CLP project in Thailand slammed by Greenpeace at Asian Development Bank meeting

Press release - 2005-05-05
Greenpeace today released a report at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) AGM showing the massive disparity between financial support for coal and Renewable Energy. The report singled out CLP's BLCP coal plant project in Rayong Province, Thailand as an example of all that is wrong in energy development in Southeast Asia.

Greenpeace Southeast Asia energy campaigners hold up a banner calling for a stop to the construction of a coal fired power plant on Thailand's eastern seaboard. The campaigners were part of a group of Greenpeace activists who occupied the site of the power plant and hung a banner from a working crane. The plant is a joint venture between Thailand's Banpu Plc and the Hong Kong based China Light and Power Company. Greenpeace blames coal fired power plants for releasing dangerous toxins into the surrounding atmosphere and warns that, if built, the proposed plant will emit 229 million tons of Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere in the next 20 years - contributing significantly to global climate change.

Greenpeace today released a report at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) AGM showing the massive disparity between financial support for coal and Renewable Energy.  The report singled out CLP's BLCP coal plant project in Rayong Province, Thailand as an example of all that is wrong in energy development in Southeast Asia.

Last week Greenpeace activists targetted the CLP AGM in Hong Kong calling on the company to cease all coal investment and to invest in a massive Renewable Energy program instead.  The week before, the BLCP plant itself was the focus of protests when activists hung banners from the half completed power plant and disrupted construction to call for a halt to the development.

Campaigners say that the urgency of climate change demands an immediate and massive shift in energy development.  They are calling for an end to all coal investment and demand that companies like CLP and the banks that fund them like ADB realign their plans on massive region wide Renewable Energy development instead.

"CLP are climate criminals. All across Asia their coal burning addiction is wrecking the climate, destroying the environment and poisoning people.  ADB is synonymous to BAD - their financing of climate-destroying projects has to stop.  Unless we act to stop climate change now, the consequences for humans and the environment will be devastating - No more coal," said Greenpeace China climate campaign manager Robin Oakley.

Scientists from the region have shown the increasing links between more severe and frequent extreme weather events In Asia such as drought and storms and fossil fuel dependence.  Thailand and Cambodia, for instance, are currently in the grip of extreme droughts, and parts of southern China have just experienced the worst drought in over fifty years.  In the Philippines the frequency of El Nino, a natural phenomenon, has been reported to have increased from intervals of five years previously to the current two to three years.

Greenpeace called ADB's funding for clean energy "disgraceful" and revealed that in specific cases such as the Philippines, only 0.09 percent of ADB financing went to renewable energy.  This, since the country joined the ADB over four decades ago.  In Thailand, the group revealed the bank's renewed support for destructive coal, citing the construction of the 1,434-MW coal plant of BLCP in Map Ta Phut which is currently the focus of severe community protest, and the huge 2,625-MW Mae Moh coal plant in the Thai province of Lampang which has been repeatedly linked to a large number of deaths and respiratory illnesses in the area.

The ADB is providing up to $140 million in loans to the BLCP project and up to $70 million in political risk guarantees.

In a meeting before the ADB AGM, Greenpeace asked the new ADB president Haruhiko Kuroda to stop its financing of new coal plants and to withdraw its financing from the controversial BLCP coal plant in Map Ta Phut.  Kuroda responded by saying that he "would look and see what is going on in the issue."

Other contacts:

Robin Oakley, Climate campaign Manager, Greenpeace China +86 10 655 46931 x 129

Martin Baker, Greenpeace China Communications Manager +852 9014 5259

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