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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Greenpeace Statement on Executive Order 774

'Executive Order 774 ridiculous and confused'
Manila, PHILIPPINES — Yesterday, MalacaƱang announced that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has issued Executive Order 774 which reorganizes the Presidential Task Force on Climate Change which she now heads.

Greenpeace Southeast Asia Climate and Energy Campaigner Amalie Obusan said:

"Although the intent of the Executive Order 774 to step up environmental protection may seem sincere and creditable, the Executive Order is itself ridiculous and confused. Greenpeace believes that this casts serious doubt on the effectiveness of such a body and calls on the President to instead implement real and tangible climate change solutions.

"The reorganized Task Force, now headed by the President, basically mandates all government agencies and local governments to comply with laws and responsibilities that the said agencies should already be doing in the first place:
  • it tasks all government agencies to follow the Solid Waste Act, which by law should actually be already be implemented;
  • it tasks the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to survey, map and protect watershed areas, which is already one of the responsibilities of the DENR;
  • it mandates that waterways and riverbanks should be cleared of obstructions—already directed under the Clean Water Act;
  • it orders a compliance audit of the Fisheries Code—a task that is already the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture; and
  • it directs a Task Group on Renewable Energy for the Energy Department to lead the swift implementation the Renewable Energy Law--precisely already the duty of the DOE.
"Additionally, EO 774 attempts to make the PTFCC a body that comprehensively addresses as many climate mitigation and adaptation strategies as possible--including it seems, strategies on promoting traditional medicine. While commendable on its own, clauses such as this and the above in the EO betray the government's lack of seriousness on getting down to business on the real causes of climate change.

"Climate change is the greatest environmental threat the world faces today, any Climate Change Task Force should focus on wide-reaching and lasting solutions, beginning with phasing out coal and nuclear plants, and initiating a massive shift to renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

"The President is already head of the government. To appoint herself as chair of a body which mandates government agencies to fulfill what are already their responsibilities--and to put aside budget for that purpose--is absurd. If, in mandating this reorganization, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo wants to fashion herself as a 'climate change czar,' she could do a lot more by personally ensuring the effective implementation of the RE Law and guaranteeing that dirty coal and nuclear energy will not override the mainstreaming of clean, renewable energy sources in the country."

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Well, what do you think?

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