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Show off your writing skills

Publish an article on fossil fuels and climate change to compete for our journalism workshop.

Win a spot at our workshop

Fully-funded fellowship, including travel costs and accommodation!

Learn from The BEST!

Expect some impressive mentors: you’ll be taught by TOP media and climate experts, both before and during the workshop!

Good news for all aspiring environmental journalists, writers and activists out there! Climate Tracker is returning to the Philippines with a new and exciting workshop on climate change journalism! Join us in Manilla and meet national and international experts in environmental reporting.

Do you care about the environment? Do you use your pen, camera or voice to communicate on climate change issues in the Philippines? Would you love to meet people who do the same and get taught by experts to do it better? Then this is something for you!

Climate Tracker is looking for young journalists and activists to write about the fossil fuel industry in the Philippines: publish an article, blogpost or multimedia piece and make a chance to win a fully-funded fellowship to our expert workshop in Manilla.

Submit the URL of your article through the Climate Tracker App before May the 11th and join the Climate Tracker team in Manilla!

Join the competition here!

What should I write about?

The Philippines is suffering from a serious addiction: it is affecting its citizens health, causing massive environmental destruction, and damaging its economy. The country is addicted to coal!

The Philippines has a growing economy that has been investing massively in fossil fuels for its increased energy needs: fossils power close to three quarters of the Philippines’ electricity requirements, with the remaining quarter coming from RE. Moreover, the country is planning 28 new coal-fired power plants (of which 22 are in the pre-permit stage), and an additional 21 are already under construction! Up to the year 2040 the Philippines will steadily keep increasing its coal-fired power capacity.

Only about 15% of all coal plants have official permits, which means the majority of coal plants have not gone through an adequate economic and environmental assessment prior to their construction. This proliferation of poorly regulated coal plants jeopardizes the future of the country, locking it into coal use for several more decades without taking into account the effects for the local environment, the national economy and the global climate.  

The Philippines has 95 coal plants that are currently operating, under construction or have been announced. Many of which operate without an official permit.

Despite relatively ambitious climate targets for the Philippines – cutting emissions by 70% below business as usual by 2030 – a high uncertainty remains as to whether Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte intends to take any substantial action required to meet its Paris climate commitment or whether his government will weaken it.

The recent announcements on continued support for coal-based electricity generation – including 7,560 MW in pre-construction development and 4,581 MW in construction – and the increasing coal-fired power capacity up to the year 2040 add significantly to this uncertainty.

Nonetheless, there is an alternative: the Department of Energy has admitted the country has untapped Renewable Energy potential for electric power generation of no less than 250,000 MW – broken down into hydro, 10,000 MW; ocean energy, 170,000 MW; geothermal, 4,000; wind, 76,600 MW; solar, 5 kWh/m2/day; and biofuels sugar cogen, rice husk, and coconut, 500 MW.

The growing potential for solar energy in the Philippines was recently demonstrated by an agreement with the energy company Meralco to sell its solar power at US$58 per MWh, half the cost of the company’s price for coal power. Despite the obvious advantages of renewable energy investments in PH, the national Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) 2009-2030 gives priority to fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal. According to the plan, the department’s number one policy thrust of energy security is to “accelerate the exploration and development of oil, gas and coal resources,” much ahead of the “development and utilization of renewable and environment-friendly alternative energy resources/technologies.”

This needs to change! And we need you to help us: write about the need to get rid of coal and transition to renewable energy in the Philippines, submit your article before 11th May, and win a fellowship to our journalism workshop!

The best writers will be chosen by analysing their outreach and writing skills. You can check our rating system for articles here.

The final shortlisted candidates may be asked to write another article or demonstrate their journalistic skills in some other way if the final decision is difficult.

Information & Toolkits

To help you write about these issues, we will be sharing information toolkits and news articles with you, we will organise a series of webinars with experts on the topic and give you personal help and feedback on how to pitch to editors, how to get an article published or how to learn more about this interesting topic in your region. To be up to date with the details of the program, check the app regularly.

Useful Sources

-Use this interactive map from CoalTracker to find out if there are coal plants in your region: https://endcoal.org/tracker/ This could be useful if you want to get a national overview, or if you want to visit the communities that live near a specific plant.

-Read up on the huge potential that Renewable Energy has in the Philippines in this article.

-Look up the landmark lawsuit against fossil fuel companies that is currently going on in the Philippines. You can find more info here and here.

Information Toolkit

We will soon be sharing a more in-depth information toolkit on the topic with you. Stay tuned to learn more.

Webinars

Several live interviews with experts will be broadcasted in the coming weeks. Ask them personal questions when watching live or (re)watch them whenever it suits you best. A great way to get strong quotes and unique insights for your article. Sign up on the app to stay tuned.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

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