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Catholic Groups Urge Duterte to Reject Coal, Ban Fossil Fuels

They say that the government is "not serious" about curbing carbon emissions, as the country is still largely dependent on coal.

Caritas Philippines, the Catholic Church’s social action arm believes that President Rodrigo Duterte should “walk the talk” when it comes to energy types the government is backing.

Moreover, Caritas Philippines has challenged the president to show sincerity about his administration’s push for renewable energy sources in the country. (Read: How Typhoon Yolanda Inspired This Millennial to Fight for Climate Justice)

During his 5th State of the Nation Address in July, Duterte ordered government agencies to fast-track the development of renewable energy and reduce the country’s dependence on “dirty, deadly, and costly” energy sources such as coal.

To do this, Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo of Kidapawan and National Director of Caritas Philippines said, one thing the government can do is to revoke the licenses of coal-dependent companies. (Read: Pasig River Clean-Up to Roll Out as Part of New Expressway Project)

Reject Coal, Ban Fossil Fuels

Coal gathered from the shores of Quirino, Bacnotan in La Union, after tons of coal spilled from the nearby Holcim cement factory. (Photo from Raffy Lerma / Greenpeace)

According to data from Greenpeace International, there have been reports of the government issuing licenses to coal-dependent corporations. They say that this only shows that the government is not serious about curbing the country’s carbon emissions.

This is why, to mark the fifth anniversary of the publication of Pope Francis’ Laudato si’, Filipino bishops and lay groups released a joint statement renouncing coal as a source of energy.

The statement called coal the “dirtiest of all fossil fuels and the single biggest contributor to the climate emergency.” (Read: 3 Ways Apple Inc. Helps in the Fight Against Climate Change) They also called upon all private energy players to start the transition to clean energy.


The initiatives and calls for clean energy of the Philippine Catholic Church come as Christians all over the world celebrate this year’s Season of Creation—an annual celebration of prayer and action to protect God’s creation.

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