By Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 25, 2016 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines – The Lopez Group, one of the country’s major energy players, yesterday took a bold stance against the use of coal to generate power.
“I’m certain that without having to look to fear, this country already has energy alternatives that do not mortgage the future of our children and the future of our planet,” First Philippine Holdings chairman Federico Lopez said during the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting.
He said the Lopez Group would set an example by not launching any coal-fired power plant.
“Today, let me state unequivocally and for the record that FPH and its subsidiaries will not build, develop or invest in any coal-fired power plant,” he said.
Lopez is hoping that regulators and other energy players wil realize the urgency of moving toward a decarbonised economy.
“It is our aim that FPH and its subsidiaries will be among the bright navigating beacons ofPhilippine industry, lighting pathways toward a decarbonized economy. It will not be easy; we will have to explore many roads not yet taken and new business models that challenge old paradigms. This is precisely how opportunities will be created and won.
I’m hopeful that soon, more in the Philippine business sector will move toward those junctions where their economic interests converge with that of society and the environment as well,” Lopez said.
These are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary change and everyone must shift to thinking about the quickest route to a decarbonized economy. The technology to do this is already here. It’s just our mindsets and our conversations that need to be transformed,” he added.
At present, the Philippines has 17 operating coal plants. An additional 29 new coal plants will be online by 2020, according to the Department of Energy.
FPH is the Lopez Group’s holding company with principal interests in power, real estate, manufacturers and energy services.