Thursday, November 27, 2008

Coal-fired power station blockade on the eve of international climate negotiations

This morning, four people entered the Munmorah Coal-Fired Power Station on the NSW Central Coast, attaching themselves to conveyor belts carrying coal. It is the fifth time that people have shut down a coal-fired power station in Australia this month.

Spokesperson Ann-Marie Rohlfs says "In two days, the Rudd Government will go to the United Nations climate change meeting in Poland. Instead of showing leadership, they are set to announce weak and ineffective domestic emissions reduction targets.

"With the upcoming release of the Climate White Paper, the Rudd Government will hand tens of billions of dollars in compensation and free permits to polluting industries. Public money would be better spent investing in a green renewable future for Australia."

Spokesperson Nicky Ison says, "This week we witnessed the closure of the BP solar plant in Homebush Bay. Australia is missing out on tens of thousands of new jobs by continuing to prop up the coal industry and preventing the transition to a renewable energy economy.

"In September, Nobel Prize Winner Al Gore said 'I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants.' We are taking him at his word. Today's blockade at the Munmorah Power Station is part of a huge community effort to kick Australia's coal habit.

"We are facing a climate emergency, but our emissions are still rising. We call on the Rudd Government to ensure 2010 is the year Australia's greenhouse emissions peak and begin to rapidly decline.

"If half of the homes in NSW had solar hot water systems, there would be no need for Munmorah Power Station. We would save 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 annually. As the oldest power station in NSW, Munmorah Power station must be the first to go in the new green economy."

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