Thursday, May 21, 2009

Green activists protest at Australia power plant

Greenpeace activists shut down a coal digger at Hazelwood, the developed world’s most polluting power station. Carrying the message 'coal - powering climate change', the activists are demanding that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd take real action on climate change by transitioning away from coal. (c)Greenpeace

CANBERRA (Reuters) - Environmental activists tried on Thursday to disrupt operations at an Australian power station that provides 8 percent of the country's coal-reliant electricity market, in a protest against government climate policies.

Greenpeace said the dawn protest by around 14 activists at the Hazelwood Power Station in Victoria state was the latest part of an ongoing campaign to reduce Australia's carbon emissions.

"Australia is digging itself into a hole. By phasing out coal and investing in renewable energy, we can protect our environment and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs," said Greenpeace campaigner Simon Roz.

Hazelwood, in Victoria's Latrobe Valley, is a brown coal fueled power station with a 1,600 megawatt capacity, and supplies up to 25 percent of the state's base load electricity. The station relies on brown coal from the adjacent Morwell mine.

Majority owned by the UK-based company International Power and scheduled to be decommissioned by 2009 due to its excessive carbon dioxide emissions, the state government in 2005 extended its life until 2031.

A mine spokesman told Reuters the protest had "no impact whatsoever" on output and police removed the demonstrators, who chained themselves to a dormant digger with banners reading "coal - powering climate change." …

Green activists protest at Australia power plant

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