Climate debt news
New Kingsnorth fatal impact on people in developing world
New stats showing Kingsnorth's impact on water, food, refugees, drought and death
A new Kingsnorth coal plant could be responsible for 100,000 more people in the developing world losing their water supply in dry seasons reveals the World Development Movement today.
The anti-poverty campaigners have released a catalogue of shocking new statistics that show the devastating human impact that carbon emissions from a new Kingsnorth plant alone could have on people in the developing world because of its contribution to climate change. The World Development Movement reveals:
- 100,000 more people losing their dry season water supply
- Up to 300 more people dying every year due to malnutrition
- Up to 60,000 more people suffering from drought in Africa
- 50,000 more people going hungry due to drought and lower crop yields
- Up to 40,000 more people exposed to malaria
- 20,000 people being forced our of their homes and becoming climate refugees
- Around 30,000 more people losing their homes every year due to coastal flooding
Deborah Doane, director of the World Development Movement said:
These figures reveal, for the first time, the devastating human impact of building a new Kingsnorth coal power station. The world’s poorest people will lose their water supply, food and homes, and ultimately many will die as a direct result of our desire to burn more coal. The government must not give the green light to any new coal power stations in the UK unless all of the carbon emissions are captured and buried from day one.
The new figures have been released as over a thousand people travel to Kent today to join the 'Mili-band' - a human chain around the Kingsnorth station to show their opposition to new, dirty coal power in the UK because of its contribution to climate change and the devastating impact that it will have on the developing world.
These statistics are based on the fact that 75% of carbon emissions from a new Kingsnorth power station will be released into the atmosphere, which is in line with the most recent of the government's proposals on coal power in the UK. The impacts of climate change on the developing world are sourced from credible, scientific reports: the Stern Review, the United Nations, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the World Bank.
For more information/interviews with Deborah Doane, who will be attending the Mili-band, please call Kate Blagojevic on 07711 875 345 / 020 7820 4900
Notes to editors
It is currently predict that warming of 3-4°C could lead to:
- Over 1 billion people losing access to their dry season water supply due to glaciers melting [Stern Review. (2006). Part II: Impacts of climate change on growth and development. The Stern Review. HM Treasury. London. October 2006.]
- Up to 600 million more people suffering from drought in Africa. [IPCC. (2007). Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC. Chapter 9: Africa. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press]
- Around 200 million people being forced out of their homes and becoming climate refugees, due to increased disasters, sea-level rise and drought. [Stern Review. (2006).The Stern Review: The economics of climate change. Executive summary. HM Treasury. London.]
- Up-to 550 million more people at risk of hunger due to drought and lower crop yields. [Stern Review. (2006). Part II: Impacts of climate change on growth and development. The Stern Review. HM Treasury. London. October 2006.]
- Up-to three million dying each year due to malnutrition. [Stern Review. (2006). Part II: Impacts of climate change on growth and development. The Stern Review. HM Treasury. London. October 2006.]
- Around 300 million more people each year could suffer from coastal flooding, with tens of millions losing their homes permanently to sea-level rise. [Stern Review. (2006). Part II: Impacts of climate change on growth and development. The Stern Review. HM Treasury. London. October 2006. And Dasgupta, S. el al. (2008). The impact of sea-level rise on developing countries: A comparative analysis. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 4136. February 2007.]
- An additional 220-400 million people could be exposed to malaria worldwide. [Watkins, K. (2007). Human Development Report 2007/2008. Fighting climate change: Human solidarity in a divided world. UNDP.]
On the basis of current UK policies on climate change, if replicated around the world, we estimate that the world is set for around 3-4°C of warming. These policies are:
- a target to cut UK emissions by 34 per cent by 2020, and 80 per cent by 2050, allowing a large amount of this to happen through buying carbon credits from overseas rather than cutting emissions in the UK.
- support for allowing 50 per cent of EU reductions in emissions by 2020 to happen through buying carbon credits from outside the EU. And an EU target of cutting emissions by just 20 per cent by 2020
- supporting and advocating an expansion in aviation, including more flights and runways at Heathrow and Stansted airports
- a proposal to allow new coal power stations to be built in the UK which are largely unabated. Ed Miliband’s current proposal for power stations to have 400MW of carbon capture and storage would mean that a new coal power station at Kingsnorth would be 25 per cent carbon capture and 75 per cent unabated coal. It would emit around 6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year from 2015 onwards
If it started operating in 2015, a new coal power station at Kingsnorth would emit 210 million tonnes of carbon dioxide between 2015 and 2050. The World Development Movement has calculated that based on global past, present and future emissions, a new power station at Kingsnorth would be responsible for 0.01 per cent of emissions causing 3-4°C of warming. We assign 0.01 per cent of the responsibility for the impacts list above to Kingsnorth; eg, 0.01 per cent of 1 billion people losing access to dry season water supply is 100,000.
Ed Miliband has proposed that new coal power stations will need to have carbon capture fully installed once it has been ‘economically and technologically proven’. It may never be. Therefore, there can be no assumption that carbon capture technology will be installed at a specified date in the future.
The Mili-Band is organised by a coalition of organisations in the UK who are concerned about the devastating human impact of climate change and who thereby oppose dirty coal at Kingsnorth. The organisations involved are: Oxfam, the World Development Movement, People and Planet, The National Federation of Women’s Institutes, Christian Aid, Woodcraft Folk, RSPB, The National Union of Students and Avaaz. The coalition is grateful to Greenpeace for their support.
All organisations are members of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition.
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