Greenpeace supports Prachuab community

Urges Union Power to stop coal project!

Press release - April 24, 2001
Greenpeace in support of local community representatives from Hin Krood and Bor Nok today stormed the headquarters of Saha-Union during the company's annual stakeholders' meeting to press for the immediate cancellation of the proposed coal-fired power plant projects in Prachuab Khiri Khan province.

Greenpeace in support of local community representatives from Hin Krood and Bor Nok today stormed the headquarters of Saha-Union during the company's annual stakeholders' meeting to press for the immediate cancellation of the proposed coal-fired power plant projects in Prachuab Khiri Khan province.

In a community-led demonstration in front of the Saha-Union building on Sukumvit road, leaders from the Hin Krood and Bor Nok Conservation Groups joined by various NGO representatives marched towards the main entrance of the headquarters carrying banners and streamers demanding "No to coal: Yes to clean energy now!" Simultaneously, Greenpeace activists let go of black balloons and unfurled a banner bearing the message: "Hands off the climate! Save Prachuab: No to Coal!"

"We came here to join the local people in their overwhelming opposition to these coal projects. Coal plants are considered one of the dirtiest power sources, and are a major contributor to climate change. The Thai government should stop companies such as Union Power from making Thailand a dumping ground of dirty energy technologies," says Penrapee Noparumpa, energy campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

Greenpeace said so-called clean coal plants is infinitely more polluting than renewable energy sources. Coal emits 29% more carbon per unit of energy (CO2) than oil, and 80% more than natural gas. Over the last 30 years, greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere increased by 30% resulting in human-induced climate-change.

Greenpeace instead called on the company to invest in sustainable energy projects. "Thailand has a huge potential to harness renewable energy resources such as solar, biomass and wind. We call on the government and companies involved to abandon these coal projects and switch to cleaner energy sources!", added Ms. Noparumpa.

The proposed coal-fired power projects in Prachuab Khiri Khan have been the subject of local and international citizens' action, which resulted in the withdrawal of various investors such as the Finnish and Nordic Investment Bank and a Singaporean power company.

"Greenpeace is involved in a global campaign to halt funding of fossil fuel and nuclear technologies to the developing world. We fully support the Prachuab Khiri Khan community and are committed to stop all potential investors from pumping capital into this environmentally unacceptable project," says Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros, campaigns manager for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

The demonstration was held almost the same time as when almost 40 world leaders are on a high-level meeting in New York to discuss ways to address climate change following global outrage against Pres. Bush's intention to abandon the climate treaty. In 1997, 180 governments adopted the Kyoto Protocol vowing to stop dangerous climate change by limiting the world's dependence on fossil fuels such as coal plants.

"Whilst developed countries are seeking ways and means to phase out fossil fuel and kick start the use of renewable energy, industrializing countries continue to embrace these types of polluting energy technologies such as coal plants. This is scandalous. We ask the Thai government to put a stop to this dirty technology dumping," added Ballesteros.

Greenpeace committed to working closely with the Prachuab community in educating the public about the dangers of coal plants and to continue the campaign against potential investors and financiers of the coal plant projects.

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