Saturday 29 was set as worldwide ‘No Coal Day’: demonstrations in many countries aimed to draw attention on the human and environmental health damages caused by coal-fired power stations. Italy decided to decommission its five nuclear power plants following a referendum back in 1987 ( and more recently confirmed its anti-nuclear position through a second much participated referendum in the past spring), so about 13,5% of the nation’s energy production is currently based on coal, but counts for more than 30% of the entire electricity sector’s emissions!: 39 million tons of CO2 per year.Despite these alarming data, political/economical decisionmakers are pushing coal as “the energy for the future”, claiming that a new generation of plants could produce energy with minimal pollution.
Such trend to switch oil plants to coal has recently hit Porto Tolle – a small town on the Po’s river delta – where Enel owns a petrol powered plant: built back in the eightees, it is scheduled to be converted into a coal powered station, and, as already happened with the Tirreno Power plant in Vado Ligure, people living in the area have ingaged in a struggle that led to the project’s legal halt. In May 2011 the State’s Council agreed with the planned conversion’s incompatibility with the territory’s natural environment, stating that, should such plan for Porto Tolle become effective, the plant would represent – according to Greenpeace – the second major CO2 source in the whole country ( four times the CO2 emissions of the city of Milan ).
Porto Tolle was therefore central to this year’s ‘No Coal Day’ demonstrations, with other five local sites ( Saline Joniche, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Brindisi and Vado Ligure)joining in the protests. In Vado Ligure the event could count on the support of Beppe Grillo, famous comidian at the head of the anti-political Movimento Cinque Stelle, which is very active toward environmental issues.
– video [en] No Coal Day – Vado Ligure
– text [it] No Coal Day Beppe Grillo in Vado Ligure. Il Fatto Quotidiano Inquiry
– text [it] Coal power plants: the demonstration ignored by the mass media
– text [it] No more coal in Porto Tolle power plant