Thais to demand Positive Energy at the World Summit

Feature story - August 8, 2002
Greenpeace and The Body Shop today presented a petition to the government of Thailand urging it to commit to clean energy. This was the conclusion of a three-month campaign to gather signatures for a worldwide petition calling for the provision of clean renewable energy to more than 2 billion people by 2010 and for policies to reduce the impact of global warming on the whole planet.

More than 24,000 Thai citizens signed the petition which was officially received by Sonthaya Khunpluem, the Minister of Science, Technology and Environment. The Choose Positive Energy Campaign, which is running in 27 countries across the globe, has gathered a total of 1.5 million signatures, all of which will be delivered to world leaders at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg this month.

"Governments can no longer ignore people's demands for energy sources that are efficient and preserve their environment. World leaders must show commitment to their people by pursuing policies that lessen mankind's dependence on fossil fuels, the main cause of global warming which threatens people's lives. The present government can show its sincerity to the Thai people by advocating such policies at the summit in Johannesburg," said Jiragorn Gajaseni, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Governments and companies from developed nations are two of the culprits of global warming by continuously dumping outdated energy technology, such as coal-powered plants, in developing countries. They now face intense pressure from the world community and environmental groups.

"Greenpeace will not tolerate the hypocrisy of western governments which export dirty technology that threaten people's lives as well as companies who turn a blind eye to their responsibility to the society," said Penrapee Noparumpa, Energy Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. "The people of Thailand, and the whole world, deserve clean energy that is sustainable and efficient in the long term."

More than one third of the planet's population still has no access to electricity for basic needs such as lighting or cooking. Giving them the clean and reliable energy for essential needs such as heating, lighting, clean water and health care is one of the most pressing problems facing humanity today. However, the most common present method of generating electricity -- the burning of fossil fuels -- causes global warming and already have a calamitous effect to people around the world. While the poorest people use only a fraction of the world's oil, coal and gas, they are likely to suffer most from extreme weather incidents such as floods and rising sea levels.

Greenpeace and The Body Shop 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, and to encourage 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 makind.