Greenpeace helps Philippine Jeepneys Go Green

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electric-jeepney_front_small_gsa(Source: Greenpeace) Manila, PHILIPPINES - July 04, 2007, the public transport Jeepney, one of the icons of the Philippines, is set to go green: two Greenpeace backed fossil fuel-free electric Jeepneys (E-Jeepneys) will take a historic test drive on the busy streets of Makati City, the country's financial hub, today.

Born in the 1950s, from left over world war two US jeeps, the Jeepney’s flamboyant design is instantly recognisable and synonymous for many with the Philippines. The jeeps were then refurbished to accommodate several passengers, added metal roof for shade and decorated with vibrant colours and bright ornaments making them popular and creative public transportation vehicles. While Jeepneys have evolved over the years they remain highly polluting and inefficient.


The first public transport system of its kind in Southeast Asia, E-Jeepneys are part of an innovative project led by GRIPP (Green Renewable Independent Power Producer) and supported by Greenpeace (1) and the government of Makati City. The new E-Jeepney's steer clear of the use of fossil fuels bringing about an improvement in local air quality, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and reducing fuel costs.

"Climate change needs to be tackled at all levels, by individuals, corporations and governments. The Electric Jeepneys are triple wins in one package. It's a win for the local environment, a win for the climate and a win for the economy. As is the case with many changes needed to meet the urgent challenges of reducing emissions of global greenhouse gases, to avoid catastrophic climate change, the local environmental and financial benefits are compelling. Greenpeace is proud to be part of this innovative project.” said Gerd Leipold, Greenpeace International Executive Director.

"Makati City welcomes the opportunity to be part of this initiative and is enthusiastic in pioneering it in the country. It is clear that, in addressing solid waste and air pollution issues, and in offering a much cheaper and sustainable alternative to Jeepney drivers who service the city's main routes, the project will result in clear, tangible benefits for our citizens." said Makati Mayor Jejomar C. Binay.

The two E-Jeepneys are part of a fleet designed in the country by Philippine renewables firm Solar Electric Company. They will undergo technical and commercial tests for 6 months in Makati City and eventually in key areas in the province of Negros Occidental. The electric fleet will initially be increased to 50 units upon the successful conclusion of the test phase. The city will provide a facility that will generate power to recharge the E-Jeepney's batteries from biodegradable wastes from the city's food establishments and wet markets into which the electric Jeepneys are meant to be plugged.

"The electric Jeepneys will show that there are climate-friendly alternatives to the current polluting modes of public transportation in the Philippines. The iconic Jeepney remains, but without wasteful and carbon emitting diesel, and will also provide increased incomes to the vehicles’ drivers," said Athena Ballesteros Ronquillo Greenpeace International Climate Campaigner, founder and chair of GRIPP. "The pilot test in Makati is meant to ensure the technical, commercial, environmental and social feasibility of the project. If the project is successful, our hope is that it will be replicated in other cities in the country and in other Asian capitals."

In support of the project, celebrities and Greenpeace supporters, together with representatives of various development agencies and financial institutions such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which is headquartered in Manila, attended the occasion along with officials of Makati's transport cooperatives. Leaders of the city's transport federations expressed their support for the test phase of the project.

The E-Jeepneys initiative, part of the Climate Friendly Cities project seed funded by the Dutch DOEN Foundation (2), is designed to be replicated across the Philippines and other cities in Asia. Greenpeace supports solutions-oriented technological and scientific innovations that can help stop climate change. The E-Jeepneys are a clear example of this call to the public and institutions to adopt simple yet effective measures to help avert catastrophic climate change.



electric-jeepney_street_gsa
Electric Jeepney (E-Jeepneys) the first public transport of its kind in Southeast Asia were launched today 4 July 2007 in a historic drive along Ayala Avenue in the Financial District of Makati by GRIPP (Green Renewable Independent Power Producer), Greenpeace, and the Makati City Government. The Electric Jeepneys, part of an innovative project led by GRIPP, are meant to steer clear of the use of fossil fuels to help mitigate climate change, even as it addresses urban problems such as air pollution and solid waste.


Images: Greenpeace Southeast Asia


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