Human Cost of Coal Power: Indonesia

Greenpeace, August 2015

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Indonesia has dozens of coal-fired power plants that emit hundreds of thousands of tonnes of pollution every year. These power plants fill the air with toxic pollutants, including mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium and tiny toxic particles that go deep into people’s lungs.

Air pollution is responsible for over three million premature deaths globally every year. This pollution leads to an increased risk of lung cancer, stroke, heart diseases, and respiratory diseases. Coal burning is one of the biggest contributors to this pollution.

The findings in this report are based on research done at Harvard University on the health impacts of air pollution from coal-fired power plants in Indonesia. The findings are extraordinary:

Existing coal-fired power plants in Indonesia cause an estimated 6,500 premature deaths every year.

Each large new power plant (1000 MW capacity) is expected to result, on average, in the death of 600 Indonesians every year.

Indonesia is planning to build over a hundred new coal-fired power plants. If these – and those currently under construction – are completed this death toll could rise to 28,300 people every year.

These deaths come from an increased risk of chronic diseases in adults and acute respiratory infection in children caused by exposure to toxic fine particle and ozone pollution.

Read the full report here