Activists say "No Coal" in Italy

Feature story - 15 December, 2006
Twenty Greenpeace volunteers yesterday climbed the 250-meter-high chimney of a power plant in Porto Tolle, Italy. They're protesting Italian energy company ENEL's plans to rely on coal for Italy's energy future. Several activists have now occupied the site for nearly 48 hours.

ENEL is the greatest CO2 emitter in Italy and is actually trying to convert two of its biggest oil power plants to coal: one is Porto Tolle, while the other is near Rome.

Update Climbers left thechimney  on Saturday 16th December. Nearly 2000 "cyberactivists" joinedthem in virtual protest at the plant, and Economy Minister PierluigiBersani agreed to meet with Greenpeace.  Bersani agreed to turn downENEL's request for an increase in their carbon emissions cap.  Ineffect, this means the Porto Tolle plant will get no emission licenseand cannot convert to coal.  The agreed cap will, however, allow theconversion of the second plant in Civitavecchia.  We will continueefforts to have that conversion overturned as well.

These projects will result in a CO2 emissions increase of about 21 metric tonnes; a backwards step for a country struggling to make its commitment to carbon reduction under the Kyoto treaty.

We're demanding that the Government phases out any coal-fired power station projects and starts supporting strong development for renewables. Italy is far away from reaching a target of 25% green energy by 2010.

More information from Greenpeace Italy

Check out the breaking news, video, and images from this ongoing occupation. (In Italian)