Following a recent direct action campaign against Aberthaw coal-fired power station, Europe’s most heavily-polluting utility, campaigners are heading back again this weekend for a major demonstration calling for its closure.
The protest is being backed by Reclaim the Power, United Valleys Action Group, Bristol Rising Tide and the Coal Action Network, which are calling for the government to commit to substantially more ambitious targets on renewable energy and end fossil fuel dependency. In a statement, organisers said:
We don’t need dirty, inefficient power stations to provide our energy needs. Onshore wind in Wales could create up to 2,000 jobs whilst upgrading the energy efficiency of homes in Wales would create 6,300 direct jobs and slash our heating bills and reduce overall demand for power generation. At the same time, offshore tidal lagoon projects, such as those being considered at Swansea Bay, could also diversify our energy supply using underwater turbines. The UK government however continues to subsidise the fossil fuel industry whilst slashing support for the renewables industry.
Air pollution from the plant is thought to be responsible for an estimated 400 deaths per year in the UK and emits 8.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year. At the same time, communities in South Wales have to live with the noise, dust and destruction of opencast coal mines such as Ffos-y-Fran, which feed Aberthaw.
Following fines from the European Court of Justice over its pollution limit breaches, owners are poised to switch sources to Russia or Colombia later this year, poisoning communities there instead.
Details for the day
Saturday 28 January
Meet at 1pm at the Leys beach car park, Limpert Bay, West Aberthaw, CF62 4ZW
The family-friendly demonstration will gather from 1pm at the car park at Limpert’s Bay where there will be trade union speakers, community renewable energy groups, air pollution campaigners and climate justice organisers from South Wales and beyond. There will be live music and hot soup — but dress cosy.
There will then be a short march around the perimeter of the power station on public footpaths before heading to a nearby pub for tea and sandwiches. In the pub, there’ll be an opportunity to meet and talk with local campaigners in South Wales. There will also be a presentation of the ‘The True Cost of Coal’ intricate poster art from the United States.
Bus leaving from outside Colston Hall (BS1 5AR) Saturday 28 January at 10am, and from Kebele Social Centre in Easton at 10.15am. Text 07711 214 168 to confirm a place (limited to 12). Donations requested to cover fuel costs.
Car-share lifts available. Departing at 12 noon from Cardiff. Email [email protected] to reserve your place.
Meet at West Drayton train station at 8am on Saturday 10 January. Email info [at] reclaimthepower.org.uk to book your place. Sliding donation of £10 – £20 return to cover minibus hire and fuel costs.
Contact info at reclaimthepower.org.uk