For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Peter Bosshard, The Sunrise Project
Borim Kim
Activist, Youth4ClimateAction in Republic of Korea

Amidst California’s Airpocalypse, Protesters Call on Samsung to Quit Coal

PALO ALTO, CA - Climate protesters today held a demonstration outside Samsung’s flagship store In Palo Alto over its plans to build the controversial Vung Ang 2 coal plant in Vietnam.

The action forms part of a series of protests by youth climate activists at Samsung offices around the world, including in Seoul, Manila, Tokyo and London. Fridays for Future, led by Greta Thunberg, is also planning a digital strike against Samsung alongside Youth4ClimateAction.

Samsung C&T, an affiliate of Samsung Electronics which makes phones, is considering participation in the controversial Vung Ang 2 coal-fired power generation project in Vietnam, according to Sunghwan Kim, a member of parliament from Korea’s ruling Democratic Party. Participation would see the Samsung Group company construct the plant, along with equipment provider Doosan Heavy Industries.

Vung Ang 2 has been delayed for more than 12 years due to local opposition and is predicted to be uneconomic. Concerns have been repeatedly raised over the pollution and emissions standards for the 1,200-megawatt plant.

Peter Bosshard, Finance Program Director at the Sunrise Project, said at the protest: “In case we had any doubts, California’s current Airpocalypse drives home again how urgently we have to move away from the fossil fuels which are cooking our planet. We call on Samsung to stay out of the Vung Ang 2 coal power plant in Vietnam and to stop building, financing and insuring coal projects.”   

Katerina Gaines of Youth vs. Apocalypse commented at the protest: “I ask Samsung to stop building coal projects because these projects put not just my interests and the interests of my family, but the interests of all young people and future generations at stake.”

Samsung Securities, an affiliate of Samsung C&T, recently withdrew from the Adani coal port project in Queensland, after a boycott campaign led by School Strike 4 Climate Australia. Samsung Securities said it has been “unaware” of the various environmental issues relating to the project. Other Samsung companies continue to finance and insure coal projects however.

Samsung has just launched a new phone, the Galaxy Note 20, and the company has already been described as a “laggard” for failing to embrace eco-friendly practices in its products. The Samsung Electronics website states that it is “acting now for a sustainable low carbon future”. It says: “Climate change, resulting at least in part from a surge in the use of fossil fuels and the global warming it has caused, is a serious problem that affects the entire world. Samsung Electronics has acknowledged the reality of the crisis and is therefore continuing efforts on multiple fronts”.
Youth protestors commented at the protests in Seoul and Tokyo as well:

Hyunseo Yang, 15-year-old protester, said “within two years, the emission from Vung Ang 2 will completely offset the reduction efforts of the Korea’s Green New Deal. I implore Samsung, as a representative corporation of South Korea, to make the right choice.”
Dahee Nam, 18, said, “coal power plants emit the largest amount of greenhouse gas emission in the world’s power generation sector. What good are Samsung’s quality services and products if, three decades later, the Earth is irreversibly damaged, and humanity is extinct?”

In addition, Fridays for Future led by Greta Thunberg is going to organize a digital strike against Samsung along with Youth4ClimateAction.

“I feel responsible as a Japanese citizen because Japanese megabanks are involved in the Vung Ang 2 project as well. We don’t need any more coal power, which only accelerates the climate crisis,” said Aina Koide, Fridays for Future Japan.

“To achieve the low-carbon future which Samsung itself commits to, Samsung must not be involved in the project. Samsung should truly act for a sustainable future.”


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