Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Greenpeace says construction of new coal plants in South Africa is OK

Greenpeace Africa: "Neither are we saying that construction should stop at new plants such as Medupi"

Greenpeace Africa´s climate and energy campaigner Ferrial Adam seems to have a rather realistic view about coal power in South Africa:

"We are not saying close the coal plants," says Adam. "Neither are we saying that construction should stop at new plants such as Medupi (the new South African coal power plant scheduled for completion in 2012).

"What we are saying is that there should be more focus on renewable energy sources as South Africa’s energy needs grow in the future."

Read the entire article here

Quite reasonable words, coming from a Greenpeace employee. One would hope that fellow South African Kumi Naidoo and the other warmists at the top of the international Greenpeace hierarchy would embrace this kind of more realistic policy. But that must be wishful thinking when one considers the "official" Greenpeace policy line:

Coal fired power plants are the biggest source of man made CO2 emissions. This makes coal energy the single greatest threat facing our climate.
Unfortunately, governments across the world are allowing industry to spend hundreds of billion of dollars to build hundreds of new coal-fired power stations worldwide in the coming years. If they are built, CO2 emissions from coal are expected to rise 60 percent by 2030. This will undermine any international agreements to tackle climate change.
As world leaders fail to step up and take the necessary action to stop coal, people across the world are taking on the struggles themselves. Across the world environmental activists, students, doctors, church leaders and many more are mobilising against coal.
We have been supporting local movements against coal accross the globe and taking action to stop global warming.

Only a couple days ago Kumi Naidoo himself was in Chicago demanding that Edison International´s coal plants should be closed down:

“I am inspired by the energy in Chicago today. Corporations must not continue to profit at the expense of human life. Edison International needs to be a responsible global player, shut down these coal plants, and show they can be a leader in green energy,” said Kumi.

Could it be that Greenpeace is demanding that coal power plants should be shut down everywhere else, except in Naidoo´s home country, South Africa?


Michael Baillie said...

Greenpeace Africa’s position on coal is clear: the reality is that coal kills. The true cost of coal is environmental destruction at every step, polluting scarce water supplies and destroying people’s health and wellbeing.

Greenpeace is demanding that all construction on the coal-fired Kusile power plant must be stopped to prevent its massive environmental, economic, and social impacts. One of our latest reports, the Energy [R]evolution (available here:, clearly outlines why Eskom does not have to build Kusile, and how it’s possible to get more than half of South Africa’s electricity from renewable energy by 2030.

In short, Greenpeace opposes new coal-fired power stations around the world, and South Africa is no exception. The impacts of Medupi and Kusile are massive, and Greenpeace advocates the phasing out of coal as soon as possible. We recognise that Medupi is already nearly built, but Kusile must be stopped. There is absolutely no need to build it.There must be a just transition away from coal in the country, because the true cost of coal is simply too high for South Africans to pay.

Melita Steele, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Africa

NNoN said...

Greenpeace Africa´s Ferrial Adam:

"Neither are we saying that construction should stop at new plants such as Medupi"

For me that means that not only Medupi, but also Kusile and other new plants could be built. And - in my opinion - hopefully will be built.