In an attempt to chain themselves to a conveyor-belt and ratchet up pressure on the coal industry, activists disrupted production and forced evacuation at the state-owned Tarong power station in northern Queensland, Australia.
The incident is the latest in a series of environmental protests against Australia’s coal-fired power stations and coal export industry, which has been blamed for half the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. In July, environmental groups staged a six-day protest aimed at shutting the world’s biggest coal port, Australia’s Newcastle coal terminal.[social_buttons]
Australia produces about 1.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions making it one of the world’s highest per-capita emitters due to a reliance on coal for 80 percent of electricity.
Tarong Power produces up to 25 percent of Queensland’s electricity from three power stations. The coal-fired Tarong and Tarong North power stations use up to 7 million tons a coal a year from the company’s nearby coal mine.
“Australia’s greenhouse pollution is rapidly increasing, and our addiction to coal-fired power is the main cause,” protest spokeswoman Clare Towler told Australian Associated Press.
In December, the Australian government plans to announce its target for greenhouse emissions by 2020, and details of its plan for carbon trading, due to start in July 2010.