Greenpeace members have held a demonstration by releasing a giant hot air balloon to protest coal based power plants which led to massacre of 6,000 olive trees, in Yırca village of Soma where 301 miners were killed in a deadly mine disaster.
A giant hot air balloon of 100 m2 with a banner reading “Coal claim lives” floated on air for the protest against a fossil fuel-based plant operating in the region, as well as thermal plant projects “risking health and environment” according to activists and lawyers.
A banner saying “Choose life, not coal” marked the protest along with the giant balloon of Greenpeace.
As a result of fight against coal policies in energy production, significant progress has been made, applauded Greenpeace Mediterranean Climate and Energy Campaign officer Lawyer Deniz Bayram.
Turkey is known to be the fourth largest coal threat across the globe, following China and India, stressed Bayram, underlining coal's influences on air pollution, climate change, ecocide and medical symptoms.
“Coal has a share of 29 percent in energy production. The energy policies confirmed by the ministry keeps promoting coal” slammed Bayram.
COP21 climate summit held in Paris in December 2015 has called on world leaders to set forth concrete policies against coal projects, with respect to “1.5-degree target” in climate change.
In Turkey, Greenpeace counts around 20 thermal plants threatening our environment and lives, while 80 power plants are planned within new projects. According to Lawyer Bayram, “the growing number of these projects are not promising for Turkey's future”.
Thus, renewable energy production and effective energy productivity policies should be adopted and new project applications should be denied, said the Greenpeace activist.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coal-based thermal plants cause numerous severe diseases such as cancer, asthma and coronary failure, having caused premature death of 3.7 million people in 2012.
The Soma region in Turkey's Manisa, known for the deadly mine disaster that has stirred outrage in 2013, has higher degrees of particulate matter pollution than “safe limits” declared by the WHO”.
“Soma thermal plant has already been causing serious health problems and premature deaths. In the region, many children bend on inhalators in multiple households” Deniz Bayram said.
Turkey is listed as “one of the first countries, which benefit of solar power at the lowest levels, although it is the second in Europe in terms of solar power potential”, according to the Greenpeace officer.
If Turkey manages to follow steps suggested by Greenpeace under the “Energy (r)evolution” until 2030, 98,300 people will work in better conditions within renewable energy sector companies, electricity cost will fall significantly, and 205 million tons less CO2 will be released to the planet, he added.