Community members and clean energy advocates in Quezon staged protests on Friday against the continued operation and expansion of coal-fired power plants in the province.
The group cited the alleged detrimental impact of the fossil fuel on local livelihood, environment, and the health or residents.
Energy and climate advocacy networks Power for People Coalition (P4P) and Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) led the protects joined by communities and grassroots organizations to demand a cancellation of coal projects in the pipeline.
The groups said in a statement they want to cancel coal projects, especially those that have failed to secure endorsements from the Department of Energy (DOE).
The groups also reiterated their call to decommission existing coal projects through the coal moratorium declared by DOE.
“Quezon is not a dump for pollution from coal. To the DOE, President Duterte, and all energy companies that keep forcing more coal in our province and across the Philippines, the Church and communities here will continue to stand together and fight for our right to a clean environment and clean air,” Fr. Warren Puno, convenor of the province-wide environmental group Quezon for Environment (QUEEN) and Director of the Ministry of Ecology of the Diocese of Lucena, said in a statement.
Quezon province, which was recently devastated by Typhoons Quinta, Rolly, and Ulysses, is currently home to three operating coal-fired power plants with an installed capacity of 2,200 megawatts (MW).
The groups said another 3,600 MW more of coal plants are in the pipeline, thus turning Quezon into the country’s “coal capital.”