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Minister’s statement flies in the face of latest ‘no new coal’ report

4 June 2018 at 9:03 am

The Minister of Energy on Friday reiterated government’s intention to proceed with the procurement of expensive, dirty electricity from two independent coal power plants – despite compelling evidence about the disastrous impacts these plants would have for South Africa.

Last week, the Energy Research Centre (ERC) released a report proving that the two new coal plants, Thabametsi and Khanyisa, would cost South Africa an additional R20 billion, and increase greenhouse gas emissions by so much that they would negate government’s key plans to mitigate climate change. Credible modelling shows that, given the large surplus generation capacity, the coal IPPs are unnecessary to meet demand, and ensure security of electricity supply.

Moreover, both plants would have significant impacts on air quality and health in areas that are already heavily polluted, and would use enormous amounts of precious water resources. It is for these reasons that the Life After Coal Campaign has challenged – and will continue to challenge – all authorisations for these plants, including in High Court proceedings still underway.

We call on the Minister to cancel the plans to build the coal IPPs, and not to include any new coal in the updated Integrated Resource Plan for Electricity (IRP).  It is imperative for South Africa’s prosperity that we adopt a least-cost IRP that also takes into account the costs of energy options on water, health, and climate.

We reiterate the Life After Coal Campaign and Greenpeace Africa’s request for an urgent meeting with the Minister to discuss these issues. We will invite community representatives from the areas that will be impacted by these coal IPPs to join us at this meeting.

The Life After Coal/Impilo Ngaphandle Kwamalahle is a joint campaign by Earthlife AfricagroundWork, and the Centre for Environmental Rights.

ENDS

For media queries, please contact Annette Gibbs on agibbs@cer.org.za or 082 467 1295.

Section 24 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996

Everyone has the right to an environment that is not harmful to their health or well-being; and to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that prevent pollution and ecological degradation; promote conservation; and secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.

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