November 2, 2021

Shut down Bargny coal plant, Senegalese activists urge President Sall in open letter

Press Release: 2 November 2021

Dakar, Senegal: As the UN climate talks (COP26) continue in Glasgow, UK, local community members and environmental activists in Senegal have sent an appeal to President Macky Sall to officially shut down the Bargny coal plant. 

In an open letter delivered to the President’s office in Dakar, the activists have also called for accelerated and ambitious renewable energy plans, which would significantly and sustainably transform the lives of the citizens and create thousands of jobs. 

Christian Hounkannou of said;

“As seen through climate impacts being experienced in the continent and across the globe, we are losing time against the climate crisis. If we are to make headway in limiting climate change and averting even more severe climate impacts, we must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by moving away from fossil fuels. We appeal to the President to officially shut down the Bargny coal plant and accelerate plans for transition into renewable energy, for the sake of our people, our environment and the planet.The Senegalese government must honor the Paris Agreement and accelerate renewable energy plans for the people and the planet, by investing heavily in renewable sources of energy available and abundant in Senegal.”

Daouda Gueye of RAPEN said;

“The construction of the Barngny coal-fired plant poses a serious threat to human beings and the environment. Coal-fired power plants are linked to human rights violations, health impacts and environmental destruction and internal displacements of thousands of families. Plans to convert the plant into a gas one should also be halted, as gas is not the solution to our energy needs. The government should strive for an economy powered by renewable energy that protects and respects the rights, livelihoods, environment, and future of all Senegalese people.”

The group also addressed the media during a press conference, shortly after the delivery of the letter to the office of President Sall in Dakar. The delivery of the letter is part of a wave of actions being held by groups across the globe to demand climate action, as parties meet in Glasgow for the UN climate talks (COP26). Community members have been raising the alarm about the proposed coal plant, citing catastrophic human and ecological impacts facing the Bargny, Sendou, and Rufisque communities, if the project were to move forward. The group has also expressed its disapproval of plans by the government to convert the Bargny coal plant into a gas plant, citing challenges similar to those posed by a coal plant. 


Notes for Editors

About Bargny Coal Plant

Bargny coal plant, is a 125MW power plant based on a public-private partnership aimed at producing power using coal shipped from South Africa. In the last ten years, community members have been opposed to the construction of the coal-fired power station, saying it threatens the lives of the locals, as well as the biodiversity in Bargny and its surroundings. In December 2019, the government announced the plant would be turned into a gas facility. This announcement didn’t meet the expectations of local communities and activists who say a gas facility is likely to have similar harmful impacts.

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Christine Mbithi


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