South Africa

“Major climate impacts and exorbitant costs have sounded the death knell for a new proposed coal-fired power station in South Africa,” reports the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER).

A green light for the proposed Thabametsi plant in Limpopo province would have made it one of the most greenhouse gas emission-intensive coal-fired power stations in the world. It was originally approved for a capacity of 1200MW, and later for 557MW.

“ELAW has collaborated with CER for years to help win this big victory,” says CER attorney Nicole Loser.

ELAW Staff Scientist Dr. Mark Chernaik provided CER with a critical review of the power company’s Climate Impact Assessment. Mark’s review included an estimate that the power plant’s expected CO2 emissions would cause more than $480 million per year in climate damages. Mark also provided a critique of the power company’s draft Atmospheric Emissions License, and material to rebut the power company’s defense of the Ministry’s grant of environmental authorization that has now been set aside.

“Coal kills people and is the largest source of CO2 emissions,” says Mark. “We simply cannot continue burning coal if we hope to protect the climate.”