Why is the Philippines so focused on coal?

Although fossil fuels are the single biggest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, coal continues to be supported by both the government and businesses in the Philippines.While it is the cheapest fuel option, coal is also the most polluting one.

27 November 2019

Can radar tech clean up the palm oil industry?

The recent announcement that 10 of the world’s largest palm oil producers and buyers are supporting the development of a “new, publicly available radar-based forest monitoring system” may be nothing more than a publicity stunt.After all, technology is not the answer to solving one of Southeast Asia’s most pressing environmental problems – the effective implementation and enforcement of policies is.The slash-and-burn method is the cheapest and fastest way to clear land for farming, and over th

15 November 2019

Duterte’s push for ‘clean coal’

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has come under fire for referring to a newly-opened coal-fired power plant as “clean”, raising concerns about the country’s focus on renewable energy in the face of its increasing energy needs.The 500-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Mauban, Quezon, will provide additional energy supply to the Luzon grid and boost Duterte’s Build, Build, Build infrastructure program according to the Presidential Communications Operations Office.The US$1.1 billion pl

29 October 2019

ASEAN promises to tackle ocean waste

With Southeast Asia awash in rubbish, from plastic-choked whales to trash-clogged canals, its leaders are planning to push through a deal to fight maritime debris at a regional meeting this weekend. Just five Asian countries – China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand – dump more than half of the eight million tonnes of plastic waste that end up in oceans every year, according to a 2017 Ocean Conservancy report.The region has come under fire for not doing enough to tack

23 June 2019

ASEAN lacks crucial data on air pollution

A large portion of the population in Southeast Asia do not have proper information on the air they breathe every day.Released on Tuesday, the 2018 World Air Quality Report from Greenpeace and AirVisual found that while 95 percent of Southeast Asian cities surveyed exceeded the World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual exposure guideline, the lack of data from four countries makes it harder for their citizens to be well informed about the daily health risks they face.The repor

7 March 2019

The implications of Philippine’s increased coal tax

The recent hike in coal tax in the Philippines by the Bicameral Conference Committee approving the adjustment of tax on coal from P10 per ton in 1977-2017, to P50 in 2018, P100 in 2019, and P150 in 2020, have sparked debate amongst experts and consumers.

20 January 2018