“Re: Request to Meet from E.ON UK
E.ON UK understands that the Climate Camp 2008 event you are organising to be held between 3 and 11 August 2008 will focus principally on Kingsnorth Power Station and Heathrow Airport. Those who participate in the Camp are being encouraged, amongst other things, to take direct action against Kingsnorth Power Station in a day of mass action on 9 August 2008 with the objective of shutting down the power station.
Whilst E.ON respects entirely your right to peaceful protest within the law, we are very concerned that individuals' - including protestors and our employees and contractors - health and safety is not put at risk. In particular we would urge you not to put yourselves and others at risk by attempting to enter the power station site. The site is an operational power station and those that work at the site are required to comply with E.ON's strict health and safety rules and procedures.
We are also concerned about the potential for severe disruption to the local community, to which we pride ourselves in being a part of.
The power station provides enough power for around 1.5m homes, and plays a vital role in supplying electricity to the South East. Any interruption to the generation of electricity at the power station could put at risk the continuity of electricity supply to the public.
E.ON acknowledges and understands your concerns about its application to build a carbon capture ready cleaner coal fired power station at Kingsnorth, Kent. E.ON would like to reassure you that the decision to pursue the development of these new coal units has not been made lightly. In fact, it represents a fundamental commitment to helping the UK - and indeed the world - reduce its carbon emissions.
At E.ON we are keen to engage with you and would therefore like to offer you the opportunity to meet with us to discuss these complex issues in further detail. If you would like to accept this offer then please contact me Kate [sir name deleted] E.ON's Environmental Stakeholder Manager on [deleted].
We are sure that we are all agreed on the benefits of maintaining an open and constructive dialogue between our two organisations and we look forward to hearing from you.
Kate [sir name deleted]
Environmental Stakeholder Manager”
Today, as agreed at the June National Gathering, the Climate Camp is sending back the following response:
“Re: Camp for Climate Action 2008
Thank you for your letter dated 13 May 2008 inviting us to enter into dialogue.
Like you, we are concerned about Health and Safety – the W.H.O. report* states that at least a hundred and fifty thousand people are dying each year through the effects of human-generated climate change.
You are right that we plan to close down Kingsnorth power station during the week of the camp, but this is only a small step towards a much wider aim. We need to set our society on course for a more self-sufficient, lower carbon economy. Our camp will be a model of sustainable living, educational outreach, participatory decision-making and acting on our convictions.
Branding your planned new power station “clean coal”** does not get round the fact that it will increase total greenhouse emissions. You say in your letter you are genuinely committed to reducing carbon emissions “in the UK – and indeed the world”. If you are sincere in this, the last thing you would be doing is increasing the amount of power generated from coal burning, when renewable solutions are chronically under-utilised.
The camp is not an “organisation” in conventional terms, but a loose and informal movement of concerned and pro-active citizens, who come together for the camp. Once the Camp For Climate Action 2008 is up and running, those who attend might be willing to explore the possibility of a facilitated, open meeting on August 3rd, 4th or 5th in Hoo. They could answer any questions, address your concerns, and pose our own, with international media present.
In the meantime, as health and safety is at the core of our planning, we would welcome any information you are willing to send us in advance. A full schematic of the power station, with the dangers highlighted, and details of how to safely close it down would be particularly useful. Feel free to put us in touch with the relevant personnel.
In any event, you and your co-workers are very welcome to attend our camp. Would you like to receive further details of our programme of events, workshops, plenaries, talks and entertainment?
The Environmental Stakeholder Managers of the Camp for Climate Action
* The W.H.O. report we are most aware of is The United Nations Climate Change Human Impact Report, which is released every five or six years
**The BERR Report states that CCS technology is unproven, and least 15 years away. (UK Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (referred from