Thai Senate representatives endorse Greenpeace’s Quit Coal demand; Call for cancellation of GHECO-ONE coal plant in Rayong

Feature story - July 16, 2008
Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior’s peaceful protest yesterday at the controversial new coal plant in Rayong, has encouraged two key representatives of the ‘Natural resource and Environment Commission’ and the ‘Sub-Commission on Good Governance of the Senate’, to call for immediate halt on the construction of the Belgian owned GHECO-One coal plant.

Today Greenpeace with two Thai key senate representatives held a press conference on the issue of Gecko-One coal power plant. Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior’s peaceful protest yesterday at the controversial new coal plant in Rayong, has encouraged two key representatives of the ‘Natural resource and Environment Commission’ and the ‘Sub-Commission on Good Governance of the Senate’, to call for immediate halt on the construction of the Belgian owned GHECO-One coal plant. The senate representatives have also questioned the nation’s energy policy and decision-making process for its Power Development Plan (PDP). Greenpeace is demanding massive investments in tapping the huge renewable energy potential while putting in place effective energy efficiency systems.

Today Greenpeace with two Thai key senate representatives held a press conference on the issue of Gecko-One coal power plant. Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior’s peaceful protest yesterday at the controversial new coal plant in Rayong, has encouraged two key representatives of the ‘Natural resource and Environment Commission’ and the ‘Sub-Commission on Good Governance of the Senate’, to call for immediate halt on the construction of the Belgian owned GHECO-One coal plant. The senate representatives have also questioned the nation’s energy policy and decision-making process for its Power Development Plan (PDP). Greenpeace is demanding massive investments in tapping the huge renewable energy potential while putting in place effective energy efficiency systems.

The senate representatives have also questioned the nation's energy policy and decision-making process for its Power Development Plan (PDP). Greenpeace is demanding massive investments in tapping the huge renewable energy potential while putting in place effective energy efficiency systems.

The Belgian company GLOW Ltd, that owns the plant responding to the Greenpeace demand, maintains that the new coal plant will be clean. But, coal is the most polluting of energy sources. However much you wash and scrub it, or attempt to bury its emissions, it still remains dirty and toxic, poisoning local communities and exacerbating climate change.

Burning coal is the single biggest source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and a major cause of climate change. Coal emits 29% more carbon per unit of energy than oil and 80% more than gas. The existing GLOW plant already emits 4,003,432 tons of CO2 per year

"Construction of the GHECO-One coal plant has to be stopped, until a full assessment of the social, environmental, health and economic impacts is undertaken, including CO2 emissions" said Mr. Sutti Atchasai, People Network of Eastern Thailand and representative on the Natural Resources and Envrionment committee of the senate.

"Renewable energies are competitive, if and only if governments phase-out subsidies for fossil and nuclear fuels and introduce the `polluter- pays principle`. Historically, fossil fuel and nuclear power have enjoyed annual subsidies of around US$250 billion. We should shift these investments to energy sources that will help us stop the dangers posed by climate change." said Tara Buakamsri, Campaign Manager for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

"We urgently need the Government to lead us down the right road for a sustainable energy future. We need them to divert funding from new build coal and nuclear energy towards clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency" said Khun Sairung Thongplon, Federation for Consumer Organisation, Thailand and representative on the Thai Senate's sub-commission on good governance.

Over 3000 citizens of Thailand have already endorsed Greenpeace petition to the Ministry of Energy demanding rejection of coal, nuclear and fossil-fuel energy systems, and seeking investment in the development of renewable energy in Thailand. The petition is available online for all Thai citizens at www.greenpeace.or.th/erp

After campaigning in New Zealand and Philippines, the Rainbow Warrior is in Thailand to spearhead the Greenpeace "Quit Coal, Lead the Energy [R]evolution Tour". The tour aims to promote solutions to stop climate change -- an energy revolution that heralds a massive shift to renewable energy to ensure energy security and peace.

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