Advocating for a Nuclear-Free Energy Transition: LCCB Institutional Environmental Advocacy Program at “Nuclear sa Negros?” Forum

The LCCB Institutional Environmental Advocacy Program attended the “Nuclear sa Negros? A Forum on Nuclear-Free Energy Transition to Renewable Energy,” organized by the Negrosanon Initiatives for Climate and Environment (NICE), held at the University of St. La Salle Bacolod last August 9, 2023. The forum provided a platform for various environmental groups and student councils to engage in impassioned discussions surrounding the province’s energy future.

The LCCB Institutional Environmental Advocacy Program (IEAP), was represented by its Coordinator, Mr. Adryan J. Valiao. Joining him are student leaders from the LCCB Supreme Student Government and the LCCB Corps of Student Ambassadors. The event saw a convergence of youthful enthusiasm and experienced perspectives, all united by a common goal: to push for a nuclear-free energy transition towards renewable sources.

The forum commenced with a rationale by Mr. Joshua Villalobos, an alumnus of the LCCB Senior High School and now a prominent personality in the environmental movement in the province. Mr. Villalobos eloquently set the tone for the discussions, emphasizing the urgency of addressing the energy challenges facing Negros Occidental.

Central to the forum’s discussions was a presentation by Mr. Kevin Yu, Energy Campaigner from Greenpeace Philippines, entitled “The Threat of Nuclear Energy in Negros Occidental.” Mr. Yu delved into the potential risks and environmental concerns associated with nuclear energy, shedding light on the complexities of adopting such a technology in the region. His presentation underscored the necessity of exploring safer and more sustainable alternatives, aligning with the larger goal of transitioning to renewable sources.

Following Mr. Yu’s talk, an open forum ensued, featuring a panel of esteemed reactors, including Former Provincial Governor Rafael Coscolluela and Ms. Jeanette Patindol, among others. Most. Rev. Gerardo Alminaza, Bishop of the Diocese of San Carlos, also shared his insights through a recorded video presentation. The diverse panel engaged in a spirited exchange of ideas, addressing concerns and sharing insights on the various facets of the energy transition debate. The event provided a rare opportunity for attendees to gain knowledge from individuals with extensive experience in environmental policy and advocacy.

The culmination of the forum showcased a presentation on NICE, the newly-formed environmental group that spearheaded the event. The presentation was accompanied by a discussion on the ways forward in the nuclear-free energy transition to renewable energy.” As the event drew to a close, it was emphasized that Negros Occidental is considered as a “hope-spot” for renewable energy in the country. However, participants acknowledged that significant efforts and collaboration are required to fully realize this vision.

In an era characterized by climate concerns and a growing push for sustainable solutions, the “Nuclear sa Negros?” forum served as a platform for earnest conversations about the energy landscape in Negros Occidental. As attendees dispersed, their shared commitment to fostering a nuclear-free and renewable energy transition lingered in the air, a testament to the power of informed dialogue and collective action.