Industrialised countries are burning Asia's future, says new Greenpeace report
Bangkok, Thailand, Industrialised countries must stop exporting climate change to developing countries if social, economic and environmental disaster is to be averted, according to a new Greenpeace report on the power sector in Asia and its impacts on the climate. The report is published today to mark the arrival of its flagship the Rainbow Warrior in Bangkok on the final leg of its Asia Energy Revolution Tour. (1)
"Countries in Asia are being hooked on fossil fuels such as coal by the very same governments who have agreed to lower greenhouse emissions in their own countries," said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Climate Campaigner Tara Buakamsri.
Burning our Future finds that industrialised nations, while themselves being large emitters of greenhouse gasses, are guilty on two counts of sponsoring climate change in developing countries through the export of fossil fuels like coal to the region, and through the funding of dirty technology by international financial institutions like the Asian Development Bank. (2)
Maliwan Nakwiroj, a member of the Mae Moh community
Thailand, who has lived by the Mae Moh coal plant, described to the press conference how the plant had adversely affected his community: "Many have died because of this plant and many of us continue to suffer from respiratory illnesses. Our communities are polluted and our crop is dying. All due to the plant and it's dirty emissions. Soon, we, the people of Thailand, will suffer greater hardships due to the climate change caused by this coal plant and others like it."
In order to get the energy revolution on its way, Greenpeace is calling on all governments currently present in Montreal at the first meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol to start negotiating the deep emission cuts needed to avoid dangerous climate change. (3)
"Climate change is a reality but so
too are the solutions," said
Buakamsri. "Government and industry need to drastically change their mindset - a new coal plant built now will end up being vastly more expensive than wind turbines or biomass in 5-7 years time. (4) Preventing climate change not only makes common sense but economic sense too."
The Rainbow Warrior has been leading the Asia Energy Revolution Tour in Australia, Hong Kong and the Philippines, exposing the impacts of climate change and promoting the uptake of renewable energy such as wind and solar power and is currently in Bangkok on the Thailand leg of its Asia Energy Revolution Tour.
Burning our Future can be downloaded at www.asiacleanenergy.org Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses non-violent creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems to force solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.