Protesting activists dump coal at Thai Ministry of Energy

Protesting activists dump coal at Thai Ministry of Energy

Greenpeace activists Friday dumped coal on the doorstep of Thailand’s Ministry of Energy in protest against energy policies that promote the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, one of the primary causes of climate change.

Activists also unfurled a banner which reads “Ministry of Climate Change”, accusing the government of helping to intensify the impacts of climate change.

“The impacts of climate change are already affecting the people and economies of Thailand and Southeast Asia. But instead of grasping the urgency and promoting solutions, the Ministry of Energy is going in
the opposite direction by allowing the expansion of coal projects, such as the newly-built BLCP coal power plant,” said a Greenpeace statement issued Friday.

Other culprits of these policies are international funding institutions like the Asian Development Bank and Japan Bank for International Cooperation, which blatantly disregard the negative impacts of their dirty projects across Asia,” said Tara Buakamsri of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

The move came after Greenpeace activists tried to block the 170,000-tonne carrier, MV Star Europe, from unloading its Australian coal cargo into the controversial BLCP coal plant Thursday.

Greenpeace claimed that the controversial BLCP coal plant is expected to emit 22.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide over the next 20 years, contributing significantly to climate change.

“These huge external costs are hidden behind that dirty smoke, subsidised by the ADB, JBIC and the Thai Government — meaning, by the Thai people,” said Tara. “As leaders converge in Finland for the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) it will be beneficial that governments decisively stop the expansion and funding of fossil projects across Asia and Europe and invest in renewables to curb climate change.”

Leaders of state and ministers are meeting this week for the sixth ASEM, which has acknowledged the importance of climate change and is at the top of the agenda.

“Now leaders of Europe and Asia must recognise that unless they stop European and Asian Governments from financing dirty energy sources such as the BLCP coal plant in Thailand, they are responsible for
fuelling the effects of dangerous climate change and sending Asia deeper into its addiction to fossil fuels.

“Finance must now be invested into clean energy systems such as solar and wind,” said Athena Ronquillo-Ballesteros, head of the Greenpeace International delegation at ASEM.

Energy Ministry officials cannot be reached for comments. (TNA)

Share this post