I'd love to be a fly on the wall at E.on's HQ at the moment. When the head of the Women's Institute - along with heads of other groups representing four million people in the UK - boards the Rainbow Warrior, signs a declaration, climbs into a Greenpeace inflatable boat, drives up to Kingsnorth coal plant and hand delivers a declaration saying no to new coal to E.on staff, the company must, surely, be sweating it a bit:
Taking the message to the coalface from Greenpeace UK on Vimeo.
Watching the head of the Women's Institute on a Greenpeace boat, being greeted by security and police cameras might have been a slightly surreal moment, but it was also a very important one for the campaign against coal. I'm not being facetious when I say that among all of the opponents to E.on's plans for Kingsnorth - the Conservatives, the Lib Dems, the Royal Society, the government's former chief scientist, the world's leading climate scientist, Climate Camp and all manner of anti-coal grassroots and local groups - the likes of the Women's Institute, Oxfam and the RSPB must be the most worrying to E.on.
The Kingsnorth trial showed that, when given the facts about climate change, coal, Kingsnorth and the real solutions to climate change, representatives of ordinary British society would oppose new coal. Yesterday's declaration was a quantum leap forward in communicating civil society's opposition to new coal in the UK, with Middle England strongly represented among the organisations signing the declaration. And the government will certainly be taking note of Middle England's views when it considers its decision on Kingsnorth.
I interviewed some of the leaders of the organisations on board, including Oxfam and the Women's Institute, asking why it is so important for their organisations that no new dirty coal plants are built in the UK. Download the mp3 or listen here:
Apart from those, like E.on, who'll directly profit from building coal plants, is there anybody left who wants dirty new coal in the UK?