Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


power company challenged on climate change

May 2005

Activists from Greenpeace and communities in the Far East disrupted a meeting of China Light and Power (CLP) at the Hong Kong Peninsula Hotel to protest at the impacts of its coal-fired power stations across Asia.

The demonstrators claim every $1 of CLP's $1.1billion (£580m) profit last year cost communities nearly $4 in health and environmental harm.

Greenpeace said that last year CLP emitted nearly 17 million tons of carbon dioxide, contributing to air pollution, acid rain, global warming and heart disease. The company owes HK$28.9billion ($3.7bn, £2bn) in 'external costs' to consumers worldwide because it had not calculated the effects of its coal-burning on climate change, the pressure group claimed.

Charoen Detkhum, a community leader from Thailand, where a CLP-funded coal plant is being built, said: 'We are here to say no to CLP's dirty coal business on behalf of many affected communities across the region. We demand clean, safe and renewable energy for our communities.'

Greenpeace is demanding that CLP invests its profits in clean renewable energy projects.

CLP, countering the Greenpeace accusations, said: 'In Hong Kong emissions of carbon dioxide in 2004 were approximately five per cent below our 1990 emissions level despite demand for electricity increasing by 68 per cent over this period. This was achieved through a strategy of diversifying into climate-friendlier fuels such as natural gas and nuclear power. CLP aims to have five per cent of its electricity-generating capacity from renewable energy sources by 2010.'

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