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Talk of the Thames

PUBLISHED: 14:52 05 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:14 23 August 2010

UK ENGLAND KENT KINGSNORTH POWER STATION 29OCT08 - Activists from the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior enter the pier outside Kingsnorth Power station in Medway, Kent.

A nine-boat protest armada led by the Rainbow Warrior headed for Britain's most controversial power station, carrying dozens of campaigners who intend to enter the site at Kingsnorth in Kent.

Photo by Kristian Buus / GREENPEACE

UK ENGLAND KENT KINGSNORTH POWER STATION 29OCT08 - Activists from the Greenpeace flagship Rainbow Warrior enter the pier outside Kingsnorth Power station in Medway, Kent. A nine-boat protest armada led by the Rainbow Warrior headed for Britain's most controversial power station, carrying dozens of campaigners who intend to enter the site at Kingsnorth in Kent. Photo by Kristian Buus / GREENPEACE

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AN ARMADA of Greenpeace protestors took part in the latest protest against plans for Britain s first new coal-powered power station in decades. Nine boats led by the Rainbow Warrior set off for Kingsnorth Power station last week, sailing down the Thames

AN ARMADA of Greenpeace protestors took part in the latest protest against plans for Britain's first new coal-powered power station in decades.

Nine boats led by the Rainbow Warrior set off for Kingsnorth Power station last week, sailing down the Thames and River Medway before arriving at their planned destination at midday on Wednesday.

Thirty campaigners, each carrying flags from 30 nations, disembarked onto Kingsnorth's jetty, E.ON's proposed new plant.

The 1,985 megawatt power station is due to be closed by 2015 and E.ON, the energy company that owns it, wants to build two new MW coal-fired units.

Protestors claim the plant would emit as much carbon dioxide as the world's 30 least polluting countries combined (hence the flags), dashing our chances of beating climate change and spelling disaster for millions of families around the world.

A Greenpeace spokesperson said: "Every week, more and more people are standing together and saying no to new coal in the UK: development groups, faith groups, environment groups, unions, politicians of all shades, scientists and, of course, thousands of UK citizens.

"Now, Ed Miliband's new department has a real opportunity to do the right thing and invest in clean, renewable energy sources, creating a million new green collar jobs, ensuring that the lights don't go out, and cutting carbon emissions."

The armada followed a massive protest at Climate Camp in August and a month after six Greenpeace campaigners were cleared by a jury at Maidstone Crown Court of causing criminal damage to Kingsnorth's smokestack the last time the environment group entered.

During the latest protest, another group of volunteers - including two of the Kingsnorth Six, occupied a small, concrete, E.ON-owned island just next to the jetty.

E.ON bosses say the new station will be built with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology so that it can be incorporated when the technology is developed to stop carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere.

A spokesperson said: "We have been shortlisted for a government competition for funding towards creating what would be the world's first large-scale commercial CSS."

Secretary of State, Ed Miliband is due to make an announcement on plans in a few months.

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