Groups demand renewable energy in another protest rally in Manila

Groups demand renewable energy in another protest rally in Manila
Asia Press Photo

FILIPINO climate campaigners staged another protest action in front of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in Manila on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, calling on the delegates to this year’s Asia Clean Energy Forum (ACEF) “to enable Asia’s rapid transition to renewable energy systems by 2050. “

“We urge ACEF to walk its talk on accelerating the clean energy transition, to go beyond discussion of insights and approaches that accelerate the clean energy transition and instead act as a forum to push and enable Asian countries to achieve fossil fuel phase out by 2035 and just and equitable transition to 100 percent renewables by 2050,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD).

ADB, along with the United States Agency for International Development (USAid) and the Korea Energy Agency (KEA), is hosting hundreds of clean energy practitioners from Asia for the 19th edition of ACEF from June 3 to 7, the groups said.

On June 3, the same advocacy groups held a protest in front of the Japanese Embassy in Manila to demand the Japanese government to end its fossil expansion projects in the Asian region.

“In Asia, millions of people still have no access to electricity while many more are making do with dirty fuel that leads to premature deaths or with unreliable but costly electricity. We must strive to transition to clean energy that can provide accessible and affordable power for all,” Nacpil said in a statement to the media.

Sanlakas national president Manjette Lopez reiterated their call towards ACEF participating countries’ public financial institutions “to make an immediate, wholesale shift of fossil fuel financing to renewable energy financing to fund the rapid integration of more renewable energy capacity, particularly wind and solar, into the power mix in the region.”

“Public financial institutions, as well as private banks, continue to finance and underwrite fossil fuel projects despite warnings that there is no more room for new oil, gas and coal within this decade if we want to keep global warming to a level that is safe for people and the planet. Governments, especially those participating in ACEF, touting the urgency of a clean energy transition can make this happen quickly if they make a shift to financing renewables now.” she said.

This year’s ACEF theme is on “Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition and Ensuring Energy Security and Affordability – Time for Urgent Action Now”.

Participants include government agencies, private sector, equipment and service providers, financiers, philanthropic organizations, researchers and non-governmental organizations.

“Achieving Asia’s just transition to clean energy requires significant financing for renewable energy projects. We also need financing to rapidly phase out coal. We urge ACEF to walk its talk by enabling a total coal exit in Asia and complete replacement with solar and wind,” added Ian Rivera, coordinator of Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ).

Citing a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the groups said that “without strong, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and reaching net zero carbon emissions, the risks and adverse impacts from climate change will escalate with increasing global warming.” (Ronald O. Reyes/SunStar Philippines)

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