Saying No to Coal in Egypt
Egyptians are concerned that their government is moving forward, without citizen input, to allow multinational cement corporations to switch from clean burning gas to polluting coal-fired kilns.
The switch saves corporate dollars but threatens public health.
"Natural gas-fired cement plants do not emit any particulate matter or sulfur dioxide," says Mark Chernaik, ELAW Staff Scientist. "By switching to coal, the plants will emit twice as much CO2, and add particulates and SO2 on top."
ELAW partners at the Habi Center for Environmental Rights say the plans by Lafarge and Suez Cement "violate the environmental rights of citizens, especially their right to health, healthy clean environment, right to information and participation."
Habi joins eight local organizations demanding that the companies be transparent and make available to the public the environmental impacts of switching to coal.
In related news, Egypt's Environment Minister agreed this month to assess the environmental impact of seven out of 19 cement companies that have conducted studies to use coal as an alternative source of energy.
ELAW is inspired by Habi's work to hold polluting industries accountable. Last year, we worked with them to protect a community from a toxic fertilizer plant.
We are pleased to help advance efforts in Egypt to place public health before corporate profits.
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide