Seize Your Power by WWF & Gregg Yan Press Release:

With a global call to action urging governments and financial institutions to increase investments in renewable energy (RE) to at least US$40 billion (approximately PHP 1.68 trillion) over the next year, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) today launched its new international campaign under the slogan Seize Your Power!

 “We are running out of time. If we continue to rely on fossil fuels, we will face a future of worsening air pollution and an increasingly inhospitable climate. It is our collective responsibility to commit to the future we want. We’re calling on political and financial decision-makers to seize their power and make the switch to sustainable, clean and renewable energy sources to finally end the inertia brought about by decades of reliance on coal, oil and gas,” declares WWF International Director General Jim Leape.

The campaign was launched on World Environment Day and generated a plethora of online activity. The main call-to-action centered on signing a pledge to enable supporters to call for increased RE investments and phase out coal, oil and gas investments.

The pledge, which can be found at http://www.panda.org/seizeyourpower, calls on both financial institutions and governments to act immediately by making stronger commitments to increase financing for RE technologies and policies. WWF calls on investors to choose RE over coal.

WWF now seeks major public commitments from governments and international financial institutions to usher in US$40 billion in investments for the RE sector.

The public campaign will go live in over 20 countries to target public finance, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds. By establishing a business case for moving new money into RE, the campaign will reveal the environmental, social and economic risks of our current dependence on dirty energy sources.

The Bangui Mills 2013 by Gregg Yan (B)The Philippines has a special role in the campaign as Palawan has been chosen as one of the battlegrounds for the shift to RE. Plans to build a coal plant are in the works, despite the fact that cheaper and cleaner RE sources like hydropower are locally available.

“In the end, it is all about predictability. In a climate-defined future where everything is becoming more unpredictable, stability and control mean everything. It is time to accept the true costs of dirty, expensive fossil fuels and to invest in the cleaner, better long-term option, which is RE,” explains WWF-Philippines Vice-chair and CEO Jose Ma. Lorenzo Tan. “The call to action we’re launching today is an invitation for our decision makers to invest in the future we want. The world is changing. Let us get onboard and be part of the future.”

While US$40 billion is only the start of the amount needed, WWF believes fresh investments are essential turning points to shift funds from risky fossil fuels into RE.

“WWF fully supports the call of numerous local groups in Palawan to do away with plans to build a coal-fired power plant – and to instead invest in the province’s rich RE resources,” explains WWF-Philippines Climate Change and Energy Programme Director Atty. Gia Ibay. “Local hydropower is available to meet Palawan’s future energy needs. This will be far cheaper than the proposed coal plant. Why should we force our countrymen to buy dirty, expensive fossil fuels when cleaner and cheaper alternatives are already available?”

Already climate change effects are mounting, with more vicious storms and floods battering the country.

“Whether we like it or not, the world is changing. We can choose to ignore it – or we can act,” concludes Tan. “Investing in RE is one concrete thing we can do to limit dangerous climate change, reduce risks to human health and safeguard the future of the Philippines. This new opportunity is staring us in the face. What are we going to do about it?”(30)

To know more about WWF’s Seize Your Power campaign, visit http://www.panda.org/seizeyourpower or Like WWF-Philippines on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter (@WWF_Philippines) for more updates.

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