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Youth groups reject clean coal myth

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The Ghana Youth Environmental Movement (GYEM), together with its key allies, has asked the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reject the ‘clean coal’ myth preached by proponents of coal power plant.

The Volta River Authority (VRA) and Shenzhen Energy Group are pushing to get a 700MW coal plant up and running by April 2017.

The groups, including the Ghana Youth Climate Coalition (GYCC), Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO-Ghana) and Hipsters of Nature, believe any investment in coal will rather result in devastating environmental challenges, because coal is considered a major contributor to global warming.

In a petition to commemorate World Environment Day, the Movement stated that an attempt to establish a coal plant will give the impetus to importing coal pollution into Ghana.

“Designation of a technology as a ‘clean coal’ technology does not imply that it reduces emissions to zero or near zero. For this reason, the term ‘clean coal’ is misleading,” the group said in a petition to the EPA. “No clean coal technology, sufficient to cut emissions from current generators by up to 50 per cent, is economically viable at industrial scale or expected to become viable within the next five years”.

The groups have urged the EPA and the Ministries responsible for Energy,Power Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation to put the interest of people and the environment first in all decision-making concerning the coal fired power plant project.

The coal power project is intended to contribute to addressing the power generation shortfall in Ghana to meet domestic and industrial demands.

But the Ghana Youth Environmental Movement wants Ghana to follow the global path of a transition from dirty energy to clean energy and rather invest in renewable energy to push forward the dictates of the Paris climate agreement.

“GYEM will continue to urge the EPA to be firm on its mandate and responsibility to protect the environment without compromising on the health of the people of Ghana and the integrity of our ecosystems,” it stated.

 

Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh

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