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Stop climate killing coal plants in Thailand

Stop climate killing coal plants in Thailand: Greenpeace

Map Ta Phut, Thailand - With its flagship the Rainbow Warrior looking on, Greenpeace activists today climbed the loading crane of the BLCP coal plant at Map Ta Phut in Thailand and unfurled banners demanding the plant's immediate closure, calling on the Thai government to phase out coal power and to commit to renewable energy.

"The catastrophic droughts across Thailand this year cost the country
US $193 million - climate change is causing severe hardship here and across the Southeast Asia region (1) and plants like BLCP are the main culprits," said Greenpeace Southeast Asia's Energy spokesperson Tara Buakamsri from Map Ta Phut.

Greenpeace believes that the Thai government will not be able to deliver on its promise of an 8% renewable energy target by 2011 as long as it continues to give the go-ahead to new coal-fired plants like BLCP.

"Climate change is a reality but so too are the solutions," said
Jean-Francois Fauconnier of Greenpeace International aboard the Rainbow Warrior. "Wind, solar and modern biomass power are already big business not only in Europe but also in China. The potential in Thailand is equally huge. (2)

"International financial institutions like the Asian Development Bank and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation should stop financing coal. They continuously talk up their support for renewables yet we've seen very little in the way of funds being re-directed towards alternatives. No more talk, it's time for action."

Signatories to the Kyoto Protocol are currently meeting in Montreal to discuss targets for reducing greenhouse emissions beyond 2012.
"Industrialised nations should not only commit to a 30% reduction by
2020 and 80% by 2050 (3) in their own domestic greenhouse gas emissions but they should also stop exporting climate change to developing countries. (4) They ought to assist these countries to embrace renewables," concluded Fauconnier.

The activity is part of an international protest by Greenpeace against new coal power plants. In Germany activists have been protesting since Monday on top a cooling tower of the RWE energy company, Europe's biggest CO2 polluter.

Greenpeace's flagship the Rainbow Warrior is in Bangkok on the Thailand leg of its 10-week Asia Energy Revolution Tour, exposing the impacts of climate change and promoting the uptake of renewable energy like wind and modern biomass. The tour started in Australia and will end in Thailand.

Greenpeace is an independent campaigning organisation that uses non-violent creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems to drive solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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