11/22/2018, 17.24
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Island of Negros, bishops in defense of the environment: No to coal-fired power plant

"We must work together to access clean, renewable and sustainable energy". The plant, proposed by SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., provides a total 300 megawatts of power. The bishops warn the population of the risky social, environmental and health impact.

Bacolod City (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The bishops of Negros, an island in the Visayas archipelago, are appealing to the local population to oppose the construction of a coal-fired power plant in the city of San Carlos (Negros Occidental).

A joint declaration published today was signed by Msgr. Gerardo Alimane Alminaza, bishop of San Carlos; Msgr. Patricio Abella Buzon (photo), bishop of Bacolod; Msgr. Julito Buhisan Cortes, bishop of Dumaguete; Msgr. Louie Patalinghug Galbines, bishop of Kabankalan.

The plant, proposed by SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., provides a total power of 300 megawatts. The bishops point the finger at "the dark spectrum of fossil fuels", which "exacerbate climate change, threatening resources, the environment, health and sustainable development". Let us work together to increase access to clean, renewable, and sustainable energy. Let us affirm our commitment to stewardship and to a clean development path that says no to coal and yes to renewable energy technologies that are accessible to everyone,” they said.

The bishops recall the directives of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN) on the phasing out of fossil fuels by 2050. They also suggest that the construction of a coal-fired power plant would take many years and millions of pesos, exposing the country to further debts. To this would be added its risky social, environmental and health impact. "“Let us stand firm together in Negros — with each other and with our civic leaders — to oppose any new coal-fired power plants and to phase out those still in operation,” the bishops urged.

Msgr. Alminaza, Msgr. Buzon, Msgr. Cortes and Msgr. Galbines conclude their appeal by quoting the speech given by Pope Francis in a meeting with the managers of the energy sector on June 9th. "The desire to ensure energy for all must not lead to the undesired effect of a spiral of extreme climate changes due to a catastrophic rise in global temperatures, harsher environments, and increased levels of poverty.”

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