Coal blockade brings climate commitment

Feature story - 20 October, 2008
The Quit Coal tour was back in action this weekend in Italy. Activists showed up at the E.ON owned Fiume Santo coal-fired power station to let Sardinia and E.ON know their plan to expand coal capacity in the region wouldn’t go unnoticed.

Coal is the most polluting of fossil fuels, responsible for a third of global greenhouse emissions.

The activists' message certainly didn't go unnoticed. Activists stoppedthe two conveyor belts delivering coal into the furnace of the coal firedplant. While climbers maintained a 14 hour occupation of the conveyor belt anda net secured net below, the regional environmental minister met with us. He promised the regional governmentwould revise its energy plans to meet EU climate protection targets.

Building the wrong capacity

In a time where we should be lookingtowards renewable energy, local authorities in Sardiniahave plans to expand the coal capacity in the region. Together with E.ON - oneof the largest utilities companies in Europe -the local authorities plan to convert two older units at the plant from oil tocoal. E.ON also plans to invest €50 billion in the next two years to increase energygeneration capacity. They plan to build eight new coal plantsin Germany, Belgium, the UKand the Netherlands(costing around €1.2 billion each) and to construct another 2000 mega-watts ofcoal-fired capacity in the rest of the EU.

Europe must quit coal

It's time for the government and companies like E.ON to start actingresponsibly.They need to stop investingmillions of Euros in new coal stations and instead invest in renewable energy. The Sardinian authorities are taking thefirst step towards climate protection by committing to meet and exceed thetarget for 20 per cent renewable energy by 2020.

This autumn, the Greenpeace ships Rainbow Warrior and ArcticSunrise are bringing the 'Quit Coal' message to the Mediterranean and Europe. The expedition, from Israelto Poland, is happening in the run-up to crucial UN climate negotiations in Poznan, Poland,this December, where quitting coal will be essential to a meaningful deal tosave the climate.

Energy [R]evolution

If we're serious about stopping climate change we need an Energy[R]evolution. Greenpeace's Energy [R]evolution scenario shows how renewableenergy, combined with energy efficiency, can cut global CO2emissions by 50% and deliver half the world's energy needs by 2050.

Summary (7 pages) | Full report (96 pages) 

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