Strong typhoon underscores need to abandon fossil fuels, green group says

September 29, 2022

Renewable energy advocates on Monday, September 26, marked the 13th year of the onslaught of Typhoon Ondoy, which left nearly 800 people dead around the capital Manila, with a call for “a drastic move away” from dirty energy sources.

Typhoon Ondoy (international name: Ketsana), which devastated the Philippines on Sept. 26, 2009, was considered the most devastating tropical cycle to hit the capital Manila.

It brought a record 17.9 inches of rain in just over 24 hours that resulted in flash floods.

“Destructive typhoons, including those termed ‘once in a century’ or ‘once in a decade’ in terms of their power, have become an almost annual occurrence in the Philippines due to the climate emergency,” said Gerry Arances of the Power for People Coalition (P4P).

Arances made the statement a day after the onslaught of another severe weather disturbance, super typhoon Karding (international name: Noru), which lashed Luzon Island with torrential rain and fierce winds.

He said climate emergency is happening because the world “continues to use fossil fuels like coal and natural gas, despite warnings aired for decades that it would lead the world to disaster.”

Arances lambasted the Philippine government for expanding the use of dirty energy sources “despite our country being a punching bag for super typhoons.”

“How many more super typhoons must hit us before our government wakes up to facts? It’s time to act, and act quickly,” he said.

About 76.1 percent of the total power generation in the country comes from coal and natural gas. Recently, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. declared support for the use of fossil gas as a “transition fuel” to renewable energy.

“We find it terrible that we are marking the anniversary of one destructive typhoon while being in the grips of another, more powerful typhoon. The Filipino people deserve better,” said Arances.

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