Green groups reaffirm commitment to fight ‘unjust’ policies 

June 5, 2022

Pro-environment groups on Sunday marked the observance of the World Environment Day with a reaffirmation of commitment to “fight injustice at all levels” under the new Marcos government. 

In a statement, Green Thumb Coalition said it anticipates “the already small democratic and civic spaces for citizen engagement will continue to shrink as this administration employs fear-based approaches and harassment against its critics.”

“We proclaim that we will intensify our resistance against policies and projects that are environmentally destructive while we strive for people-centered sustainable development,” the statement read. 

The group warned against human rights violations that “will persist” amidst the impacts to Filipinos of “increasing debts, higher taxes, and insufficient social services.”

“In this context, we fear that the impacts of climate change and the destruction of the environment will be inadequately addressed,” the group said.

Jaybee Garganera, co-convenor of the group, said under the presidency of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., “we can only surmise that the next six years would be besmirched by more disinformation as the government pursues more exploitative and extractive developmental strategies.”

He also warned that the culture of impunity “will persist along with projects destructive of the environment and grassroots communities.” 

Living Laudato Si’ Philippines (LLS) denounced the “obsession” of the president-elect of reviving nuclear power in the country. 

A few days after winning the election, Marcos Jr. met with  Kim Inchul, South Korea’s ambassador to Manila, to discuss reviving the 620-MW Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. 

The US$ 2.3 billion nuclear plant was initiated by the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr.

Rodne Galicha, executive director of LLS, said environmental groups and other sectors “must come together to educate the public about the harm that the nuclear plant will bring.”

“We must counter and fight the massive disinformation and misinformation campaign about the nuclear plant spreading in social media. The public must realize that this nuclear plant is a trainwreck waiting to happen,” said Galicha.   

On June 1, Greenpeace Philippines debunked the claims of Marcos Jr. that nuclear power is the “cleanest and cheapest” energy source.

Greenpeace Campaigner Khevin Yu said Marcos Jr. ‘s statements are “not true” and “dangerous assertions,” adding that nuclear power is the most dangerous and most expensive way to produce electricity.

Yu said that based on the 2020 report by Lazard, the Levelized Cost of Operating Energy (LCOE) of solar is around US$36 – 44 per Megawatts Hour (MWh), while nuclear costs US$112-189 per MWh.

He said Marcos Jr.’s policy on nuclear energy is a distraction to the country’s journey on achieving energy transition, “as this could derail investments on renewable energy, undermine ongoing policy efforts, propel high electricity prices, and bring in risks of radioactive contamination and nuclear meltdown.” 

Yu challenged the new administration to present its plans “for when a nuclear disaster happens.” He also urged the President-elect to focus on advancing renewable energy.

“With around 800 Gigawatts of untapped renewable energy in the country, the priority of the new administration should be strengthening the Philippines’ transition to wind and solar energy, which will provide reliable and cheap electricity and benefit every Filipino,” he said. 

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