E.ON backs off over Kingsnorth coal power plans

8 Oct 2009

After a concerted campaign by students, energy giant E.ON announced it has shelved plans to build the first coal-fired power station in the UK for 30 years.

Students protest about new coal outside Parliament

Students tell Gordon Brown not to be a Fossil Fool

EON protest

Warwick P&P - No new coal

Human banner at Shared Planet spelling out No New Coal

Human banner at Shared Planet

Royal Parks half marathon 2008 Nick Chan costume

Climate campaigner Nick Chan ran all the way in under 2 hours dressed as a coal fired power station!

Ian Leggett, Director of People & Planet, at protest outside Kingsnorth coal power station

Ian Leggett, P&P’s Director, protests at Kingsnorth

After a concerted campaign by People & Planet students, energy giant E.ON yesterday announced it had shelved plans to build the first coal-fired power station in the UK for 30 years.

Since it first announced its plans to rebuild Kingsnorth power station in Kent in 2006, German company E.ON has been widely condemned by environmentalists and became the target of numerous campaigns, direct actions and mass protests.

From a giant human ‘Miliband’ and a special meeting held outside the power station to Kingsnorth-clad marathon runners, students’ voices have been amongst the loudest in condemning the plans which would:

  • lock us into a high-carbon energy generation for decades
  • increase the certainty of runaway climate change
  • seriously undermine UK Government arguments for a fair and safe global deal at the crucial climate negotiations in Copenhagen

P&Pers have led creative and hard-hitting actions and taken part in mass protests representing a broad-based coalition over the last 3 years.

From Fossil Fools Day protests in Parliament Square in April 2008, to the cancellation of E.ON’s graduate fair because of student actions and a mass student presence at the infamous Climate Camp 2008 protest on Kingsnorth’s doorstep, there have been many highlights.

Students at last year’s Shared Planet conference formed a giant human banner to say no to new coal. Earlier this year, students gathered at Kingsnorth once again to urge Climate Change Minister, Ed Miliband, to stop Kingsnorth with headline grabbing banners.

The decision to abandon plans for the coal-fired power station is undoubtedly a win for student campaigners who have fought hard to prevent both the burning and the financing of dirty fossil fuels like coal. Congratulations to all involved and thanks for all your hard work.

Read more about the decision to shelve Kingsnorth plans and Greenpeace’s analysis of its implications for new coal