The True Cost of Coal

Feature Story - 2005-04-28
China Light and Power (CLP) recently gained recognition as one of the listed companies with the highest level of transparency in Hong Kong, for releasing senior staff remuneration figures to the public. The environmental and health impacts of CLP's coal burning activities across Asia need the same level of public scrutiny so that action can be taken to fix the damage and to put Asia on a path to a clean energy future.

Greenpeace activists display a banner at CLP Power's Castle Peak in Hong Kong, one of the world's largest coal plants, to protest against their lack of investment in renewable energy.

Greenpeace activists and coal-impacted community representatives hold a parody of China Light and Power's annual report, which was distributed at the AGM of CLP, one of Asia's largest power utilities. The group disrupted the meeting demanding CLP not build new coal plants in Asia, and to instead invest in clean renewable energy.

Representatives from affected communities in Hong Kong, Thailand, Philippines and India traveled to the company's AGM to expose this hypocrisy.

Representatives from affected communities in Hong Kong, mainland China, Thailand, Philippines and India traveled to the company's AGM to expose this hypocrisy.

Greenpeace deploys a banner outside The Peninsula Hotel during the AGM of China Light and Power, one of Asia's largest power utilities. Greenpeace and coal-impacted community representatives disrupted the meeting inside demanding CLP not build new coal plants in Asia, and to instead invest in clean renewable energy

Greenpeace activists and community representatives from across the Asia-Pacific Region, including the Philippines, Thailand, and India, today successfully expressed their grave concern about coal-fired power generation inside CLP's Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Hong Kong's Peninsual Hotel.  We also distributed the "Alternative Annual Report 2004" to the shareholders, revealing CLP's track record in coal burning. Community represenatatives addressed CLP's Board at the beginning of the meeting, informing them of the impacts to tehir communities of CLP's activities.

As the meeting continued inside, Greenpeace activists deployed a huge banner carrying the message "CLP Climate Criminal" on the outside wall of the hotel to raise public awareness about the dmagae to communities and the climate that CLP's coal burning causes.

CLP is the biggest private power producer in the Asia-Pacific Region, earning over 10 billion Hong Kong dollars every year from it's fossil fuel power generation.  CLP's activities are estimated to have exacted a cost to the environment of around HK$30 billion in 2004 - three and a half times the group's 2004 profits.  For every dollar of profit made by CLP last year, it is estimated it cost communities across the region nearly $4 in health and environmental impacts.

CLP is a climate criminal.  All across Asia, their coal burning addiction is wrecking the climate, destroying the environment and poisoning people.  Unless we act to stop climate change now, the consequences for humans and the environment will be devastating.  Last week, Greenpeace disrupted construction of the CLP funded Map Ta Phut coal plant, one of the largest in Thailand.

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