribute to a reduced quality of life.

Coal-fired power plants are responsible for release over 85% of total global carbon dioxide emissions, a prime contributor to global warming. Emissions from these power plants contain tens of dozens of toxic chemicals and the pollution they release every day are a major threat to human health and environment.

Coal-fired units produce electricity by burning coal in a boiler to heat water to produce steam. The steam, at tremendous pressure, flows into a turbine, which spins a generator to produce electricity. The steam is cooled, condensed back into water, and returned to the boiler to start the process over. But environmentalists say the coal-fired power plants will pollute the air and contribute to global warming.

Greenpeace said coalfired power plant is a clear threat to sustainable development.

“Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel and a main driver of climate change. There are hundreds of examples around the world where communities around coal plants suffer the impacts of environmental damage and health problems,” Greenpeace Southeast Asia campaigner, Amalie Obusan, said.

Greenpeace said data from the Department of Energy shows that there is already at least 50 megawatts geothermal energy project committed for Mindanao that will be operational by 2014 and another 300 megawatts of indicative renewable energy projects scheduled for 2011-2017.

It also cited data from the Philippine Solar Power Alliance which show that as much as 100 megawatts of solar service contracts for Mindanao have been submitted to the Department of Energy.

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