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Verde Island Passage “Amazon of the oceans” in danger

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Have you heard of the Verde Island Passage (VIP), a water channel that cuts through the Philippines? It’s actually the most biodiverse marine habitat in the world, earning it the nickname the “Amazon of the oceans.” But right now, it’s set to become the epicenter of fossil fuel expansion in Southeast Asia.Liquefied “natural” gas (LNG) – aka rebranded methane gas – is being marketed by the fossil fuel industry and its bankers as a decent stepping stone in our transition to renewables… but that’s complete bull***t. Methane has 80 times more climate-warming potential than carbon dioxide over a 20 year period. We either need a just transition away from ALL fossil fuels, or we’ll have to say goodbye to over 300 coral species in the VIP — and a liveable climate.JPMorgan Chase is one of the banks behind massive fossil fuel expansion across the Philippines, including 8 NEW LNG import facilities and 8 NEW gas power plants in the Batangas region alone.Sign the petition, calling on Chase to end the destruction and defund fossil fuel expansion in the VIP — and everywhere.Take Action2 million people directly depend on the VIP for sustenance and livelihoods — including over 12,000 fisherfolk. They’re already dealing with impacts of the climate crisis, existing fossil fuel infrastructure, and ship traffic, like a decrease in fish and rising mercury levels in the water.The planned build-out will only increase those impacts including air, water, and thermal pollution, competition for freshwater, irreversible damage to marine and land ecosystems, and even displacement of the coastal communities.In February 2023, there was a devastating 800,000-liter oil spill. With this many facilities, another catastrophic spill, leak, or explosion isn’t a matter of “if” but “when.” Tell Chase to defund the destruction.Sign the PetitionPhoto Credit: Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED)
But make no mistake: Filipino advocates are fighting back hard against these projects. A growing movement of frontline communities, churches, civil society organizations, fisherfolk, and community groups are resisting the build-out and calling out the companies for what they’re doing: exploiting the region, displacing people, threatening livelihoods, destroying precious ecosystems, and pushing deadly corporate lies that further the world’s addiction to fossil fuels and trap Batangas into more energy insecurity — all in the name of profit.They’re calling on the fossil fuel companies and banks bankrolling them to stay out of the VIP. Andrew, will you amplify their message and help STOP the flow of money to these dangerous terminals?Sign the PetitionLet’s be clear: this build-out in the VIP won’t provide sustainable energy benefits to the people living there; LNG facilities do NOTHING but hurt the communities they’re built in. Methane by any other name is still malicious.Chase HAS to listen to frontline communities, defund this build-out, and protect the Verde Island Passage.For people and planet (and coral reefs),
Ruth Breech
Senior Campaigner, Climate & Energy
Rainforest Action Network