The day when Krabi is Coal-Free

By Save Andaman from Coal Network
Academics and researchers present Krabi Goes Green report on board the Rainbow Warrior which is anchored in Krabi province, Thailand. The report, entitled Krabi Goes Green, was conducted by Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Thammasart University, the Healthy Public Policy Foundation and Save Andaman from Coal Network. It shows that Krabi Province can lead the renewable energy (RE) transition in Thailand and achieve 100% RE by 2026. This can be possible with a combination of modern biomass, biogas, solar, wind and mini-hydropower managed under an RE smart grid. The groups are calling on local and national policy makers to make this transition a reality.

For many years, our daily lives as Krabi and Andaman people have been marred with trepidation and anxiety because of our uphill battle to protect our natural environment-our air, water, and soil. All this because of the government’s decision to build a coal power plant on our wonderful land.

Many parties projected that the Krabi coal power plant would be effectively approved because of military power to push the project forward. We were left to deal with a very rigid military government. You had security personnel regulating all public hearing activities, including hearings on the environmental impact assessment. Additionally, security personnel have always constantly monitored local people’s movements, making it difficult for them to carry out their campaigns to oppose the coal project. For five years, people here have persevered and learned to overcome the hardships to keep our land coal-free. People here never give up.

We are confident that our deep love for our motherland will motivate us to do more and work towards our ultimate goal of preserving and protecting Krabi for present and future generations. And we will never rest until this is accomplished.

A flame has been ignited. The “die-in” activity in front of the Ministry of Tourism to protest the government with the slogan “Tourism is dead ” sparked the fight against the coal power plant in the heart of Bangkok, the seat of power. It was followed by other public demonstrations: a 14-day fast to urge the government to halt plans for a coal power plant; the occupation of the Government House premises, which resulted in the arrest of protesters and their detention in a military compound and the fasting protest of local leaders from Krabi and Thepha district of Songkhla province in front of the UN headquarters that ultimately prompted the creation of a strategic assessment of the southern region’s energy future.

Calling on the government to conduct a strategic environmental assessment for the energy transition of Southern Thailand was our proposal – we wanted to tell the government and the Thai public the whole truth, which is the only way to end the conflict at Krabi. We demanded that proper procedures  be in place, particularly to assess and define our energy future. Eventually, the government responded to our call. A mechanism for developing a strategic environmental assessment on power generation in the southern region has been in place since then. The results are very clear that coal has no place in Southern Thailand. This means that coal is no longer viable for electricity generation here. The outcome of this strategic environmental assessment not only covered Krabi, but it also had a meaningful impact on the entire Southern Thailand.                                                                         

Today, there’s no coal at Krabi.

But even after successfully achieving our goal of protecting our community from coal power, we will continue to develop Krabi into a model city for the entire world. We will proudly advance the Krabi Go Green strategy by improving renewable energy, eco-tourism, food safety, and other initiatives that promote equitable distribution and long-term growth. More than a top tourist destination, Krabi must also be a global champion for sustainability.

Our Krabi brothers and sisters would like to thank our friends in the southern region, Bangkok, and other regions, as well as international partners, for their support in our efforts to protect Krabi from coal. As a group, we have achieved great things today. As a result, Krabi is protected from coal, but it also sets the stage for the creation of a public space where citizens can influence public policy, which is fundamental to people power. 

Krabi Go Green will be the next great eco-friendly city for the planet as we continue to write this history together. 

Save Andaman from Coal Network

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