The Kenya Standard has harsh words for Western environmentalists seeking to block Kenya’s plans for a new clean coal power station.
As previously reported, the new coal plant at Lamu on the eastern coast would supply Kenya with 30 percent of its power, and is seen as critical to the country’s plans to modernise and achieve universal electricity coverage. Both the EU and Western environmental groups have condemned the proposal, with the latter accused of hiring local activists to stir up opposition to the plant.
But the Standard has hit back, pointing out the hypocrisy of this stance:
“The lobby groups opposed to the exploitation of the vast deposits of coal with an estimated value of over Sh3.4 trillion [US$34 billion] are largely funded by interest groups in countries that were industrialised using coal power.”
The paper also says that high cost of electricity is a major hurdle for Kenya’s plans to industrialise, with energy costs accounting for a third of manufacturing expenses. And as we and others have repeatedly explained, renewables cannot deliver a manufacturing industry. The blast furnace powered by wind has yet to be invented.
For Western environmentalists sitting in air conditioned offices, the central moral question is this: why should Kenya have to forgo development because the West has spent a century and a half pumping pollution into the air?