Greenpeace ended a three-day occupation of the Map Ta Phut coal power plant when the government agreed to a review of its energy policy.
December: In a major breakthrough, the Thai National Economic and
Social Advisory Council of thePrime Minister's office has
committed to review theGovernment's energy policy. We are ending
our blockade of the Map Ta Phut coal facility.
considers this amajor victory for the Thai people," said Greenpeace
Southeast Asiaspokesperson Tara Buakamsri from the sit-in which had
disrupted theplant's operations today. "Thailand has a vast
potential for clean,renewable energies such as modern biomass, wind
and solar. It's time toshift government policy towards them."
The Rainbow Warrior's South
East Asian Energy Revolution campaignentered its third day of
activity today at one of Asia's largestcoal-fired power plants.
Activists from Thailand, the Philippines, and the United States
climbed theloading crane of the BLCP coal plant at Map Ta Phut in
Thailand andunfurled banners demanding the plant's immediate
closure on Wednesday, calling onthe Thai government to phase out
coal power and to commit to renewableenergy. On Thrusday they
added a camp onan electricity pylon, and on Friday blockaded the
entrance to the plant.
Coal is the main cause of climate change in Thailand and
SoutheastAsia. Greenpeace demands that construction on this site
bestopped and a thorough review of the Thai Government's
coal-drivenenergy plan be undertaken immediately," said Greenpeace
Southeast Asiaspokesperson Tara Buakamsri from the camp. "We will
stay here until ourdemands are met."
Climate change is causing severe hardship in Thailandandacross
the Southeast Asia region, and according to Tara, "Plants like
BLCP are the main culprits."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe.
In Germany earlier this week, the most polluting coal plant in
Europe provided theplatform for a simple message: "CO2 Kills." The
owner of the plant is planning ten new brown-coal power units, one
ofwhich together with the plant we've occupied will emit more CO2
thanthe entire nation of NewZealand. Twenty Greenpeace activists
occupied the stack for more than 60 hours.
InMontreal, 181 countries are meeting to determine what the
world isgoing to do about global warming. A key issue atthe summit
is how other countries will deal with strong pressure fromthe US to
ignore climate change. Our message to the delegates? Ignore the US
administration. Take action. (Updates here)
In Canada, the United States, Japan, Germany,France, Bangladesh,
Brazil, Australia and South Africa, people took to the streetson
Saturday to demand just that. 7,000 marched onMontreal alone. Five
environmental groups including Greenpeacedelivered a petition
signed by 600,000 Americans to the US consulate inMontreal, calling
upon President Bush and the US Congress to help slowglobal
In the UK, Greenpeace activists made clear thatthe government
won't be able to build more dirty nuclear power plantswithout a
fight, as they
occupied the room in which Tony Blair planned to outline a review
of the UK's energy future.
In France, Greenpeace
blocked a shipment of nuclear waste boundfor Russia in an
action illustrating one more reason why nuclear poweris not a
solution to climate change. The waste is currently in transitalong
more than a dozen European coastlines, a terrorist target and
atelling reminder that nobody knows what to do with nuclear
Asia and global warming
When it comes to climate change, Asia is a place of particular
opportunity and threat.
Catastrophic droughts across Thailand this year cost the
countryUS $193 million and untold human suffering. The
Thaigovernment has set a target of delivering 8% of its energy
fromrenewables by 2011, a goal which we don't believe the
government canmeet if it continues to divert funding from
renewables into coal.
Renewables can provide 35 percent of Thailand's energy supply
by2020; there already exists enough biomass to power 25 percent of
thecountry's electricity needs.
"Climatechange is a reality but so too are the solutions," said
Jean-FrancoisFauconnier of Greenpeace International aboard the
Rainbow Warrior. "Wind, solar and modern biomass power are already
bigbusiness not only in Europe but also in China. The potential
in Thailand is equally huge.
"International financialinstitutions like the Asian Development
Bank and the Japan Bank forInternational Cooperation should stop
financing coal. Theycontinuously talk up their support for
renewables yet we've seen verylittle in the way of funds being
re-directed towards thoseenergies. It's time for less talk and
Greenpeace's flagship the Rainbow Warrior is inBangkok on the
Thailand leg of its 10-week Asia Energy Revolution Tour,exposing
the impacts of climate change and promoting the uptake ofrenewable
energy like wind and biomass. The tour started in Australiaand will
end in Thailand.
Help keep us winning more victories like this. We rely entirely on donations from people like you.