Activists target E.ON coal plant

More than 90 Greenpeace activists were arrested at the weekend after chaining themselves to building machinery and cranes being used to construct a new coal-fired power station.

Activitsts occupy the construction site of the new coal-fired power plant in Rotterdam (Copyright Greenpeace/Joel van Houdt)

Activitsts occupy the construction site of the new coal-fired power plant in Rotterdam (Copyright Greenpeace/Joel van Houdt)

The campaigners were attempting to stop work on energy company E.ON's power station in Rotterdam, in the Netherlands.

Greenpeace said the occupation on Saturday morning was intended to highlight the role that coal plays in creating air pollution and contributing to climate change.

"E.ON is blindly ignoring the science that clearly tells us coal is the biggest danger to our climate," said Agnes de Rooij, Greenpeace international climate change energy campaigner.

"Today's action took the message that this is unacceptable, directly to them."

E.ON has declined to comment on the protestors' actions, but a spokesperson denied Greenpeace's claims that the plant has not yet been granted the necessary permits and told edie there was "no question" of the plant undermining emissions reduction targets.

Earlier this year, Joost van Dijk, chairman of the executive board of E.ON Benelux, said: "This state-of-the-art power station, with CO2-trapping as soon as this is possible, meets the important requirement of securing electricity supply in the Netherlands in the long run at an affordable level.

"Its environmental performance is leading in the world and fits in with the plans of the Rotterdam/Rijnmond area to continually improve the air quality."

The company has set a target to reduce its CO2 emissions by 50% in 2030 and is invested Euro 6bn in renewable energy, as well as investing in more efficient coal-fired power stations and the development of carbon capture and storage.

On Sunday morning, the campaigners struck again in Rotterdam when two Greenpeace ships, the Rainbow Warrior and the Beluga II blocked the Mississippi harbour to try to prevent coal cargo ships coming in to unload.

According to local media reports, Dutch police impounded both ships and arrested the two captains.

Port authorities reportedly said there were no coal deliveries expected that day, rendering the blockage largely pointless.

Kate Martin



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