SEOUL, Oct. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — Environmental groups called for increased government regulations on privately owned coal-fired power plants’ claims that their coal plants are eco-friendly and provide clean energy.
Greenpeace and the Green Consumer Network in Korea said that they presented a petition to the Anti-Corruption and Civil-Rights commission to regulate Posco Energy, SK Gas, Samsung C&T and other firms.
Posco Energy established Samcheok Pospower, SK Gas established Dangjin Ecopower and Goseong Greenpower, and Samsung C&T established Gangneung Ecopower as subsidiaries to run their power plants.
“These power plants have words in their names that imply environmentally friendly qualities like ‘eco’ and ‘green’ to falsely promote a positive environmental image. Within their promotional material are also words and phrases like ‘clean energy’, ‘zero environmental impact’, ‘coal-fired power plants are cleaner than natural gas plants’ and other items that convey distorted information about coal-fired plants,” said the environmental groups.
They also pointed out that even if state-of-the-art technologies like pollution abatement systems and high-efficiency boilers are employed, a considerable amount of pollutants are still released from coal-fired power plants.
According to the Ministry of Environment, a coal-powered plant emits 16 to 18 times more air pollutants than a natural gas plant.
These organizations argued that the claims made by coal power plants are a typical form of “green washing” to clean up their image and realize economic gains.
“Privately owned coal-fired power plants should not stick to producing coal-based energy in pursuit of immediate interests, but should invest in renewable energy for the people’s health and future growth engines.” said Son Minwoo, a Greenpeace campaigner.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)