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Greenpeace

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 1, 2005
4:46 AM

CONTACT: Greenpeace
Tara Buakamsri, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Climate Campaigner +66 185 50 013
Jean-Francois Fauconnier, Greenpeace International Climate Campaigner +66 142 29 645
Michael Kessler, Greenpeace International Communications +66 689 84 302
Ua-phan Chamnan-Ua, Greenpeace SEA Media Officer +66 192 82 426
For video and photos depicting climate change affected areas: Arthur Jones Dionio, Greenpeace South East Asia, +66 192 54 835

 
Industrialised Countries are Burning Asia's Future, Says New Greenpeace Report
 

BANGKOK - December 1 - 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 in northern 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.

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Notes:

(1) The impacts of climate change in Asia include: high altitude glacial retreat; sea-level rise and flooding in low-lying areas especially coastal mega cities; an increase in flooding from heavier rains; severe droughts in arid areas; an increase in cyclone intensity; threats to agriculture and aqua-culture; freshwater at risk; and the spread of diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Every year for the past 20 years, an average of over 400 million people has been exposed to floods in Asia. Between 1987 and 1997, 44% of all flood disasters worldwide affected Asia, claiming 228,000 lives (93% of all flood-related deaths worldwide). Economic losses in that decade totalled US $136 billion.

(2) Burning Our Future, p 5

(3) In order to keep global temperature increase below 2C and prevent dangerous climate change, industrialised nations must achieve an 80% reduction of their greenhouse gases' emissions by 2050, while globally there must be a 50% cut.

(4) Renewable energies are independent from world market fossil prices and therefore predictable for the coming years. Wind farm operators, for example, are able to provide a price guarantee for 15 to 20 years. The price for "coal-electricity" is dependent on the price of coal - which has been steadily rising over the past few years and is not expected to come down.

Even though coal power plants are cheaper now, the wind industry expects to be competitive within the next 5 to 7 years. By the time a new coal power plant is connected to the grid, it is believed that wind power plants will be cheaper.

Source: Energy Revolution: a sustainable pathway to a clean energy future for Europe

See www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/energy-revolution-a-sustainab

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