Senator Loren Legarda today commended local government units (LGUs) that have committed to pursuing resilient and sustainable development by shifting to the use of clean and renewable energy sources.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Climate Change, made the statement following the declaration of the local government of Negros Oriental that it will go coal-free and pursue to be an environment-friendly and clean energy province.
Through Executive Order 9, the provincial government declared that it “will cease the use of coal as an energy source due to the posing impacts of its high carbon emissions on health and global climate.”
This means that the local government of Negros Oriental will not issue any permit, authorization, or endorsements that support development and operation of coal-fired power plants. This is also in support of the national government’s commitments in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
“I laud the local government officials of Negros Oriental for choosing the sustainable path and for taking a huge step towards ensuring that the country meets its commitments in line with the Paris Agreement. But more than our international commitment, going coal-free means ensuring livable communities today and for the future,” said Legarda, UNISDR Global Champion for Resilience and UNFCCC National Adaptation Plan Champion.
Negros Oriental now joins other LGUs who are coal-free or have expressed commitment to be coal-free, such as Guimaras, which has a long history of resistance against fossil fuels and is now home to a 54-megawatt wind farm, the first in the Visayas; Ilocos Norte, which has long developed wind energy and now has hydroelectric power plant and solar farms; and Sorsogon, which also recently approved a provincial resolution prohibiting all offices and local government instrumentalities to issue any permit, authorization, endorsement or support the development of any coal-fired power plants in the province.
“Our accession to the Paris Agreement was a vital step towards our climate resilience efforts and equally crucial is the level of action that local governments will undertake. Local leaders must be at the forefront of climate action to ensure that solutions will address the specific climate vulnerabilities of communities. Thus, I commend these enlightened LGUs for leading their communities towards the better path of resilience and sustainability. I urge all other provinces to follow suit,” said Legarda.
“Choosing to go coal-free and shifting to clean and renewable energy sources is not just compliance with the Paris Agreement but also ensuring that our communities use energy sources that are more reliable, efficient and cheaper,” she added.
“Aside from going low-carbon, I also urge LGUs to craft their respective local climate change action plans (LCCAP) and adopt the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit goal in doing so. Let us do this because the future of our people and our environment, and the sustainability of our communities matter. Let us do this because the survival of the present and future generations lie in the decisions and actions that we take today,” Legarda concluded.