By Caroline Kwasnicki
The city of Peruíbe, in the Southeast region of Brazil, has been struggling against the installation of a thermoelectric power plant, which could be one of the largest of its type in an urban area in the world. Citizens have organized themselves, pressured city councilors, and are about to get the approval of an amendment to the municipal law that would prevent other mega-polluting projects from being built in the city.
The community of Peruíbe has been mobilizing for months to prevent the thermo plant. It is truly a great example of how people power can fight and win for a Fossil Free world.
Peruíbe has clean and sustainable energy to spare and holds unquestionable tourist potential. The region is one of the last reserves of continuous Brazilian Atlantic rain forest in the world, and more than half of the city’s territory is in a preservation area. With the construction of the thermoelectric power plant, its several beaches (some even untouched) would be threatened – as well as other key sites. Indigenous communities, terrestrial and marine biodiversity, and fishermen who have their livelihood, history and roots there would be put at risk.
The controversial industrial project, estimated at R$ 5 billion, belongs to Gastrading Comércio de Energia and provides for the construction of a natural gas-fired thermoelectric plant, an energy transmission line, two underground pipelines and an offshore port. The project called “Green Atlantic” – which is anything but green – would have the capacity to generate up to 1.7 gigawatts of energy. Last December, the Environmental Company of the State of São Paulo has already denied Gastrading’s environmental license, but this is unfortunately not enough to prevent the construction of the plant once and for all.
The power is in our hands
The process of voting on the amendment to the law has been going on since last year. The project has been presented several times in Peruíbe’s City Hall, and during one of the voting sessions, the community was surprised by a political maneuver: six councilors “fled” the vote and the minimum of 10 votes was not reached for the final approval of the amendment. Other councilors who are against the power plant have pledged to take the project to a new voting session. And they kept their promise.
We now come, once again, to this final step in the process to permanently stop the construction of the thermoelectric plant in Peruíbe. The approval of the law remains in the hands of the councilmen, but the community will attend in strong numbers and show that the decision is ours. The decision belongs to the people. And the population of Peruíbe has already made it clear what it wants: true and fair development, and a future with 100% clean, renewable and free energy!
We at 350.org Brazil support this fight and together with the community of Peruíbe we want to prevent the installation of this harmful and dangerous project. This Wednesday will be a historic and decisive day for the future of the city. Send your message of support using the hashtags #UsinaNão and #TermelelétricaNão.
And you, what would you do to protect your home? From wherever you are, you can also join the Fossil Free movement.