Coal-fired Power Plants Cause 4,300 Premature Deaths/Year in Vietnam: GreenID

Pollution from coal-fired power plants in Vietnam causes around 4,300 premature deaths in the country annually, according to a research conducted by Vietnamese Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID) and American Harvard University. The death-roll would rise to 25,000 per year if all coal-fired power plants under the government’s planning put into operation, GreenID’s director Nguy Thi Khanh said at the conference titled “Coal and coal power: The unknowns” held on Sept 29 in Hanoi. Deaths from coal power-caused pollution will escalate and huge medical expenses caused by people’s worse health will be certain to happen as most of the technologies are made in China, Mrs. Khanh said at the event that firstly published the Harvard-supported research titled “study on burden of disease from rising coal emissions in Southeast Asia.” Coal-fired power plants discharge series of toxic substances and emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide (NOx), carbon dioxide, mercury and arsenic in an area of hundreds of kilometers, the research showed. Children, the old and pregnant women are vulnerable to the emissions, it noted. Coal-fired power plants will discharge an estimated 14.8 million tons of ash in 2020 and 29.1 million tons by 2030. Statistics by Vietnam’s People and Nature Reconciliation (PanNature) indicated that greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants accounted for 20% or 41 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) discharged in Vietnam in 2010. By 2030, 90% of 515 million tons of CO2 would be released from coal-fired power plants. Lauri Myllyvirta, an expert from Harvard University said at the event that Vietnam goes against the development trend by planning to raise coal-fired power capacity to 51.6% of the country’s total 146,800-MW capacity by 2030. ( Sept 29, Sept 29)