Armada of activists descends on Kingsnorth

Feature story - 29 October, 2008
A nine-boat protest armada led by the Rainbow Warrior has arrived at Britain's most controversial power station with dozens of activists from around the world filling the jetty at the plant in Kent.

Activists arrived at Kingsnorth carrying flags representing the 30 least climate polluting countries. The new coal plant planned here would emit the same amount of carbon dioxide as all of these countries combined.

Thirty activists attempted to reach the site of Britain's first new coal-fired powerstation in decades. They were holding 30 flags representing the least climate polluting countries inthe world including Cameroon and Mali and intended to plant the flags on the siteearmarked for the construction and hold a sombre and dignified ceremony for the victims of climatechange.

But guards stopped them entering the power station in a heavily defended security zone, whilepolice intercepted the flotilla of our inflatable boats andcanoes. So they held the commemoration on the jetty, with the securityguards - and the rest of the world listening.

Coal is the most climate-wrecking form of electricity generation yetinvented. A new Kingsnorth, propsed by German energy giant E.ON, would emit the sameamount of carbon dioxide as the 30 least polluting countries in the world combined. A new coal plant at Kingsnorth would be a huge blow to the fight against global warming.

Update, October 30th: The Rainbow Warrior left Kingsnorth in the early hours of this morning after being served a high court injuction. The ship is now returning to London for a weekend of open days with thousands of people already booked to go on board. Our campaigners continue to call on the British government to block E.ON's plans for a new climate changing coal plant at Kingsnorth.

Beam it up Scotty!

A team of six are occupying a small concrete island owned by E.ON in the shadow of the power station. Using a projector and a biodiesel-powered generator, they will beam images of climate change disaster onto the plant throughout the night. They will also beam the words 'GORDON BIN IT' - the slogan they attempted to paint down the smokestack last year before a police helicopter delivered a high court injunction, forcing them down.

Two of the 'Kingsnorth 6' are back again

The demonstration comes a month after six Greenpeace campaigners were cleared by a Crown Court following the shutdown of the Kingsnorth power station. A Maidstone jury concluded the activists were justified in shutting the power station because coal is such a significant contributor to climate change.

Two of the 'Kingsnorth Six' are part of part of the team occupying the island. Ben Stewart, one of the 'Kingsnorth Six' who was acquitted last month plans to spend the night with a team of several others projecting onto the chimney from the island.

The new UK Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband is expected to make a decision on whether or not to permit the new plant within the next few months. A coalition of development charities, environment groups and scientists is demanding that the government blocks E.ON's plans.

Rainbow Warrior to stay put if possible

The Rainbow Warrior will attempt to stay moored to the Kingsnorth jetty all night but E.ON are considering "taking action" and there is currently a standoff.

Earlier this week the directors of groups including Oxfam, the Women'sInstitute and Tearfund - with a combined membership of four million -boarded the Rainbow Warrior to sign a declaration committing themselvesto stopping a new Kingsnorth. Although E.ON claims the new powerstation would be less polluting than the present one, it would emitabout eight million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year - the same asthe existing plant. For that reason scientists from across the worldare opposed to a new coal plant at the site. 

We need to quit coal and embrace an energy [r]evolution

Our ships the Rainbow Warrior and the Arctic Sunrise have been in Europe and the Mediterranean recently to spread the message that we can fight climate change but only if we quit coal, andcatalyse a revolution in the ways we use and produce energy.

We have just published the second edition of the Energy [R]evolution scenario. It's the only energy scenario which shows how the world can cut emissions, phase out nuclear power, save money and maintain global economic development - without fuelling catastrophic climate change.

All we need to make this plan a reality is world leaders to get serious. Britain can start by saying "No" to E.ON.

Our energy blueprint

Download our energy [r]evolution report and send it to anyone who know who works for an energy company or anything related to the energy sector in your country.

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