Action at Kusile Power Station in Africa

Greenpeace activists hang from a crane inside Eskom's Kusile power plant in the Delmas municipal area of the Mpumalanga province, with banners reading 'Kusile: Climate Killer'. Greenpeace is calling on the state owned utility ESKOM to abandon Kusile coal fired power plant, which is set to become world’s fourth most polluting power plant in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and to instead invest in both green energy sources and jobs. © Shayne Robinson / Greenpeace

 

South Africa has a fossil fuel addiction. Our drug of choice? Coal. And at a time when actions affecting the climate in any way should be taken with great care, our government continues blindly to cultivate its infatuation with this dirty, smoggy fossil fuel.

Eskom is going ahead with two of the world's biggest coal-fired plants, Medupi and Kusile. And in fact, Eskom publicly argues that our dependency on coal is necessary for the foreseeable future because it is the cheapest option.

But Greenpeace's report, The True Cost Of Coal, recently brought the actual price of this "cheapest option" to light, and proved why we don't need Kusile power plant in South Africa.

The true cost of coal, and of building Kusile power plant, is four-fold:

  • it will affect climate change disastrously by increasing our carbon footprint by a staggering 10%!
  • it will stress our water resources in a country where water is already in short supply;
  • it will create a price for local citizens to pay too, in the form of coal-induced illnesses for mine workers, and contaminated drinking and farming water supplies;
  • and all of this ultimately adds up to an enormous financial price for the whole country to pay - up to R60.6 billion a year.

While the government makes the decisions, the after-effects of their choices are, unfortunately, not limited to those in power. Catastrophic climate change and uncontrollable debt are burdens that all South Africans will have to bear if we keep relying on the likes of Kusile.

This proves that South Africa really doesn't need the coal-fired plant. What we need is more electricity, and for that we have an abundance of renewable energy resources that we could be tapping into.

Greenpeace Africa strongly opposes Eskom's continued and morbid fascination with massive coal-fired power stations. This is why we're standing up to the fossil fuel giants today. We're tired of coal crippling our country and need renewables now!

Keep up with the latest news updates live from the scene of Greenpeace's protest at Kusile.