The True Cost of Coal

Press release - 2005-04-28
Shareholders in the billion dollar China Light and Power (CLP) company were today confronted with the real cost of burning fossil fuels. Greenpeace activists and people from communities suffering the devastating impacts from coal fired power stations across Asia, disrupted CLP's annual celebration of its dirty energy trade at the Hong Kong Peninsula Hotel."

Greenpeace Southeast Asia energy campaigners hold up a banner calling for a stop to the construction of a coal fired power plant in Rayong province on Thailand's eastern seaboard. Greenpeace activists 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 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

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. (1)

Representatives from affected communities in Hong Kong, mainland China, Thailand, Philippines and India traveled to the company's AGM to expose this hypocrisy. As community representatives addressed CLP's Board and shareholders inside the meeting, Greenpeace activists deployed a huge banner outside the hotel, carrying the message "CLP: climate criminal".

"We are here to say no to CLP's dirty coal business on behalf of many affected communities across the region. We demand clean, safe and renewable energy for our communities," said Charoen Detkhum, a community leader from Thailand where the BLCP coal plant, a project funded by CLP, is being constructed.

CLP Group recorded profits of US$ 1.1 billion in 2004, their highest for a decade, mostly derived from burning coal. Greenpeace demands that CLP invests these profits in clean renewable energy projects like wind power in southern China's Guangdong province.

"CLP are climate criminals. 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," said Greenpeace China climate campaigner Gloria Chang.

Last week, Greenpeace disrupted construction of the CLP funded Maptaphut coal plant, one of the largest in Thailand.

Other contacts:

Athena Ronquillo, Greenpeace International climate and energy campaigner, + 852 6224 4597 and +852-6224-45-97
Gloria Chang, Greenpeace China climate and energy campaigner, + 852 6076 67 81
Cecilia Goin, Greenpeace International media officer: + 31 6 212 96 908

Notes:

(1). Using European Commission methodology it has been calculated that the harmful impacts of CLP's coal burning operations across the region cost at least USD 3.9 billion in 2004.

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