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Filipinos urged to vote pro-environment candidates
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Filipinos urged to vote pro-environment candidates

FILIPINO voters are required to vote for candidates in the May 9 elections, which will push for the immediate ban on coal- and fossil gas-fed power stations in the country. This was according to a pro-environment coalition yesterday.

Leaders of civil society and church organizations called for support for candidates who will promote a pro-environment development pathway in the next six-years at a forum called “Pro-Filipino Climate and Environment Agenda”, which was held on the eve the official campaign period for national electoral posts.

In attendance were also Greenresearch, Living Laudato Si Philippines, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice and Caritas Philippines.

“We decried continued use of financial ressources to sustain highly polluting energies from coal, fossil fuel and extractive industries such as mining and logging that exacerbate climate vulnerabilities for communities exposed to it,” Bishop Gerardo Alminaza of San Carlos (Negros Occidental), stated.

According to the group, it is time for voters to elect leaders who will stop exploitative activities and support efforts to build climate resilient communities.

Alminaza stated that “we are faced with the immense responsibility of electing public servants who will lead us in either succeeding, or failing these tasks.”

The bishop shared their Negros Oriental experience, which he said showed just how much can be achieved when people work together.

Negro Oriental is now known for being the capital of renewable energy in the Philippines. Up to 97 percent the energy we produce on the island comes from RE.

Alminaza stated that the majority of electric cooperatives still receive electricity from coal plants on the island despite this.

“With the collaboration between CSOs academe, youth, consumers, and people’s organisations, we were able engage and assist our local governments units in steering Negros toward the path to sustainable power,” said the bishop.

Negros Oriental’s January 28th, 2008 RE ordinance was the first of its type. It rejects all fossil fuels. It also aims to align the province with the 1.5-degrees Centigrade Paris Goal.

Negros Occidental is currently creating its road map to 100 percent RE.

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