Say NO to Coal JA
Say NO to Coal JA
At a press conference on 28 July 2016, the Jamaican Government announced the sale of the old Alpart bauxite plant at Nain in St. Elizabeth to Jiuquan Iron & Steel (Group) Company Limited (JISCO) as well as a US$2 billion investment in an industrial zone, powered by a 1000 megawatt (MW) coal-fired plant, creating 3,000 jobs. The project would include bauxite mines, an aluminium refinery, a local electricity network, rolling wire mills and “other enterprises”. Since then, the Government of Jamaica has not spoken further on the matter, except to say that no final decision has been taken.
A 1000MW coal-fired plant exceeds Jamaica’s entire current generating capacity which is presently about 850MW.
Coal is a fossil fuel formed under the earth's surface and is mined just like any other rock or mineral. It's not the same thing as charcoal, which is produced by slow heating of wood or other vegetation. Coal-fired plants have several negative impacts on public health and the environment. Emissions can cause respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular disease, asthma attacks, brain damage and cancer. They affect the environment by creating acid rain, depleting surface or ground water and contribute to global climate change.
Jamaica’s Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms states that every person has the right to “… enjoy a healthy and productive environment free from the threat of injury or damage from environmental abuse and degradation of the ecological heritage;” a coal-fired plant is a direct breach of those rights.
Assuming continuous operation, a modern coal-fired plant emits 762 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) per megawatt-hour of electricity generated. Using this conservative estimate, the proposed plant alone would emit roughly 6.7 million tons of CO2 per year, just over half of our 2025 target under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which we signed on Earth Day 2016. Meeting Jamaica’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to global emissions under this Agreement would become virtually impossible.
We call on the Government of Jamaica to:
• Refuse this proposal to construct a 1000MW coal-fired power plant in Jamaica
• Abide by their commitments to the Paris Agreement of December 2015, which requires phased reduction of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)
• Continue the transition to a new energy future for Jamaica as outlined in many government documents, including the National Energy Policy 2009 and Vision 2030, which emphasise energy conservation, renewables and liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a transitional fuel for Jamaica.
Our target for this petition is 20,000 signatures and it will be delivered to the Government of Jamaica on October 31, 2016.