Opposition to coal in South Africa
Citizen protests against coal in South Africa
June 2011: Greenpeace dumps coal at Eskom
On June 27, 2011, Greenpeace protesters blocked one of the entrances of the Eskom headquarters with five tons of coal, to publicly demand that Eskom stop the construction of the Kusile Power Station and shift to renewables. The activists held banners calling on Eskom to clean up its act and stop coal.
Kusile coal-fired power plant will be one of the biggest coal-fired power stations in the world, with 4,800 MW of power production, using 17 million tons of coal per year. According to Greenpeace, the action highlighted the true cost of Eskom’s addiction to coal: environmental destruction at every step, the pollution of scarce water supplies, and the destruction of people’s health and wellbeing.
Greenpeace Africa’s climate and energy campaigner Melita Steele said: “To date, Eskom’s investments in renewable energy are limited to tiny projects of 100MW of wind and 100MW of solar. This illustrates Eskom’s lack of commitment to a sustainable future for South Africa.”
Greenpeace Africa’s 2011 report, "The Advanced Energy (R)evolution", says that South Africa - as the largest CO2 emitter on the continent, and the 12th largest in the world - has a moral responsibility to address climate change, and that switching to 50% renewables by 2030 would create 150,000 direct jobs.
According to Steele, “Greenpeace has tried repeatedly to engage with Eskom about its addiction to coal and nuclear energy. Eskom has however not shown any intention of changing its tune. Today Greenpeace publicly calls on Eskom to clean up its act."
November 2011: Greenpeace protests South African coal plant, 9 arrested
Authorities arrested nine people at the Kusile power station near Witbank in South Africa on November 7, 2011. Greenpeace activists chained themselves to a gate while others climbed a crane to protest dependence on coal just weeks before the country hosts a global conference on climate change. The plant is owned by the state-owned power company Eskom, the country's number one greenhouse gas emitter.
Articles and Resources
- "Greenpeace demands Eskom cleans up its act" My Broadband, June 27, 2011.
- "Greenpeace protests SAfrica coal plant; 9 arrests" Associated Press, Donna Bryson, November 7, 2011.