A province-wide environmental group has marked the celebration of the Laudato Si’ Week with a renewed call for renewable and clean energy sources.
“In our province, Laudato Si’ was a strong encouragement in the fight against proposed coal-fired power plants,” said Catholic priests Warren Puno and Noel Villareal in a statement issued by Quezon for Environment on May 24.
Quezon province is labeled as the country’s coal capital because it is host to a number of coal-fired power plant projects.
The biggest of these projects was the 1,200 MW coal project of Atimonan One Energy (A1E), a company owned by Meralco PowerGen (MGen). The project was canceled earlier this year after over seven years of opposition from communities, the Church, and various pro-environment organizations.
The priests said the benefits of renewable energy of affordable and reliable electricity, green jobs, clean power, and climate hope “are stark as ever today.”
They also said that Laudato Si’ has helped the campaign against dirty energy sources to propel “broad and ambitious commitment and action from the Catholic Church and interfaith movements.”
The priests, however, said that dirty energy projects still threaten the province because of the “2,400 MW project set to be powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG).”
“Like coal, LNG is a fossil fuel that produces emissions that harm our climate, and would subject communities and the environment in [Quezon] to pollution.,” the priests said.
“We will not allow dirty energy from LNG to harm our province more than the whole fleet of fossil fuel plants operating here already has,” they added.
Laudato Si’ Week 2023 is celebrated from May 21 to 28, to mark the eighth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical.