BANTEN, Indonesia — Every day, Subur and his wife walk past giant chimneys, painted red and white at the crown, pouring smoke out of a cluster of coal plants. Subur, 70, says he had no idea that two new coal-fired plants were to be built around his village of Suralaya: the ninth and 10th plants to be built in this corner of Java, the world’s most populated island. “I didn’t know,” he tells Mongabay Indonesia. “I’m not part of the project.” The atmosphere in the community around the coal plant is tense. In September 2020, whispers began to circulate of a demonstration against construction of the new units. Police initially moved to prevent demonstrations from taking place during the coronavirus pandemic, citing risks of transmitting the virus, according to one resident. “We didn’t want to take risks,” a resident says. But a small demonstration did take place three weeks later, in early October, with several people from three affected villages unfurling banners calling for the project to be dropped. “Stop PLTU 9 and 10,” read one banner. “The people need rice, not pollution,” read another. The giant chimneys of seven coal-fired power plants tower over Suralaya village in Indonesia’s Banten province, where two more power plants are under construction. Image by Ulet Ifansasti / Greenpeace. Coal country PLTU 9 and 10 are being constructed on the coast of the northwestern tip of Java to provide an additional 2,000 megawatts of installed electricity capacity in Indonesia, one of the world’s largest…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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