Appendix 2: 13 “Inconvenient Truths” from CLP

Press release - 2006-11-09

Truths of desperation


1. Coal-fuelled electricity as culprit of pollution

Coal fuel accounted for 62.5% of energy production of CLP’s Castle Peak Power Station in 2005, which was higher than 34.4% in 1999. Electricity generated from coal is the main cause for climate change and air pollution, which brings tremendous environmental and economic costs.

2. Emission surges and turns Hong Kong into a furnace

Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas causing climate change. In 2004, carbon dioxide emission from CLP accounted for 64% of total emission from all electric plants in Hong Kong and the figure keeps on growing. The Hong Kong Observatory said October this year was “extraordinarily warm”, which leveled the record set in October 1983. This proves that Hong Kong is no exception to effects of climate change.

3. Surging emission fogs Hong Kong

Sulfur dioxide is the major air pollutant in Hong Kong. Over 90% of it comes from electric plants. In addition, release of respiratory suspended particles from CLP accounts for 27% of the total emission in Hong Kong and nitrous oxide also takes up 30% of the total. All these pollutants increased the percentage of days with visibility below 8000 meters from 5% in 1995 to 20% in 2005.

4. Coal fuel brings along pollution

CLP is increasing its electricity sold to the Guangdong province. The sales accounts for 13% of her total production in 2005 but has jumped substantially by 380% on top of the 2000 level. Nevertheless, the exported electricity coming from coal burning in Hong Kong in turn, pollutes the territory and makes futile the efforts of saving energy by Hong Kong citizens. CLP makes money by selling electricity to Guangdong at the expense of the environment, social and people’s welfare in Hong Kong.

5. Expansion of coal fuel empire in Asia Pacific

Since 1996, CLP has been expanding its electricity projects in the Asia Pacific region to Taiwan, Thailand, India and Australia. It has now become the largest private power company in Asia. CLP opens aggressively new electricity markets outside Hong Kong. In these planned electricity projects in the Philippines, India and Indonesia, 98% of the power are coal fuelled which aggravates our environment.

6. Money wrongly spent to liquefied natural gas loading station

CLP plans to invest HK$ 9 billion to build a liquefied natural gas loading station in Hong Kong. Yet according to speculation to offshore wind power generator in Clearwater Bay by wind energy consultancy, Wind Prospect, HK$9 billion is sufficient to build a wind power station with 100 to 150 windmills. This shows that the investment from CLP is neither justified nor responsible to the environment and our coming generations.

7. “Environmentally friendly coal” is environmentally unfriendly

CLP claims that they are using “the cleanest and environmentally-friendly coal in the world” but the wording is misleading to the public. Coal is the most polluting fossil fuel. All kinds of coal release pollutants including greenhouse gas, such as carbon dioxide, which cannot be eliminated by any methods. Currently, about 30% of CLP electricity generated from coal belongs to the so called “environmentally friendly coal”. The efforts to protecting the environment are just a drop in the bucket when compared pollution from CLP’s coal-fuelled electricity.

8. Doubtful promises by CLP to reach Guangdong-Hong Kong emission reduction target in 2010

In 2002, both the Guangdong provincial government and the HKSAR reached consensus to reduce cross-border air pollution by 2010. CLP being the largest air pollutant in Hong Kong, has yet to guarantee any means to fulfill the target which impairs the effectiveness of emission reduction in Hong Kong.

9. Target lost for carbon dioxide emission reduction

From 2006, CLP started to implement the ‘Climate strategy” as a response to the climate change crisis. Nevertheless, she lacks any substantial climate change policy that can prove its commitment in fighting against climate change, especially in making clear proposals and targets to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide.

10. Timetable absent to replace coal fuel

The Castle Peak Power Station of CLP is the largest coal fuel electric plant in Asia, which has been operating for 25 years. The generators should have been replaced but CLP has no timetable or proposal to replace coal fuel by renewable energy.

11. CLP profits from Hong Kong citizens

CLP has earned a profit of over HK$10 billion last year but all external costs are subsequently shouldered by Hong Kong citizens. Researches by the Civic Exchange point out that various kinds of loss incurred by air pollution amounts to HK$20 billion annually, which includes costs to the health, environment and the economy. CLSA estimates that the rise in sea levels caused by global warming would drown both coasts of Victoria Harbor, and economic loss would amount to HK$400 billion.

12. Costly “green flag” hoisted for superficial image

CLP claims to be “environmentally friendly” but this is only a window dressing trick. On average, building a wind mill power generator costs around HK$30 million, which equals to 300 times of a 30 second-commercial during prime time TV by CLP. If CLP use this advertising expense to develop wind electricity, it would create more concrete and positive effects to our environment.

13. Petty offer of renewable energy

In December 2004, CLP set a target of renewable energy accounting for 5% of her total electricity production by 2010. Comparing to her total production of coal-fuelled power which reaches 2634 Megawatts (the BLCP project and Fang Chang Harbor in Guangxi), this target of renewable energy is so trivial and far from being a remedy to the damage to the environment and society.