CLP’s dirty coal power costs the public 30 billion yearly

Press release - 2005-04-20
Greenpeace today charged China Light and Power (CLP), Hong Kong’s biggest utility, with causing massive damage to the global climate, environment and human health across Asia. Greenpeace has calculated that the harmful impacts of CLP’s coal burning operations costs the economy at least 30 billion Hong Kong Dollars last year.

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.

"CLP are climate criminals. All across Asia their massive coal burning addiction is wrecking the climate, destroying the environment and poisoning people. For every dollar CLP makes, society must spend three dollars dealing with their mess", said Gloria Chang, Greenpeace campaigner.  "While CLP rake in dirty profits, the real price of their pollution is being paid by us all."

In 2004 the CLP Group  made 8.6 billion Hong Kong Dollars in profit, much of it from coal powered electricity generation.  CLP's fossil fuel business is focused in Hong Kong, but spreads across Asia to include interests in Thailand, India, Australia and China.  In 2004, CLP (HK) emitted nearly 17 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the leading cause of global warming. The negative cost to society of the HK operation was over 1.3 billion Euros (HK$ 13.5 billion). Across Asia, the parent CLP Group's fossil fuel projects cost society an estimated of 29.8 billion Euros (HK$ 30 billion).

Coal burning is a leading cause of global warming because of the massive CO2 emissions it causes. Over the last century, CLP has emitted over 540 million tons of CO2 into the atmosphere from its plants. In addition to catastrophic climate change, coal power also causes acid rain and air pollution. Apart from Hong Kong's air quality, the World Bank states that 16 of the world's 20 most polluted cities are in China.

According to European Commission  research, coal power has negative impacts on human health, global warming, amenity loss, building materials and ecosystems due to pollution released from power stations. The economic losses that this damage causes, or the additional cost of cleaning up the problems, is not paid by the company causing the pollution. These costs are normally referred to as 'external' costs.

CLP is currently developing more coal projects in mainland China and across the Asia-Pacific region.  By comparison to the planned fossil fuel expansion, the company's investment in clean renewable energy alternatives is next to nothing.

Chang said, "CLP is burning our future. People are dying now as a result of coal burning. Catastrophic climate change will put millions of lives at risk. CLP is at the heart of the problem and their current plans will make it all much worse."

Chang continued, "CLP is nearing its annual general meeting.  This is a chance for them to announce that they will do what people across Asia are calling for them to do.  CLP must end it's investment in new coal capacity at once and immediately switch to a program of massive clean renewable energy development.  CLP's profits are costing the public and costing the Earth - the destruction has to stop."

Other contacts:

Gloria Chang, Renewable Energy Campaigner,
Phone: 28548323,
E-mail: ;

Anna Tang, Media Officer,
Phone: 28548326,

VVPR info:

Photos of the activity can be downloaded from: