Gov. Roel Degamo said yesterday that Negros Oriental will not allow the development of coal-fired power plant, as it is pushing for renewable and clean energy to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.
The governor confirmed in an interview that he signed in late March Executive Order No. 9, adopting a policy that Negros Oriental shall “not issue any permit, authorization, endorsement, or any expression of support” to the establishment of coal-fired power plants due to its abundant natural resources, as well as its desire to keep the province clean and green.
A mechanical engineer by profession, Degamo said he understands the implications of having a coal-fired power plant in the province.
“For me, there would be massive destruction to the environment if we develop or establish a power plant using coal because of its massive carbon dioxide emission,” he said.
Degamo said that according to the Climate Change Commission’s report, coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of man-made emissions, which account for 35 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The governor also noted the province’s “rich and diverse natural resources”, and said Negros Oriental is “among the few places in the country where people remain in harmony with nature while its economy continues to develop and flourish.”
Degamo is encouraging more local and international tourism activities, with various eco-tourism destinations already in place, and some more being developed.
“We will push for renewable and clean energy (instead), like for example, solar energy, windmill, hydro power, and geothermal plants,” he said, adding, “These are what we should continue because they are not destructive.”
So far, the Capitol has not received any application yet for the development or establishment of a coal-fired power plant in Negros Oriental.
The governor said the signing of EO 9 is just in anticipation of what could take place in the future.
“For as long as I am the governor of the province, the executive order will remain,” he warned, adding that the prospect of establishing coal-fired power plant is “non-negotiable.”*PNA
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