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We believe that the construction of a new coal-fired power station would be a strategic mistake for Mauritius. Like other small island developing states (SIDS), Mauritius is vulnerable to climate change and especially sea level rise. Reputable scientists predict that sea levels will be 1m higher by 2100 and up to 6m higher beyond that. Such scenarios would be catastrophic for our nation.

For our very survival and that of fellow SIDS, Mauritius needs to become a leader in calling on developed and developing nations to reduce their CO2 emissions. How can we expect anyone to listen to us if we are building a coal-based power-station, the fuel that emits the largest amount of CO2 per unit of energy produced? We must set the example by showing that energy efficiency and renewables are economically viable alternatives to fossil fuels. If we do not then who will?

Mauritius is a relatively prosperous country whose Prime Minister has committed to becoming a sustainable island. We have the opportunity be a pioneer and a leader and not just another sheep following the crowd and chanting the mantra “coal is here to stay”. If we do not go against the flow and persuade others to join us then we will be consigning the future of our children’s children to a watery grave.

Various NGO’s support the proposal of CT Power to build a coal-fired power station in Mauritius. However, they appear to do so, not in the national interest, but because the main investor is a prominent Malaysian of Indian origin. Ironically, the Government of Malaysia has recently rejected plans to build a coal power station at Sabah on the island of Borneo on environmental grounds.

Greenpeace are calling on Facebook to commit to going green by Earth Day – April 22, 2011. Join the cause and unfriend coal.