Dawn of Renewables Era: Arctic Sunrise arrives, calls for immediate rejection of coal

Feature story - August 15, 2002
Greenpeace today kicked off the Thai leg of its Arctic Sunrise Choose Positive Energy tour by calling on Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to revoke all approvals for the proposed coal fired power stations in Bo Nok and Ban Krut in the province of Prachuab Khiri Khan (PKK). Greenpeace also demanded that the government commit to policies that promote clean renewable energy at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

"We want Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to put the final nail in the coffin of the proposed PKK coal-fired power plants. Our tour will also highlight the fact that Thailand has clean energy alternatives and, that if harnessed, could meet the country's future energy supply in a sustainable way," said said Penrapee Noparumpa Greenpeace Southeast Asia climate campaigner.

The Arctic Sunrise, one of Greenpeace's campaign ships, just came from a successful tour in the Philippines, where the government effectively killed off plans to build coal-fired power plants. In Thailand, the ship's 3-week campaign will incorporate an open boat exhibition in Bangkok, a forum to launch the Greenpeace Energy Scenario Report, and a visit to the community of Prachuab Khiri Khan.

The Choose Positive Energy tour promotes clean renewable energy, such as wind and solar, and supports the people of Southeast Asia who reject polluting negative energy, such as coal and nuclear power. Another major aim of this campaign is to stop investments in fossil fuel technologies in the region, especially Thailand.

The coal-fired power plants in PKK, which have been postponed for two years, are proposed by US company Edison, with Japanese and Hong Kong backers, and would be fuelled by Australian coal.

"It's not enough that the government only delayed the construction of coal-fired power plants. Thailand must send a strong signal to northern governments and corporations that Southeast Asia does not want old fashioned dirty technology dumped here. The worst of these nations, Australia, the US and Japan are putting pressure on the Thai government to be allowed to push their climate-disrupting fossil fuels technology on us," Penrapee added.

Greenpeace launched the Choose Positive Energy Campaign with the aim of securing the commitment of world leaders at the World Summit on Sustainable Development to provide clean renewable energy for 2 billion of the world's poorest within 10 years. Greenpeace also encourages as many people to use renewable energy for their own homes in countries where it is available or to demand for it from their governments.

Greenpeace is likewise asking OECD governments to immediately move 20 percent of their energy investments to renewable energy and at the same time, phase out financial support for all dirty energy sources within five years. These aims are designed at rapidly reducing global warming and its cataclysmic effects on the planet and mankind.