October 6, 2008

More Fallout Over Plans for ‘Destructive’ Coal Power Plant

Midland organisations today joined criticism of the energy giant e.on for its plans to build the UK's first coal plant in three decades.

In a letter to Paul Golby, chief executive of e.on, an influential group of development and environmental organisations, and academics from the Midlands called on him to reconsider the plans.

They claim a new coal power plant in Kingsnorth, Medway, Kent, would emit seven million tonnes of carbon every year, which amounts to more than the combined emissions of 30 developing countries.

The signatories to the letter include Sayantan Ghosal, Professor of Economics at Warwick University; Gianluca Grimalda, Coventry chair of the World Development Movement; John Verdult, from Coventry Friends of the Earth; Tim Halpin, Warwick University People and Planet; Charlotte Marshall, unit manager, Christian Aid West Midlands; Georgia Stokes, Oxfam Midlands and campaigner Sue Cockcroft.

The letter came as e.on and Shell were accused today of threatening the lives of millions of poor around the world.

Their "high-polluting policies" have been attacked in an Oxfam report Forecast for Tomorrow that says they are contributing "to the UK pushing global emissions to dangerous levels for the world and catastrophic levels for the poor."

As well as Kingsnorth, Shell's plans to treble investment in the Canadian oil sands which Oxfam says is three-times more polluting than conventional oil production.

Last year, Oxfam said it responded to escalating numbers of climatic crises, including some of the most severe floods in Africa in three decades and similarly devastating floods in South Asia and Mexico.

According to the charity, the total number of natural disasters has quadrupled in the last two decades - most of them floods, cyclones and storms - with the number of people affected having increased from 174 million to an average of over 250 million a year.

Aspokesman for e.on said: "We've got three challenges: to keep people's lights on, to keep costs low and reduce damage to the environment.

We're investing pounds 6 billion on renewable energy projects up to 2010. The carbon capture storage we are proposing at Kingsnorth will take 95 per cent of the carbon from the burnt coal and store it under the sea."

(c) 2008 Birmingham Post; Birmingham (UK). Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.