Greenpeace and community activists condemn 'Climate Killer' CLP at AGM

Press release - 2007-04-24
Greenpeace and representatives from impacted communities across Asia, this morning disrupted CLP’s AGM in a stark reminder of the true costs of coal. CLP is Asia’s largest privately owned power utility and derives most of its electricity from coal. CLP’s CO2 emissions in 2006 were the highest in 14 years and the social and environmental costs of their activities across the region rose to HK$ 30.8 billion.

Greenpeace and representatives from impacted communities across Asia, this morning disrupted CLP’s AGM in a stark reminder of the true costs of coal. CLP is Asia’s largest privately owned power utility and derives most of its electricity from coal.

Greenpeace and representatives from impacted communities across Asia, this morning disrupted CLP’s AGM in a stark reminder of the true costs of coal. CLP is Asia’s largest privately owned power utility and derives most of its electricity from coal.

Twenty Greenpeace activists and climate change and coal victims from the Philippines, Tuvalu and Australia blockaded entrances at the AGM venue, enacting scenes of the climate devastation already being caused by CLP's record levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Activists lay in front of 9 huge tombstones to symbolise the human cost of CLP's activities across the Asia-Pacific.

Climate change, its causes and the solutions have been pushed to the top of the international agenda by the landmark reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). According to its recent report, global greenhouse gas emissions need to be halved in 50 years time if we are to keep average global temperatures below 2 degrees.

"Global attention on preventing dangerous climate change is at its height. As one of the most vulnerable regions, Asia faces serious threats including increased risk from hunger, water shortages, spread of diseases and inundation of coastal communities. Yet governments and utilities like CLP continue to procrastinate. We demand that CLP stop investing in coal and instead invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency", said Athena Ronquillo, Greenpeace International Asia regional climate campaigner.

Three representatives from coal and climate impacted communities travelled to Hong Kong from across the region to confront CLP over the true cost of their coal burning business. "I have seen how coal has caused the disintegration and disempowerment of communities and am here to call for a just transition from coal-dependency to sustainability" said Geoff Evans from a coal mining community in Australia. Mr Evans was joined by other regional representatives including Prof. Aurora Lim, anti-coal and renewable energy advocate from Iloilo, Philippines and; Mr. Taukiei Kitara from the sea-level rise threatened island of Tuvalu.

"We decided to join Greenpeace in a series of climate change related events to share our experiences and communicate the social and environmental effects of coal and consequent climate change impacts on vulnerable communities like ours", added Lim.

The IPCC Working Group II report outlines serious threats to some of Asia's iconic places and ecosystems including water shortages and species extinction in Asian Megadeltas such as the Ganges-Brahmaputra (Bangladesh) and the Zhujiang (Pearl River). The IPCC is set to release its third report on climate change mitigation in Bangkok next week where the debate on energy solutions takes centre stage.

"The window for action is narrowing down. We have barely 10 years to catalyse the massive uptake of sustainable renewable energy solutions. We need an energy revolution to dramatically transform our energy system and create a low carbon economy - that revolution requires governments and utilities such as CLP to stop talking and act now," stressed Ronquillo.

Notes:

1) Greenpeace is calling for global emissions to peak by 2020 and fall rapidly thereafter ensuring at least a 50% reduction globally from 1990 levels by the year 2050, and eliminate fossil fuel emissions before the end of the 21st century.
See www.energyblueprint.info

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