PH priest on Europe mission to halt fossil gas financing

FRANKFURT/MANILA—A Filipino priest is touring prime European banks to demand they curtail ties with firms behind new fossil gas tasks in a area of his house nation that’s wealthy in fish and coral. However he’s leaving his conferences with bankers feeling pissed off.

The priest, Edwin Gariguez, and the environmentalists accompanying him are simply the most recent activists from across the globe to make a case in individual to banks that they need to be bolder in slicing off financing for polluting industries.

Gariguez and his colleagues are calling on banks—together with Commonplace Chartered, Barclays, Deutsche Financial institution and UBS—to cease lending, underwriting and investing in Shell and the conglomerate San Miguel. Each are behind new and deliberate liquefied pure fuel (LNG) terminals within the so-called Verde Island Passage—a area he calls the “Amazon of the oceans.”


Many large banks have been advertising themselves as lenders that companies can flip to as they transition to a greener future, a technique they view as additionally key to boosting income. The lenders have favored a gradual strategy, tightening their insurance policies on financing the coal trade however slower to clamp down on oil and fuel financing in a disappointment to activists.

“It’s actually irritating on my half,” Gariguez mentioned on a stopover in Frankfurt after conferences with Deutsche Financial institution and DWS. “We anticipate accountability and a extra significant response, but it surely’s not coming.”

Livelihoods misplaced

Commonplace Chartered, Deutsche Financial institution and UBS responded with separate statements saying they have interaction with nongovernment organizations and had been working to scale back emissions. They didn’t touch upon purchasers however mentioned they’ve pointers in place for financing.

Barclays, DWS, Shell and San Miguel didn’t reply.

Earlier this 12 months, a tanker sank off the close by province of Oriental Mindoro carrying 800,000 liters (211,338 gallons) of business gas oil, threatening reefs, mangroves and sea-grass.

Gariguez mentioned the catastrophe had contaminated the fish eaten by him and his parishioners, highlighting urgency and threat.

“Folks actually misplaced their livelihood,” he mentioned.

Gariguez, previously head of humanitarian group Caritas Philippines, gained the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2012 and presently coordinates the activist group ProtectVIP.

LNG tasks

Shell, which has proposed new LNG terminals within the space, says on its web site it really works with communities to deal with their issues and goals to “keep away from or scale back any opposed impacts.”

San Miguel, whose pale pilsner is thought in lots of elements of the world and is now one of many largest energy producers in Philippines, goals to restart its 1,200-megawatt Ilijan energy plant in Batangas with LNG saved close by.

On its web site, San Miguel says: “As sustainability champions, we maintain ourselves accountable.”

The nation’s Division of Vitality sees LNG as a “transition gas,” because it strikes away from coal-fired energy era towards extra renewable power.


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