Filipino climate warriors hit Japan’s ‘growing push’ for fossil gas in Asia

Photo courtesy of APMDD
Photo courtesy of APMDD

FILIPINO climate advocates staged a protest in front of the Japanese embassy in Manila on Thursday, March 2, 2023, to oppose Japan’s "intensifying promotion" of the critical role of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) in providing energy security and the shift to hydrogen and ammonia as a replacement for fossil fuels.

“We register our strong opposition against fossil gas as transition fuel and reject the use of fossil-based technologies in Asia, such as hydrogen and ammonia. The Japanese government and financing institutions -- both public and private -- have been aggressively promoting fossil gas and hydrogen to capture the Asian market, especially those countries that are planning to shift away from coal,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD).

“However, fossil gas combustion is not different from coal in terms of negative impacts to climate, environment and public health,” said added.

In a statement, Nacpil maintained that fossil gas "is a dirty energy source that is also responsible for more global warming than previously known."

The protest, which was participated by members of Sanlakas, Oriang, Philippine Movement on Climate Justice (PMCJ), and other civil society groups happened as the 5th Japan Energy Summit was taking place in Tokyo from February 28 to March 2.

“We urge Japan to support real decarbonization, and not prolong other countries' dependence on fossil fuels. Decarbonization must mean phasing out fossil fuels, not expanding gas consumption and replacing fossil fuels with fossil-based technologies that will extend the life of fossil fuels far into the future,” said Flora Santos, president of Oriang.

“We likewise demand a clear policy to rapidly phase out fossil fuels and deploy renewable energy at a pace consistent with a 1.5°C pathway,” added Ian Rivera, PMCJ national coordinator.

Junior Tejino, president of Sanlakas-Rizal, said a just transition to clean energy systems while meeting energy security “needs is an enormous but not impossible task.”

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has set 2030 as the deadline for global greenhouse gas emissions to be halved to stabilize the climate and limit the global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius, according to the groups.

Citing a study, the climate campaigners said that Japan's goal of co-firing 20 percent ammonia at domestic coal power plants by 2030 would still generate nearly double the greenhouse gas emissions compared to standard gas-fired power plants.

“Even at rates of 50 percent ammonia co-firing, emissions would be comparable to emissions from gas power generation. Researchers have also found that blue hydrogen co-firing can produce more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional gas-fired power generation,” APMDD said. (SunStar Philippines)


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