Philippine Environment Advocates Warn of Fossil Gas Expansion Impact
Quezon City, National Capital Region, Philippines, 13th Jun 2022, King NewsWire, Church, fisherfolk, and environmental groups demand a “thorough rethink of plans to increase reliance on fossil gas” in the Philippines. The group raised concerns over the ecological impact of said developments particularly in marine biodiversity hotspots such as Verde Island Passage.
The call is backed by findings of studies produced by think-tank Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) and Caritas Philippines (CBCP-NASSA) on the quality and marine ecology of waters along an existing 1,200 MW gas-fired power plant and two new gas projects in Barangay Ilijan in Batangas Bay – a liquefied natural gas (LNG terminal of Linseed Field Power Corporation and Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Co., and a new 1,750 MW power plant of a subsidiary of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) Global Power.
“We are in solidarity with communities that are already or set to be impacted by it, and we stand firm in our commitment to fight dirty energy and care for this earth we call home,” said Fr. Tony Labiao, Executive Secretary of Caritas Philippines, the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
The studies’ water quality analysis showed that the presence of key pollutants and heavy metals such as phosphates, chromium, copper, lead and others have reached alarming levels from exposure to industrial activities. Marine ecology findings, meanwhile, show that while less fish biodiversity and fish abundance is present in the waters next to the project sites compared to the rest of the VIP due to stressors, fish biomass remains high. Existing biodiversity in the Linseed-AG&P and SMC project sites, however, have already been subjected to destruction from construction operations.
Verde Island Passage is a marine biodiversity hotspot known as the center of the center of marine shore fish biodiversity in the world, housing 60% of all known shore fish species and thousands of other species. It is, however, also the epicenter of fossil gas projects in the Philippines, a fossil fuel touted as a clean alternative to coal. 5 of 6 existing gas fired power plants, 8 planned new LNG and fossil gas plants, and 7 new LNG terminals are intended to be built here. This is but a portion of the 29.9 GW fossil gas power and 9 LNG terminals in the national pipeline.
“What we see and will see happening in VIP will be mirrored in communities host to fossil gas projects across the country. The gas industry has been peddling lies of its ability to provide cheap, clean, and reliable electricity. All-time high gas prices today prove this is not true, and the glimpse we get to see today of the environmental destruction it can cause proves that it is simply unwise to go for fossil gas expansion. Unfortunately, this is the direction our next government seems intent on taking – and this calls for a thorough rethinking,” said Gerry Arances, Executive Director of CEED.
Media Contact: CEED Philippines
Contact Person: Aryanne De Ocampo
Email: Send Email
State: National Capital Region
City: Quezon City
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