Greenpeace, Prachuab communities form human installation against coal

Feature story - July 9, 2008
Hundreds of residents from Prachuab Khirikhan joined Greenpeace activists and the crew of Rainbow Warrior to form a human installation proclaiming ‘Quit Coal’ at Thapsakae beach today. The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is proposing to build a 4000 MW coal-fired power plant in Thapsakae but the communities are opposing it due to concerns on pollution and climate change.

Villagers of Thapsake, Bonok, Mae Rumphung, Ao Noi and Ban Krut in the province of Prachuab Krikhan, 350 Kms south of Bangkok, prepare to welcome the Greenpeace flagship SV Rainbow Warrior which is in Thailand on its ‘Quit Coal, Lead the Energy Revolution’ tour July 9, 2008. The communities are opposing proposed 4,000 MW coal power plants in their area due to concerns on local pollution and global climate change.

Fishermen from villages of Thapsake, Bonok, Mae Rumphung, Ao Noi and Ban Krut in the province of Prachuab Krikhan, 350 Kms south of Bangkok, welcomed the Greenpeace flagship SV Rainbow Warrior which is in Thailand on its ‘Quit Coal, Lead the Energy Revolution’ tour July 9, 2008. The communities are opposing proposed 4,000 MW coal power plants in their area due to concerns on local pollution and global climate change.

Fishermen from villages of Thapsake, Bonok, Mae Rumphung, Ao Noi and Ban Krut in the province of Prachuab Krikhan, 350 Kms south of Bangkok, welcomed the Greenpeace flagship SV Rainbow Warrior which is in Thailand on its ‘Quit Coal, Lead the Energy Revolution’ tour July 9, 2008. The communities are opposing proposed 4,000 MW coal power plants in their area due to concerns on local pollution and global climate change.

Leaders from the communities of Thapsake, Bonok, Mae Rumphung, Ao Noi and Ban Krut in the province of Prachuab Krikhan, 350 Kms south of Bangkok, are welcomed by Captain Mike Fincken (2nd from left) onbard Greenpeace flagship SV Rainbow Warrior which is in Thailand on its ‘Quit Coal, Lead the Energy Revolution’ tour July 9, 2008. The communities are opposing proposed 4,000 MW coal power plants in their area due to concerns on local pollution and global climate change.

Children, women and students braved the unseasonal rains in Thapsakae to participate in Greenpeace installation activity, a human banner proclaiming Quit Coal, during Rainbow Warrior's soldiarity stop in Prachuab Kiri Khan, as part of its "Quit Coal, Lead the Energy [R]evolution Tour' of Thailand.

Children, women and students braved the unseasonal rains in Thapsakae to participate in Greenpeace installation activity, a human banner proclaiming Quit Coal, during Rainbow Warrior's soldiarity stop in Prachuab Kiri Khan, as part of its "Quit Coal, Lead the Energy [R]evolution Tour' of Thailand.

Greenpeace activists and climate-impacted and anti-coal community members of Prachuab Kiri khan, in South Thailand, form a human banner proclaiming 'Quit Coal', during Rainbow Warrior's solidarity stop, off Thapsakae village as part of its "Quit Coal, Lead the Energy [R]evolution' Tour of Thailand. Scientists predict that coastal communities will be the worst hit by climate change impacts, the communities of this region are opposing building of a 4000 mw of coal fired power plant.

Greenpeace activists and climate-impacted and anti-coal community members of Prachuab Kiri khan, in South Thailand, form a human banner proclaiming 'Quit Coal', during Rainbow Warrior's solidarity stop, off Thapsakae village as part of its "Quit Coal, Lead the Energy [R]evolution' Tour of Thailand.

 "The martyrdom of Charoen Wataksorn, son of Prachuab Khirikhan and Thailand's most prominent anti-coal activist, who was assassinated by pro-coal mafia in 2004, has galvanized the opposition against coal by communities who are now well aware that they would suffer the worst impacts from pollution and climate change," said Tara Buakamsri, Campaign Manager of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. 

"The real solutions for energy security and climate change is deployment of sustainable and cheap renewable energy systems, as well as the adoption of aggressive energy efficiency standards," he added.

Earlier, villagers from Thapsake, Bonok, Mae Rumphung, Ao Noi and Ban Krut  welcomed the Greenpeace flagship SV Rainbow Warrior  which is in Thailand on its 'Quit Coal, Lead the Energy Revolution' tour.  The villagers have endorsed Greenpeace petition to the Ministry of Energy demanding rejection of coal, nuclear and fossil-fuel energy systems, and instead invest in the development of renewable energy in Thailand. The petition was earlier endorsed by over 1500 residents of Songkla and is available online for all Thai citizens here.

"Sea-levels are rising, drastic climate change and weather events are wreaking havoc across the planet due to global warming". "We still have options, there is still time for an energy revolution using renewable energy that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the most catastrophic impacts. What is required is political will and people's mandate."

Mike Fincken

Captain of the Rainbow Warrior.

 "The lawmakers of Thailand should stop pushing dangerous and dirty energy on our people. The current Power Development Plan is not only flawed in its projection, it is also designed specifically to allow large-scale corruption. Why else would a country like Thailand want to waste the taxpayers money and risk humanity and environment by announcing plans to build nuclear power plants," said Sureerat Taechutakul, leader of Thapsakae Environment Group.

Burning of coal is the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions from energy sector. Carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants are responsible for global warming and emissions of mercury, sulfur dioxide and other deadly gases result in fatal impacts on the health of the local population.

"Sea-levels are rising, drastic climate change and weather events are wreaking havoc across the planet due to global warming," said Mike Fincken, Captain of the Rainbow Warrior. "We still have options, there is still time for an energy revolution using renewable energy that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the most catastrophic impacts. What is required is political will and people's mandate."

Greenpeace demands that the Thai government:

-    Divert funding from new build of coal and nuclear energy towards clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

-    Adopt legislation to provide investors in renewable energy with stable, predictable returns

-    Guarantee priority acess to the grid for renewable generators

-    Adopt strict efficiency standards and demand side management programs.

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