Catholic Church airs strong opposition to coal mining

Source: 
http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/499602/economy/agricultureandmining/catholic-church-airs-strong-opposition-to-coal-mining
Date of publication: 
6 June, 2015

A Philippine Catholic Church official on Friday voiced “strong opposition” to coal mining, saying it may contribute greatly to climate change and endanger the ecosystem and people’s health.

National Secretariat for Social Action, Justice, and Peace (NASSA)/Caritas Philippines executive secretary Fr. Edwin Gariguez lamented the government had been backing mining operations by asking for emergency power.

“In the guise of providing more efficient energy source, higher tax revenues and the so-called greater development, the state and the multinational coal companies are opening another door for Philippines to becoming the major contributor to climate change,” an article on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines news site quoted Gariguez as saying.

Gariguez made this statement during the launch of the “One Million Against Coal Campaign,” which seeks a million signatures to resist the construction of coal-powered plants and coal mines.

The petition likewise seeks to persuade the government to honor its commitment of mitigating climate change effects and preventing natural calamities.

Gariguez added those in power should also not disregard the health and lives of people in favor of the power plants.

He cited showing carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired plants are a primary source of global warming and may have fatal effects on the environment and the people, especially pregnant mothers and their babies.

“The catastrophe we experienced from Typhoon Yolanda, which killed thousands and damaged billions of properties, is proof to this,” he said.

26 new coal plant projects

The CBCP cited data from the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice showing there are 26 new coal plant projects expected to operate in the country by 2020.

One of these is the 1,200-megawatt Atimonan One Energy power plant extension project in Quezon province.

It is expected to be the third coal plant in the province, along with the Mauban and Pagbilao coal plants.

NASSA/Caritas Philippines and the Lucena diocese are protesting the proposal. — Joel Locsin/LBG, GMA News