At the COP 26, the Duterte administration pledges to cut local carbon emissions and transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient society according to its Sustainable Finance Roadmap and its Guiding Principles. Yet its mining and energy policies go in the opposite direction and ruin the environment.
The lifting of the moratorium on new mining agreements paves the way for more projects that destroy indigenous and non-indigenous communities, livelihoods, and the environment — with paltry gains for the domestic economy, and foreign economies benefiting the most from the country’s minerals.
Over the last 15 years, the share of renewable energy in the power mix has fallen while that of fossil fuels especially coal has risen. The renewable energy program often even harms the environment: geothermal plants destroy forest cover and disturb the natural habitat; hydropower dams submerge lands, disrupt ecosystems, and displace communities; and biofuel farms overuse synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fossil fuel.
These adverse mining and energy outcomes are because of the bias for profit-seeking big business and foreign investments even at the expense of the people and our natural resources. Administration hype about its efforts to address the climate crisis is just a smokescreen for its unreformed profits-over-people-and-planet stance.